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Q&A with Mary Beth Kealy: A New Yoga Course for the Enlightened Practitioner 

August 14, 2013 —

The Complementary and Integrative Therapies Program is introducing a new course in the fall quarter, titled Yoga for the Enlightened Practitioner. The course has limited enrollment and is delivered entirely online via weekly PowerPoint lectures with embedded video recordings of different yoga postures. “It integrates the traditional underpinnings of yogic philosophy with contemporary medical yoga techniques,” explained Stephanie Ross, Director of the Complementary and Integrative Therapies Program at the College of Nursing and Health Professions. The course brings a relatively “live” yoga experience to students, with opportunities for weekly discussions.

The new course will be taught by adjunct faculty member Mary Beth Kealy, who is also a graduate of Drexel’s Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program and CCIT (she is an advanced student in Complementary and Integrative Therapies). Kealy teaches medical yoga in various hospitals in the state of Georgia, in addition to having her own private practice. Kealy also participated in our Summer Nurse Practitioner Residency this year. Here, she answers our questions about the new yoga course.

Chartings: Who was this course designed for? Can any CNHP student take it?

Mary Beth Kealy: The Yoga course is available throughout the University via the Complementary and Integrative Therapies course catalog. While it is a graduate course, undergraduate juniors and seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or greater may take it.

Chartings: Will students practice the yoga postures themselves while watching the lectures? How do they interact with the course on a weekly basis?

Kealy: Lectures are focused on creating an understanding of the deep underpinning of philosophy of Yoga and its relevance today. As the weeks progress, students explore the themes of universal awareness and consciousness while examining yoga as a healing modality for themselves and their patients. Yoga postures sequenced to address specific conditions such as anxiety, back pain and PTSD are covered.

Chartings: Do students need a background in practicing or teaching yoga before taking the course? What prior experience is expected of them?

Kealy: No prior yoga experience is necessary. A dedication to learning and experiencing yoga is, however. Weekly audio and video yoga instruction is provided. Participation in a live yoga class is not required but those with a personal yoga practice in place are encouraged to continue with it.

Chartings: Why do you think this course is important and necessary? What are you most excited about in introducing this course to the Drexel community?

Kealy: Every CNHP student can benefit from this course. The students will travel behind the façade of modern yoga to reveal the healing powers found in traditional yoga practice. Students new to yoga will find practical methods to bring yoga into their lives and seasoned practitioners will deepen their knowledge and practice. Yoga is the go-to complementary health therapy of today. Currently, over 400 research studies are underway, examining yoga’s application to healthcare delivery. Research indicates yoga’s positive impact on cancer treatment fatigue, chronic pain, and stress reduction.

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