Bringing Yoga to the Dental Community – usdentistsdirectory

As dentists, we face unique mental, physical and emotional challenges every day. These challenges often cause discord and imbalance in our bodies and minds, negatively impacting our health and well-being.

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dr. barrera

Turning our bodies to get a better view, sitting for long periods and leaning forward over our computer keyboards can put a huge strain on our musculoskeletal system. Poor ergonomics has also been linked to less expected chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. In addition, dealing with anxious patients, managing team members and the frustrations of a leadership role can sometimes become overwhelming and lead to powerful feelings of anger, loneliness, anxiety and depression.

Shortly after I started practicing dentistry, I started experiencing the initial stages of burnout that most of us can go through at some point in our careers. I first tried yoga as a form of stress relief, but soon learned that this ancient practice has much more to offer. I started practicing yoga 2-3 times a week and started to notice a difference in the way my body felt physically, as well as in the way I handled everyday situations.

Yoga has improved my ability to deal with stressful situations with a greater sense of calm and has also increased my strength and flexibility, which has helped with the aches and pains we get from a career in dentistry. Most importantly, yoga has taught me to be present and aware in every moment and to let go of the things that occupy me. I have seen a huge shift in my outlook on life and am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been.

Four years after I found yoga, I enrolled in a 200-hour yoga teacher training course and now teach yoga twice a week at Black Swan Yoga in Houston, Texas.

Teaching yoga felt like coming home; it was a goal I didn’t know I had.

Sharing the practice of yoga with others gives me such joy, knowing that I can help people gain a greater sense of calm and awareness. There is nothing better than helping someone feel at home in their own body.

This year I was selected to participate in the Yoga Warrior of 2022, sponsored by the Yoga Journal.

This opportunity would allow me to share the magic of yoga with communities that need it most, including the dentist. I am grateful that the American Dental Association has allowed me to use my platform to bring yoga to the dental community. I will be teaching a virtual Yoga for Dentist class for ADA members on June 21 in honor of International Yoga Day and will also be teaching a yoga class this year SmileCon on October 13-15 in Houston.

To vote for me as the next Yoga Warrior, go to

dr. Alex Barrera practices general dentistry at Legacy Community Health in Houston, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston in 2017 and is a member of several organizations, including the American Dental Association, Hispanic Dental Association, Greater Houston Dental Association, and the Houston Equality Dental Network. He currently chairs the New Dentist Committee for the Hispanic Dental Association and participated in the ADA’s Institute for Diversity in Leadership. dr. Barrera is a member of the National Health Service Corps and alumni of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program. dr. Barrera is a certified yoga teacher and uses mindfulness and meditation to better treat patients with dental phobia. In his spare time he likes to read, cook and travel.

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