Each day we are faced with unique mental, physical, and emotional challenges as dentists. These challenges can cause discord in our bodies and minds, which can have a negative impact on our health.
Our musculoskeletal systems can be put under strain by sitting long hours, twisting our bodies for better vision, and hunching our computers keyboards. Poor ergonomics can also be linked to other chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and others that are less common. You may also experience anxiety and loneliness from managing fearful patients or the frustrations associated with leading a team.
Shortly after I began my practice of dentistry, I was experiencing the initial stages of burnout. Yoga was my first attempt at stress reduction. But, I soon discovered that yoga has so much more. I started practicing yoga 2-3x a week. I noticed a significant improvement in the way that my body felt and how I handled everyday situations.
Yoga has made it easier for me to handle stressful situations with more calm. It has also given me strength and flexibility that has helped me deal with the many aches and pains associated with my career as a dentist. Yoga has taught me to be present in each moment and to let go of things that bother my mind. I’ve seen a huge shift in my outlook on life and am the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been.
After discovering yoga four years ago, I took a 200-hour teacher training program. I teach yoga at Black Swan Yoga in Houston, Texas, twice per week.
Teaching yoga felt like a return to home; it was a goal that I didn’t know I had.
It brings me joy to share yoga with others. There’s nothing better than helping someone feel at home in their own body.
I was chosen to participate in the Yoga Journal’s 2022 Yoga Warrior competition.
I would be able to share the magic and beauty of yoga with those who need it the most, including the dental community. I’m grateful that the American Dental Association has allowed me to use my platform to bring yoga to the dental community. I’ll be teaching a virtual Yoga for Dentist class for ADA members on June 21 in honor of the International Day of Yoga and will also be teaching a yoga class at this year’s SmileConOn Oct. 13-15, Houston
Please visit this page to vote for me as the next Yoga Warrior. https://iamyogawarrior.com/2022/alex-barrera
Dr. Alex Barrera is a general dentist at Legacy Community Health in Houston, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, Texas in 2017. He 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 serves as the chair of the New Dentist Committee for the Hispanic Dental Association and participated in the ADA’s Institute for Diversity in Leadership. Dr. Barrera has been a participant of the National Health Service Corps as well as an alumnus of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Programme. Dr. Barrera is a certified yoga teacher and uses mindfulness and meditation to help better treat patients with dental phobias. He enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling in his spare time.