Blue Mountain Health System will offer a community program on yoga and mental health at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Jim Thorpe Yoga & Wellness Center at 434 Center St. in Jim Thorpe.

The key to reaping yoga's mental benefits is reducing stress and anxiety. According to a new review, practicing yoga may help relieve the symptoms of several types of mental disorders.

Results conclude that yoga may offer positive effects for people with depression and sleep problems even if they don't take medication, as well as for individuals with schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who are taking medications.

Program speaker and yoga teacher Maya Kowalcyk believes the mind, body and spirit are all connected, and when a person suffers from mild depression or anxiety, the body is out of balance.

Join her for a 20-minute educational session on how and why yoga can benefit people who suffer from depression and other mental disorders and a 20-minute beginner's yoga class, including various poses and stretches that help bring balance to the body. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Catherine Miller, community liaison for behavioral health at Blue Mountain Health System, will speak about the behavioral health services which are available at the Palmerton Hospital and Gnaden Huetten campuses.

Miller cautions to always consult a physician or counselor if you are having ongoing feelings of depression or anxiety and before trying any new exercise program.

Register for Yoga and Mental Health by calling the community education department at Blue Mountain Health System at 610-377-7070.