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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Methodist Hospital nurse shares yoga, relaxation to calm colleagues and patients during pandemic

Dr. John Shepard learned about mindfulness and meditation and introduced the practice to others at the hospital.

INDIANAPOLIS — It's no secret COVID-19 is taking its toll on doctors and nurses on the front lines of the pandemic. 

One local nurse is helping his colleagues and patients cope through yoga.

Inside IU Health Methodist Hospital, doctors and nurses are working tirelessly to help patients and their families. But sometimes, those long hours mixed with constant thoughts of COVID-19 can have an impact.

"We've been practicing some pop-up mindfulness, pop-up yoga classes," said Dr. John Shepard, an ICU nurse who learned about mindfulness and meditation and introduced the practice to others at the hospital.

"Even together as a team," he said. "It kind of breaks down barriers and it reminds us all of our common humanity and it gets people a time to breathe and relax and remember that we're all in this together."

Shepard said the practice also helps to calm patients being treated for coronavirus.

"A lot of people have fear of getting sick again. They've been through a traumatic ordeal of becoming infected and coming into the hospital and having an extended stay here, so you can imagine the feeling of anxiety and fear that are present," he said.

Shepard said it's all about being in the moment and taking a breath to relax.

"When I practice it, I see more clearly, and I feel more joy and I feel less afraid of my world," he said.

A world he shares with others in hopes of reaching even more people and saving more lives.