Dr Elvira Perez Vallejos is an Associate Professor in Digital Technology and Mental Health at the University of Nottingham (UK). She is interested in designing and evaluating new and engaging interventions aiming to improve mental, spiritual and physical well-being among the most vulnerable members of society. She has studied the effects of yoga among children and young people in care as well as their carers with the view to promote ‘mutual recovery’. Mutual recovery promotes wellbeing and mental health not only among those people that suffer mental distress but also among their formal and informal carers including healthcare professionals, friends and loved ones. Creative practices as mutual recovery is also an emerging movement within Health Humanities that responds to the need for a more compassionate and humane healthcare system. Elvira is an accredited yoga teacher and recently has delivered several flamenco-yoga workshops fusing a secular version of Kundalini Yoga with flamenco-like movements and music. This type of embodied interventions are more suitable for those who want to improve their mental, spiritual and physical well-being as well as for those individuals that have high levels of anxiety or trauma as it gives hooks for the mind, keeping the practitioner occupied with following the rhythms of the practice. Flamenco-yoga merges traditional dancing movements with uplifting music facilitating a calm and relaxed state of mind and body, whilst stimulating the ‘feel good’ brain chemistry. This combination improves the practitioners relationships (e.g., sense of connection to others and self), promoting compassionate thinking and focus. Practiced regularly over an extended period of time these changes in perception integrate and affect the practitioners approach to life in positive and profound ways.
Dr. Elvira is interested in designing and evaluating new and engaging interventions aiming to improve mental, spiritual and physical well-being among the most vulnerable members of society.