How does Yoga help depression and Anxiety?
Yesterday I had a meeting with a client who has suffered from PTSD after leaving the armed forces. It suddenly came to my attention that I havent written about depression and anxiety and how yoga can help both. I think I just assumed that everyone knew that Yoga of course helps with depression and anxiety.
When I was 19 and at University in London, I suffered from panic attacks. I would be walking to uni and out of the blue I would feel like I couldn’t breathe and that I was going to faint. I thought I was dying!!! This is something you hear a lot. Long story short I was having an anxiety panic attack. At the time Yoga was not mainstream but Mum had done some Iyengar yoga and suggested I went along. I certainly wasn’t hooked straight away but what I did get straight away was a feeling of being in my body and using my breath to effectively slow everything down. That was the beginning of an amazing journey for me.
I wont say now I am cured of anxiety or stress, that is now not my aim as I believe stress is sometimes use full to push us forward, its how we choose to deal with that stress. What I do know now is how to manage my stress and anxiety so it barely ever catches me out.
Depression is the leading cause of non-fatal disability in Australia—on average, one in six people will experience depression in their lifetime. Depression has many potential causes—hereditary, personality, medical issues, hormonal imbalances or by drug and alcohol addiction and it can also be a reaction to extreme stress. And often a combination of these can lead to depression.
In this day and age we are surrounded by so much that is put out to distract us. WE have become a culture of instant gratification, wanting everything now with as little effort possible. We have more of everything than we have ever had before, and yet our mental health is suffering more than ever before.
At any one time it is estimated that more than 300 million people have depression – about 4% of the world’s population when the figures were published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015.
The tensions of daily life have an impact on our emotions. In yogic science, the secretions of the hormonal system are believed to influence the mind and the nervous system. Strong emotions are linked to hormonal imbalances which leaves our health vulnerable.
Awareness is Key
Now that life has got so busy, and there are so many distraction that are taking our focus away from ourselves. This is where Yoga can have the biggest impact. Just being in a yoga class you are challenged from the get go.
“Breath in and breath out”
Suddenly your aware that you have never really paid attention to your breath, you werent even aware of your breath yet without it Im pretty sure, things are not looking good!!!
So Yoga brings us into our body. It unites us with our body and our breath. I brings us down to the ground and for a moment there is time in our day to stop and be with ourselves. To reflect. Its like it puts a bubble around you and allows you to be calm and in the moment.
So 22 years on now, of practicing yoga nearly everyday and I am reaping the benefits. It might sound boastful, but I am now 50 and I feel stronger fitter, more alert than I did in my twenties. Does this mean I don’'t get stressed anymore, of course not, what it does mean is I have strategies and a practice, a ritual that keeps me on track, and when I do go off track I have a clear path to get back on track.
So I encourage you to take part in the free online 10 minute yoga classes that I am offering.
Click this link below and fill out the form for more information.