When it comes to your mental health there are numerous benefits to practicing yoga.
There is more and more research coming out that shows gentle movement, mindfulness, & meditation can significantly improve your mental health.
It can often feel daunting though when we think about the word practice.
Starting a yoga practice doesn't have to be an hour long movement every day or sitting in an uncomfortable meditation seat for hours.
In fact, when you are currently experiencing anxiety or depression you probably don't want to do much of anything. But you can still try yoga and receive the numerous benefits without having to do an extensive practice.
How exactly do we do this?
1) Keep it gentle & simple - There is no need to force yourself into uncomfortable poses or even do everything the teacher shares. Maybe for you a yoga practice is 10 minutes or 5 minutes in the morning of gentle stretching. It can even be laying in bed noticing your breath.
2) Try not to push away...
Did you know there is a science to how we breathe?
Yoga is more than stretching or exercise and the breath is a key foundation to the overall practice. When we learn to regulate the breath we are able to better self-regulate our nervous system and emotional responses.
It is important to know that inhale activates the sympathetic nervous system response. It is heating, solar, and energetic. The exhale activates the parasympathetic nervous system and it is known to be cooling, relaxing, yet can also be strong.
When we experience anxiety we learn to self-regulate our response by noticing our breath. You might realize that you are breathing in the upper chest or possibly in another area. Without trying to change anything - notice it as it is.
When you feel comfortable doing so try to match the count of your inhale to the count of your exhale. This is a balanced breath called sama vritti. You might breathe in for the count of four and exhale four.
Once you feel...
How does yoga help us move through deep rooted trauma?
Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes. Many of us don't even realize we have experienced trauma at some point in our lives whether it is big or little.
It wasn't until several years ago that I finally realized I had been experiencing repeated trauma for most of my life and even tried to minimize the significance of it. I remember saying, "But it wasn't that bad..." Except it really was.
Now I look at everything with new clarity and I have been expanding my tools to address the trauma that is deep rooted in my body.
Soma refers to the body. Somatic Experiencing is a form of therapy aimed at relieving symptoms of PTSD and other forms of mental & physical health issues associated with trauma. It was developed by trauma therapist Peter Levine.
He explains, "Yoga has been shown extensively to be very effective with trauma, and, I believe, because it helps to move emotion out of the body,” Dr. Levine said....
"Crying is one of the highest spiritual practices. One who knows crying knows yoga." - Swami Kripalu
Depression is a difficult experience for anyone who has experienced it, including those who are close to loved ones that live with it.
It can feel heavy, heartbreaking, and at times numbing.
Sometimes it means staying in bed until early afternoon or skipping meals, maybe not sleeping at all and feeling like there is no point in trying.
This is not an ideal way to live.
I have been in the depths of depression more times than I'd like to remember. I've seen it negatively affect my life in so many ways. However, it also showed me the true essence of joy.
Yoga is one of the best ways to address depression because it allows us to move stagnant energy in the mind & body.
The yogic view of depression is seen as a constriction in the emotional body that then impacts the physical body. The practices of yoga remove these constrictions, physically &...
Have you heard of Trauma Informed Yoga? It is starting to become a more common topic in the mindfulness community and it is a very important conversation we need to be having right now.
2020 left common humanity confused, exhausted, and experiencing new ways of living in a socially distanced way. It was terrifying.
We are experiencing collective trauma. Not only as a result of Covid, but also social and culture changes too. We witness injustice, racial & gender inequality, and political disputes.
This is peeling back the layers of trauma in ways we never realized are still present in our world today.
I want share three qualities of what makes up a trauma informed yoga practice. Mindfulness is key when it comes to moving past the heavy weight of pain and suffering.
1) Acknowledge that Every Person is Unique
Our individual experience and how we were raised will influence the way we see the world. It is important to realize that what we may not find...
It's great to have you join me on this journey towards transforming your mental and emotional health with yoga. You have made the first step towards living with freedom.
It is an honor to share space with you. This blog is here to empower YOU in your journey and inspire a daily practice abundant in self-love. I will share a weekly post full of tips, practices, and material to uplift your yoga experience. Whether your are brand new or a long time practitioner you will discover lots of helpful information.
I have officially embarked on a new journey myself to becoming a certified yoga therapist. This means I will be sharing unique knowledge to fuel your life as I further my own education.
Let's create community together!