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July 24, 2008

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pranayama practices that emphasize inhalation may be useful. Of course, getting your students to focus on engaging their abdominal muscles to help squeeze additional air out of the lungs on the exhalation facilitates an easier, deeper inhalation on the subsequent breath. Such breathing practices as three-part inhalation, and Ujjayi on the inhalation with normal exhalation, are examples of practices that increase the length of the inhalation relative to the exhalation.

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If you are looking to sleep or rest, try Ujjayi Yoga Pranayama, it requires enough concentration to pull you mind away and it is great to help fight insomnia. Also, students like doing explosive pranayamas to consciously get rid of stress and use the outgoing breath to throw out all negativity. The first exercise (Yoga Arm Raises) in the Healthy Weight Loss Yoga Set is excellent for this, as is Kapalbhati Pranayama.

ROD MEYER

How effective is ECT for depression?Ive always thought there was severe side effects eg loss of memory long term,short term or both.Ive also heard it can be a bit barbaric...so far Ive had no luck with antidepresents and mood stabilisers.Rod Meyer

depression mood

Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all—instead, they feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic.

Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.

Dina

Could someone please email me a good SKY dvd suggestion. Thak you, Dina
[email protected]

Robin Smith

Depression is a major ailment in today’s highly stressed life. People from all age groups fall victims to this disease. But now studies have found that regular exercise is an effective way to relieve some major forms of depression.

http://healthfreak2.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/benefits-of-exercise-in-managing-depression/

D.Trotter

Thanks alot for the information. Really appreciate it. I've Subscribed to your RSS feed for Further updated. I myself have been suffering from anxiety and just recently had a setback like you and am slowly recovering again.

It's very weird to read your descriptions of morning anxiety and lack of appetite even when only having lunch with family or friends as this is something I am too familiar with and often thought to myself if I was the only one who was going through stuff like this.


Best Regards,
Debra@Anxiety Cures

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Thanks so much for this Article ..Yoga is very useful for depression ...

Diane Cesa

Hi Sydney --
Thank you so much for sharing your story -- it's a heartening one, especially for those folks out there suffering from depression. I think Kundalini is a wonderful practice for anyone suffering from anxiety or depression. I typically mix Kundalini practice into my regular yoga mix. Whenever I work with clients suffering from anxiety and depression, I typically give them Kundalini inspired kriyas and/or meditations. I highly recommend David's book. It's excellent. Again, thank you for sharing your story!

Sydney

I can attest to the ability of pranayama to heal depression. I was a long time sufferer of mild to severe depression from my teens to my late-30's. I was even on antidepressants for 6 years.

When I started practicing Kriya Kundalini Yoga I was taking St. John's Wort for depression. I practiced for about 20-40 minutes at least once a week, and sometimes more when I felt the need.

After some time, perhaps a year, I felt that my depression had gone into remission. I was able to stop taking St. John's Wort. I was also meditating during this time, but the pranayama had a much greater effect than meditating alone would have.

It's 5 or 6 years later, and depression has never returned. Whenever I do feel low or run down, I make sure to start back up with pranayama, especially the bellows breath, and my energy returns within a few weeks.

Thanks for the book recommendation. It sounds like it would be quite useful.

john

Thanks so much for this post! I have students who live wtih depression
and anxiety. They say that practice
helps them, but it's very good to have
studies to back this up.

take care,

-John

www.YogaWithJohn.com

Sandra Dehl

For a great yogic point of view about depression, see www.depressionadvantage.com

It talks about depression and the role it can play on the spiritual path. the book can be read online at http://www.bipolaradvantage.com/Education/Publications/Books/DepressionAdvantage/SaintFrancis.html

an excerpt:
Many followers of both western and eastern philosophies speak of the duality of the world. This duality is seen by many to be the work of the devil, or to the eastern world, delusion. Disease and health, pain and pleasure, loss and gain—these are all examples of the opposites that hold together our false reality.

I often hear the idea that once we attain enlightenment, we live in bliss. If bliss is defined as great joy, is that just one side of duality? I think something may have been lost in the translation of the original meaning.

If enlightenment brings bliss, why were the saints in this book suffering until the end? I think it is because bliss does not mean happy, it means acceptance that everything is part of the same oneness: as I noted in the chapter The Art of Seeing Depression, “It’s all milk.” Depression is just as much a part of bliss as any other state. Peace, love, and joy are naturally felt, even when you are also experiencing great pain. If you read what Saint Teresa, Saint John of the Cross, or Saint Francis had to say, it will become clear: bliss is not the opposite of duality, it includes duality as a subset.

Picture two small circles next to each other. One is pleasure and the other is pain. The common concept is that we get to a point that is outside of them both and move to another circle where there is only peace, love, and joy. Bliss is incorrectly thought of as beyond the duality, a place where pleasure and pain do not exist.

Now picture a larger circle with the pleasure and pain inside of it. Picture it with all conditions inside of it: pleasure, pain, gain, loss, happiness, sadness, health, illness, etc. If you focus on the big circle, you are in bliss, even though you are still experiencing some of the elements inside. If you lose the perspective of the big circle, you feel only the small circles, and the pain seems more intense.

Some people think that the problem is that we have wrong thinking. They propose that we catch ourselves thinking sad thoughts and replace them with happy thoughts, as if that is going to change the picture. It is the same as focusing on the two small circles. We will never fully understand our condition until we begin to focus on the big circle and find meaning in our experiences. As long as you think that sad thoughts are an illness you will not find the advantage of your condition.

The example of our saints is that they got to a point that they were in the same state of oneness no matter what happened to their body or mind. Saint Francis was in incredible pain at the end of his life, yet had the ability to keep focused on the big picture. It is not that he was somehow separate from his experiences; he experienced them just as you and I would. But since he was focusing on the big picture, he was in bliss. Bliss is the state that is not affected by the duality.

As our saints grew in understanding, they still experienced the pain, but from the perspective of bliss it did not affect them as much. That is why Saint Teresa said: “All these illnesses now bother me so little that I am often glad, thinking the Lord is served by something.”

It takes the perspective of extreme pain for some of us to see the truth of bliss. The Depression Advantage is that we have the chance to understand something that few ever will.

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