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Modified yoga relieves depression and anxiety

I have been teaching yoga for twenty two years. I started practicing yoga at that time, because I was suicidal, not just because I was depressed. During that period of time, my mental state was so depressed that I began to constantly daydream about how to kill myself. My friend dragged me to my first yoga class and insisted that yoga would help with my emotions. I resisted saying, “How can yoga help with your emotions?” I had done other exercisesand other fitness classes. I was a runner, played volleyball, basketball, tennis and did all kinds of physical exercises. I threw myself into weights, sit-ups, and sit-ups. He was plagued with worry, guilt, anger, insomnia, depression, and pain. Nothing had helped my mood, even yoga. Yoga truly saved my life. Now, twenty-two years later; I am a dedicated yoga teacher, with a passion to motivate those who are; depressed or suicidal; and I urge you to come, to experience, the yoga difference.

From the first class I tried, yoga was difficult for me. The poses weren’t that difficult to follow, but my hamstrings, hips, and back muscles were very tight, and the stretch was painful for me. Breathing was the opposite of inhalation when exercising, where you exhale, through your mouth, to maintain the power of the exercise. In yoga, by comparison, you breathe continuously through your nose. Inhale deeply, which expands your belly and sometimes holds your breath for several seconds. He was determined to discover yoga.

The movements were slow and thoughtful. The repetitions of the movement felt monotonous. Yoga worked on your strength and you had to hold postures, such as downward facing dog, plank pose, or an inversion pose, for several looonnngggg moments.

Why Does Modified Yoga Work To Relieve Depression And Anxiety? I feel like it’s a combination of elements. First, modified is an easier yoga class than a regular beginner class. I personally share and encourage clients to do exactly what everyone can do in my class. There is an acceptance and spirituality that is present in a restorative or modified yoga class. The space itself is very relaxing and not intimidating.

Yoga teaches you to live fully in the present moment. Doing the poses well requires concentration, strength, balance, and will to complete the pose. If your mind wanders, you can lose your balance and fall. Plain and simple. Slow breathing brings in more oxygen which then cleanses your organs, such as your liver, which contains negative emotions, such as pain and anger. Breathing and poses are done specifically, which clears the stomach of gas and stimulates blood flow. Inverted poses bring blood flow to your brain, which stimulates and revitalizes your brain, skin, lungs, and helps alter your mood. The poses; opens your torso and hips, which makes your heart open. When you change your physiology from your back, closed, tense, and seemingly protected position to a more open position, your body begins to trick your mind. Oh, if I’m standing like this, I mustn’t be depressed. If my chest is up and my arms are outstretched, maybe I’m happy, at least not sad.

In the present moment, if you really stay there, during the yoga pose, you realize that there is nothing in your life, what is happening right now. You are perfectly fine. If you snap your fingers; That snap is how fast a present moment approaches. There is nothing worrying, or needing your immediate attention, or distracting voices, in your head telling you that you are worthless. You are just mindful and do a moderate and concentrated yoga pose.

Another element in a modified yoga class that helps alleviate depression is meditation. In almost all of my yoga classes I practice meditation. Meditation, if practiced, helps clients stay in the present moment and also allows them to feel that they are loved, cared for, and it is a safe place inside. There are many different types of meditation, including color meditation, question and answer meditation, open-eye meditation, etc.

In the beginning, yoga requires a lot of concentration and discipline. Modified yoga is a discipline, but it’s easier than a strenuous mat class. You practice the postures and the breathing, and you practice NOT hitting yourself and allowing yourself to accept that you are not perfect. When you develop in yoga, your confidence also develops. Somewhere along the way, you realize that it wasn’t too long ago that you couldn’t do some of the strength and conditioning poses of yoga, and now you can. Before, you may not have had much luck, with balance, and now, you stand on one foot for 1 minute or more.

The really important thing about a modified yoga class, since it is not as difficult as power yoga, is that everybody, gold almost everyone can do some form of modified yoga. I have modified the mat and modified chair. You experience acceptance and not rejection, which makes you feel better about yourself. Self-acceptance is a very important element in eliminating depression and anxiety.

Self-acceptance allows you to recognize that you are not perfect and therefore you don’t have to MAKE everything perfect. You don’t have to take responsibility for the happiness of others, or their choices, that lead them to the unsatisfied place in their lives. So if you are struggling right now, with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, seek help. A little counseling can really help and go to a restorative or modified yoga class. It is not a yoga class, where everyone is super competitive, or the teacher pushes you beyond your limit. You have to go to a class, that you feel acceptance, honor and respect, and that they really encourage you to do, only what you can do, and whatever skill or flexibility you come with, they will encourage you. That class will be a transformative class for you! If you give it a try, a modified yoga class together with that positive yoga teacher can help you eliminate depression and anxiety.

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