Category Archives: Holistic Indiana

A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils

Wellness CoachWhen I heard about essential oils, I’ll admit I was skeptical. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is right?

Then a friend told me all about how she’s used essential oils as cold medicine, bug repellent, perfume, cleaners, and more! It got me curious, so one night I tried using a lavender essential oil to help me sleep. And it worked!

Since then, I’ve learned more about essential oils and realized how beneficial they are (which is why we sell essential oils at Sunstone). Since not everyone is familiar with essential oils, I wanted to provide a beginner’s guide to help you get started with this great health tool.

What Essential Oils Are

Essential oils are a substance extracted from a plant that holds the smell and characteristics of that plant. The oil is in a liquid form, but feels much less dense than other oils. Essential oils are highly potent, so you usually only need a small amount.

Benefits Of Essential Oils

The list of benefits of essential oils seems almost infinite! You can use essential oils to help you sleep, relieve stress, clean your home, nurture healthy looking hair, and more! Beginners often focus on using essential oils for energy or relaxation.

How To Use Essential Oils

There are three methods of using essential oils, but I recommend leaving the dietary method to the more experience (not all essential oils can be ingested and you should always talk to your doctor before ingesting them). Instead, focus on topical or aromatic methods. Topical involves massaging the oil onto your skin while aromatic involves inhaling the oil either from the bottle or from the use of a diffuser. Since essential oils are so concentrated, they are usually used with a carrier oil to help diffuse them. You can play around with aromatic and topical applications and see what works best for you.

Where To Get Essential Oils

You can buy essential oils at some stores, but make sure to research the product first. Not every option is of good quality. When you find an essential oil you like, don’t let the price tag alarm you. Remember that you only use a few drops, so that small bottle can last a long time.

You can buy quality essential oils at Sunstone (we offer doTerra and Young Living  products). We carry some essential oils at the office and offer the most common picks. If we don’t have the oil you want, we will add it to our bi-weekly orders. Because we are a distributor, we can get the oils at a discount and pass that savings onto you!

Whether you use essential oils every night before bed or occasionally on stressful days, they can be a great natural healthy option. For more information on essential oils, click here or call (317) 886-1000.

 

Finding Your “Zen Moment” Every Day

Life is stressful. Period. It’s easy to get caught up in running around, getting to meetings, rushing to pick up the kids, sitting in rush hour traffic, killing yourself to meet deadlines…the list can feel endless. But the good news is that there IS time for you to have your daily moment of Zen, I promise. So let’s get started.

Wellness Coach
First, define for yourself what you want your Zen moment to look like. Do you want to commit to meditating ten minutes a day? Have you wanted to start taking walks at lunchtime? Are you happiest when you take a time out with your favorite latte? Whatever it is, identify an activity you can do every day that’s for yourself and will make you happy. If that feels like a lot—start small.

Okay, now you know what you want to do, but you’re wondering how you’re ever going to find the time. You’re running around from the second the alarm goes off to the second your head hits the pillow. Easy. Schedule time with yourself. No matter what the activity (hopefully you’ve chosen something healthy!), put it on your calendar and commit to it. Treat it like any other obligation. No, that doesn’t sound very Zen-like, but if that’s what it takes to get you to be good to yourself, so be it.

It takes 28 days to form a habit. Stick to it and before you know it, your Zen moment will be a part of your everyday life. And you’ll notice that you’ll start looking forward to it. It won’t be something you’re forcing yourself to do because it’s on your calendar. It willfeel good to commit to yourself, to have some quiet time, time to just breathe and be with yourself. Plus, it’s so good for you.

Daily Zen moments will allow you to focus better, manage stress better and be an all around happier person. And who doesn’t want that!?

Meditation Styles to Suit Your Personality

Just like there are different styles of yoga, there are different styles of meditation. If you’re eager to start a meditation practice, explore your options and find one that works for your goals and your personality.

Here are a few meditation styles to help you start on your journey.

meditation styles

Guided Meditation

Personally, I would recommend this for beginners. The mind is so busy and running all over the place that it can be helpful to have a reminder that you should come back to your breath, or whatever your focus point is. You can find recordings online and sometimes your local yoga studio will have guided meditation classes. It can be helpful to do it in person with a guide when you are just beginning.

Breath Meditation

When I started meditating, I used guided meditation to help keep me focused. But once I got used to the process, I moved to breath meditation, as I found it less distracting. It’s just what it sounds like—you focus on your breath. Notice the length and depth of your breath, but do not get involved in a conversation with yourself about it. If your mind wanders, come back to your breath.

Concentration Meditation

During this type of meditation, you focus on a single point. So, in theory, breath meditation could also be considered concentration meditation, since the breath is the “one point.” But this could also mean staring at a candle flame, a picture of a beloved place or person, or even repeating a mantra to yourself. When you notice your mind running off, come back to your point of focus.

Metta Meditation

This is also known as loving-kindness meditation. When you practice metta meditation, you first find kindness and love for yourself, then others, including those you do not like. Then you move to wishing and cultivating love for all living being. A common metta meditation is: May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be free.Then thinking of someone you love, followed by someone you dislike, followed by all beings you say: May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be free.

Walking Meditation

This is “meditation in action”. The focus in walking meditation is on the physical act of walking. Don’t have a destination, walk for the sake of walking, and the purpose of using it as time to meditate.

Guided Visualization

Here you have a guide, generally in the form of a recording. All you need to do is listen to what he or she is saying and let your mind follow. This can help foster deep relaxation and help improve overall well being by the use of positive imagery.

No matter what you choose, give yourself the time to explore what works for you. I’ve been told that when a person starts meditating they should choose one method and stick with it to fully explore everything it has to offer. But I do think it’s okay to try a few on in the beginning. Eventually you’ll find yourself coming back to one form or another. Then the real journey begins.

At-Home Yoga

I enjoy the people I work with so much, that sometime it is hard for me to do an at-home yoga session. I love being with my clients. I love the energy, the music, and the people I’ve come to know and chat with before and after class. But sometimes I don’t have time to run to a class or work in a group.

at-home Yoga

1. Find a space in your home or apartment that you’d look forward to practicing in. Maybe it’s by a window, maybe it’s a cozy den, or maybe it’s right next to your bed so you can roll out of bed in the morning and get right to it. Having a “yoga spot” can help you get over to your mat and practice.

2. Make your space relaxing and comforting. Make your at-home yoga studio a retreat. Light a candle, dim the lights and try to make it a relaxing experience.

3. Find a yoga video you love. Everyone has a favorite teacher or teachers. If you are lucky, they’ve made a video.There are hundreds of teachers at your fingertips when you search online (Try MyYoga), so you’re likely to find one that fits your needs. Having a go-to teacher or a favorite class can be a great way to make you want to practice.

4. Memorize some of your favorite flows and start to practice on your own. Doing yoga without being led is a completely different experience than following along with an instructor. You get a better sense of how the poses feel throughout your body. You may even start to notice which transitions you enjoy and can start to build your own flow. Plus, you get to move at your own pace, which can be a real treat, especially if you want to enjoy child’s pose just a little bit longer.

5. Make it your own group. Turn your at-home yoga sessions in to your own class with friends and family. Invite the girls over!

6. Take advantage of your couch and practice inversions. A lot of people fear inversions because they fear falling and getting hurt. I’ve found that practicing in front of my couch takes away all of my fear because if I fall over, I just land on my couch. When you practice against the wall, you never really get to chance to practice balancing because if you go too far you hit the wall. Practicing in front of your couch allows you to get the sense of being in the middle of the room, without actually being in the middle of the room. (Note: if you’re new to inversions, you’ll want to practice with a teacher for your beginning attempts to avoid injury, our new yoga instructor can help!)

Like anything else, practicing at-home yoga is a habit that can be built. So roll out your mat and get your stretch on.

 

Create a Stressless, Happy House

We all crave a home filled with good energy; one that serves as a repose from a hard day’s work, a setting for cheerful togetherness, and an invitation to a restful night’s sleep. Carrying the smells, colors and sight of nature inside can change a space’s energetic feeling, filling it with positive sensory impressions and creating a home of perfect repose.

Try these nature-inspired home decor tips to shift the feeling in your house toward one of stressless tranquility.

1. Set the mood with aromatherapy and Indiana essential oils. Indiana Essential Oils

Scent has the ability to quickly change an environment and affect mood. The right usage of essential oils within a home can soothe the nerves, calm the emotions, harmonize the mind, and create an overall peaceful atmosphere.

You can introduce scent into your home through Indiana essential oils or at-home aromatherapy to gradually spread the scent throughout a house. Even sweet-smelling flowers and aromatic branches of pine can be placed around the home for both their beauty and scent.

Every aroma has a unique effect on the mind. Some are soothing and calming; like jasmine, lavender, neroli, rose, and sandalwood. Others are invigorating and uplifting; such as lemon, peppermint, rosemary, and sage. Choose scents appropriate for the energy of the room, and also according to the time of day. An uplifting scent, for example, works well in the bedroom in the morning, but a calming scent would work better in the evening.

2. Enhance each room’s function with color.

Color also powerfully affects mood. Each color carries a different vibration; some calling us to action, some soothing, some devitalizing. Bring color into your home through wall paint, textiles, and flowers; choosing those that are in balance with the mood you’d like to set in each room.

Like the morning sun, yellow is a happy and energizing color. It promotes clarity and articulate thinking, making it suited for a home office. Just as the infinite blue sky brings a feeling of calm, blue gives any room a tranquil, peaceful, and spiritual atmosphere. It’s best suited for the bedroom or a meditation room. Light violet is also soothing, as we can feel when we observe it as part of a twilight sky. White, like the afternoon light, is uplifting, purifying and cleansing, and works well in any space. Orange (think poppies and marigolds) is a social, joyful color, and is best suited for family and dining rooms to enhance cheerful gatherings and good communication.

3. Create good energy flow with houseplants and flowers.

Besides altering the atmosphere with their scent and color, house plants and fresh cut flowers
contribute to the positive flow of energy throughout a home. Feng Shui refers to this energy as chi, and it gives many houseplant guidelines to promote the healthy flow of chi.

Although all plants are vibrant, healthy forms of energy, they have different effects when used in the home. Flowers bring a feeling of love and happiness, but wilting or dried flowers emit negative energy. Plants with rounded leaves help to soften sharp lines (like room corners) and promote the flow of energy through dead space. Feathery, softer looking plants are more appropriate for the bedroom. Thorny plants like cacti are energetically attacking and interrupt the positive flow of chi. They should not be used in the home.

By bringing nature inside with these four home decor tips, you can shift the mood in your home to one of good energy; creating your perfect sanctuary.

If you want to learn more about the many uses of Indiana essential oils or alternative health practices, contact one of our counselors in Greenwood.

Trauma Therapy in Greenwood

New location for Trauma Therapy in Greenwood

As we celebrate the end of another great year, I have SO MUCH to share with you!  First of all, I want to thank you for your business and for your support of Sunstone Health & Wellness.  I am truly grateful and honored to be a part of your journey through counseling and healing in the Greenwood, Castleton, and Indianapolis areas.

I have some pretty exciting news to share with you!  Starting January 1, 2015, Sunstone Health & Wellness will relocate to a new, quieter location.  We feel this is going to be a great move for our business and our clients. We are growing and expanding and this location will be more suited for counseling and our expanded services.

Our new address for Trauma Therapy in Greenwood will be:

Sunstone Health & Wellness

1700 W. Smith Valley Rd., Suite B4

Greenwood, Indiana 46142

You may notice that the new address isn’t too far from our current one!  The new space is a very private 1,200 square feet suite, featuring a waiting room, group room, and three office spaces.  We are currently in the process of renovating the space, and I can’t wait for you to see it!

As our business is growing, I am so excited to begin expanding the services that we are able to offer to you! I will still be offering the counseling and trauma therapy in Greenwood and Castleton that you know and trust as well as the individual and family counseling. I love being able to offer alternative health to Indianapolis and holistic approaches to therapy, to truly serve the mind, body, and spirit including EMDR, hypnotherapy, art therapy, health and wellness coaching, essential oils, and more. Stay tuned to hear more about each of these.

Along with the new location, we will also have new contact information starting January 1.

Phone Number:  (317) 123-4567

Fax Number:  (317) 123-4568

Website:  www.sunstoneindy.com

See?  I told you that I had a lot of exciting news to share with you!

Again, I cannot thank you enough for your continued support of Sunstone.  This expansion and continued growth is something that has been a goal of mine for many years.  You’ve probably heard me say that I can’t imagine doing anything else for my job, and I truly mean that.  It is my deep and profound pleasure and honor to serve you and your family.

Much Love in the New Year,

Lacey Rentschler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Minute Essential Oils Massage

Sunstone Health & Wellness wants to bring more alternative health to Indianapolis and Greenwood. We use essential oils in many of our practices to offer holistic health to Indiana.

Ayurveda (the science of life that hails from ancient India) encourages us to keep healthy and prevent disease with a daily routine full of self-care. One of the most beneficial practices in this routine is abhyanga; a nourishing oil massage (one of many essential oils). Even if regular professional massages are within your means, self-abhyanga can be done on a daily basis and in the comfort of your own bathroom. Five minutes and basic essential oils are all you need, plus another 15 minutes to let the essential oil soak in (during which you can stretch, do some breathing exercises, or simply relax).

These five minutes can make a huge impact on your overall health and wellbeing. When practiced regularly, abhyanga has a myriad of benefits-besides moisturizing skin and making it glow. The therapeutic self-massage tones the skin, muscles, and underlying body tissues. It improves circulation, aiding the body in its removal of toxins and metabolic wastes. The rhythmic motion of the massage lubricates the joints and relieves muscle stiffness. It calms the nervous system, boosts immunity, and helps to promote sound sleep. It can help in chronic fatigue. Abhyanga strengthens, nourishes, improves flexibility, and slows down aging.

Abhyanga is clearly five minutes well spent. The ideal time to give yourself this nourishing massage is before both bathing and breakfast. Alternatively, you can massage yourself in the evening, which helps with a good night’s sleep. Note that you should skip this massage on a full stomach, during menstruation, and if you’re pregnant.

Here’s how to practice self-abhyanga:essential oils Indiana

  1. Choose your essential oil. Traditionally, herb-infused medicinal oils are carefully selected according to the individual and their condition. If you’re not sure which oil is right for you, use coconut oil in warmer months and sesame oil in cooler months. Use the best quality essential oil you can afford, and make sure it’s organic and unrefined. The skin is the largest organ, so feed it the good stuff. Store the oil in a glass bottle.
  1. Heat the essential oil by placing the bottle in a pot of warm water. Warm essential oil better penetrates the skin.
  1. Start the massage at your head. Pour a little oil onto the crown of your head and rub. This helps to release negative energy and excess heat. Massage your entire head using small circles. This relaxes the brain, strengthens the sense organs, and calms the mind.
  1. Massage your face with upward strokes and gentle circles to give a natural face-lift. Gently pinch-press from your inner eyebrows to outer. Massage your neck, ears, earlobes, and the area behind your ears.
  1. Massage the body from top to bottom. Use circular strokes on the joints– the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. This helps to release any stuck energy. Use long, linear strokes on the rest of the body from the center outwards, following the direction of hair growth. This encourages the body’s energy flow to move in its natural direction. Use both hands to massage the belly in large, clockwise circles. Massage each finger and toe, the palms, and the soles of the feet.
  1. Let the oil soak in, then wash off. 15 minutes gives the oil time to penetrate the body. Wash it off with a gentle, natural soap. You can even leave a little residue as a moisturizer.

If you don’t have enough time for full-body abhyanga, at least massage the soles of your feet. On the other hand, take your time when you can and give yourself a truly nurturing, loving self-massage. Your body and mind will thank you.

To learn more about essential oils in Indiana, please make sure you contact us  at Sunstone Health & Wellness. We have many alternative health options available to the Indianapolis, Greenwood, and Indiana neighborhoods.

 

Turning Depression On Its Head With Yoga

Depression and other mental health issues are serious and should be evaluated by a professional. For counseling in Indianapolis or Greenwood, call Sunstone Health & Wellness today.

Today’s post is the final in a 4-part series on yoga and depression.  This series has been brought to you by guest blogger, Jennifer Minchin.  Jen is a yogi, constant explorer, and lover of the written word.

Did you know there’s pretty much a yoga pose for any mood and every possible body ailment? In B.K.S. Iyengar’s book Light on Yoga you can look up everything from how to ease a headache to polio with yoga. Different yoga poses activate different muscles, organs, and gland systems within your body, with the goal of finding overall balance. So what about depression? Which yoga poses can help?

Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Stand with your feet hips width’s distance apart. Make sure the feet are parallel to each other with your heels lined up directly behind the first and second toes. Bring your hands to your hips and fold forward, hinging at the waist. Once you’ve lowered down, lower your hands to the floor or a block if you can’t reach the floor. (If you don’t have a block available, you can use a chair, pillows, blankets, etc., whatever will help bring the floor to you.)

If you keep your weight centered between the front and back of your foot you will get a more even stretch. If you’d like to release your hamstrings a bit more then move your weight more towards the front of your feet.

Child’s Pose

If you don’t have a lot of flexibility in your knees, you may want to skip this one because it likely won’t be relaxing. However, if you can sit up on your shins with no problem, start there. Hinge forward, folding over your thighs. Let your head rest on the floor and stretch your arms out in front of you. Imagine all of the day’s worries just falling out of your forehead and into the floor. As you exhale sink further back into your hips and just let go.

Legs Up the Wall

This one is exactly what it sounds like and it’s easy to do! Find yourself a wall, lay flat on your back, and slowly work your legs flat up the wall. Eventually your legs will be at a 90-degree angle to your body. Stay here for a couple of minutes and just breathe.

Inversions

If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge, you can practice some inversions to bring freshly oxygenated blood back to your head. Oxygen and glucose are two things the brain needs to function properly, so bathing your head in this oxygen rich blood is a great way to kick start the “happy” chemical production you need. An inversion is a pose in which your head is below your heart. With inversions, you’re literally turning depression on its head!

So if you’re new to all of this, you can start with a forward fold, which technically is an inversion.

For those of you who may already have a yoga practice or are familiar with these poses, headstand, handstand, and shoulder stand are great for anxiety and depression. If you’re not familiar with how to get into these poses, you’ll want to find a local teacher who can walk you through them step-by-step and be there to safety guide you.

These are just a few of the many poses that are great to help counteract the effects of stress, anxiety and depression. If you’re interested, find a local studio where you can practice. Becoming part of a community is also another great way to start to work your way out of depression.

If you are so someone you know is depressed or looking for counseling in Indianapolis or Greenwood areas, contact us to learn how we can help.

Breathe In Wellness, Breathe Out Depression

*Depression and other mental health issues are serious and should be evaluated by a professional. For counseling in Indianapolis or Greenwood, call Sunstone Health & Wellness today.

Today’s post is the third in a 4-part series on how yoga can help with symptoms of depression.  It is brought to you by guest blogger, Jennifer Minchin.  Jen is a yogi, a constant explorer, and a lover of the written word.

In yoga, breathing exercises are referred to as a pranayama, which translated means “directing the breath”. When you practice pranayama you are altering your natural breathing rhythm. There are several types of breathing exercises you can practice in yoga and even in meditation, and each come with their own list of benefits. While you can incorporate breathing into your yoga practice, if you’re not quite ready to step on the mat, you can certainly start with your breath. If you’re looking for a method that will help alleviate some symptoms of depression, first, let’s take a look at which category of depression you may be dealing with.

When we talk about imbalances in yoga, we speak in terms of the three gunas. Depression is an imbalance, be it chemically, mentally, or emotionally, and you likely can put your symptoms and feelings into one of the gunas. We can get pretty sidetracked when looking at what exactly a guna is, so let’s just look at the general characteristics of each and see if any of them resonate with you:

  •  Sattvic – This is the goal. To be in a sattvic state is to feel emotionally and physically balanced.
  • Tamasic – This is a state of lethargy and all of the synonyms that come with it. You’re feeling heavy, disinterested, sad, and/or hopeless. When most people think of depression, this is the state of being that comes to mind.
  • Rajasic – The other side of the depression coin is anxiety and mania. This is what it means to be rajasic. You’re over stimulated and/or over anxious.

The goal of a regular yoga practice, or a regular pranayama practice, is to move to you closer to a sattvic state, to find balance. So if you’re rajasic, the last thing you want to do is add more energy you’re already keyed up state. If you’re tamasic, restorative and calming practices are probably not the best choice. Choosing the right practice for your state of mind is integral to finding balance.

One of my favorite breathing practices is called Nadhi Sodhana, or Alternate Nostril Breathing. This one in particular is good because no matter which type of depression you are suffering from, you can practice Nadhi Sodhana. So if breathing exercises are new to you, or you’re having trouble figuring out if you need more or less energy, this is a good practice to start with.

Alternate Nostril Breathing is quite literal. It’s a breathing exercise in which you alternate which nostril you close off and which you breathe in and out of. Each nostril connects to different energy aspects of the body, mind, and spirit.

The left nostril is linked to the right hemisphere of the brain. When you focus on left-nostril breathing, you are creating a calming effect. If you’re feeling anxious (or rajasic), left-nostril breathing can help ease some of that for you. It can also help stimulate creativity.

The right nostril is linked to the left hemisphere of the brain. Right-nostril breathing will stimulate the mind and the body. If you’re looking to become more alert, breathing through the right side of your nose could help energize you. Focusing on the right side is great for those feeling tamasic.

Interestingly, throughout the day one of your nostrils is dominant. If you’re feeling stressed, your right nostril may be dominant. If you are swung far in the other direction, your left nostril may be taking the lead. Once you learn more about the role each nostril plays, it’s easy to see how balancing the effort is important to your overall wellness.  When you practice alternate nostril breathing, that’s exactly what you’re doing, you’re giving the body balance.

Let’s get started.

  • Find a comfortable seat. You could be sitting cross-legged on the floor, a couch or a bed. You generally want your hips higher than your knees, so if you’re sitting cross-legged, consider sitting up on a pillow or blanket. You can also sit in a chair with your feet planted firmly on the floor.
  • Place your left hand on your left thigh.
  • Move your right hand up in front of your face. Rest your second and third fingers lightly between your eyebrows.
  • Place your thumb lightly on top of your right nostril and your third and fourth fingers lightly on your left nostril.
  • With your two fingers, gently close off your left nostril and breathe in through the right. Then switch, closing off the right and exhaling through the left.
  • Inhale through the left, then switch and exhale through the right. Inhale through the right, switch to exhale (then inhale) through the left, and so on.
  • Do this for several rounds. As you become more used to the practice, you can continue for longer periods of time.

You’ll notice right away one side is easier to breathe through than the other. The easier side is currently your dominant nostril. Once you get used to alternate nostril breathing, you can practice focusing on the side that is appropriate for your guna.
If you are so someone you know is depressed or looking for counseling in Indianapolis or Greenwood areas, contact us to learn how we can help.

Yoga Can Help You Journey Back From Depression

*Depression and other mental health issues are serious and should be evaluated by a professional. For counseling in Indianapolis or Greenwood, call Sunstone Health & Wellness today.

Today’s post is the first in a 4-part series on how yoga can help with symptoms of depression.  It is brought to you by guest blogger, Jennifer Minchin.  Jen is a yogi, a constant explorer, and a lover of the written word.

It finally occurred to me that there was a real problem when I woke up with four two-inch long cuts in my left arm. Taking a knife to myself the night before somehow, somewhere in my brain seemed to be the answer to the crushing weight of my depression. At that point, the only thing I could force myself to do was yoga. With a will that came from somewhere deep inside me I didn’t even know that I had, I would get up each day and head to a yoga class. It took several months, but at one point, I realized that I had started to feel better.

Yoga helped me get to a place where I wanted to work on the things I had shied away from in the past. It made me dig deep and really look at myself to find what I was really missing—happiness. After spending a lot of time on the mat, and subsequently in teacher training, I started to understand that wellness, both mental and physical, is one of the many gifts of yoga.

Just how does yoga help with depression? Practicing yoga postures help cleanse your organs by moving stale blood and delivering fresh blood. Studies have shown that chanting activates certain systems in your body, helping to balance hormones. At the beginning and end of many classes the word “Om” is chanted. Depending on which style of yoga you choose, there may be additional chants. (Don’t let the idea of chanting scare you. It’s actually fun! But if you’re still sketched out by the idea, it’s totally okay to just skip that part of class and listen.) Breathing practices help to calm your sympathetic nervous system and activate your parasympathetic system. These are just a few of the ways yoga helps get your body and mind moving in a healthier, happier direction. We’ll take a deeper look at these benefits in the other posts for this series.

But for now let’s look at how yoga helps you be present and why that’s important. Depression makes you want to hide. You could be hiding from people, yourself, or issues that are too hidden or too difficult to bring to light. I hid in alcohol, in partying, in bad relationships, and just flat out hid in my apartment. In a yoga class, you will focus on the movement of your body, your breath, and how you feel in each pose, which slowly but surely, will teach to you start paying attention to the present moment.

You’ll begin to find that different poses can bring up different feelings. Your practice becomes a journey into self-exploration and self-study. How do you react when you come upon a new challenge? Do you shy away from your edge? Or do you stay there and face what’s coming up for you? During my time working through the deepest part of my depression, one of my biggest challenges was camel pose. Camel is a deep backbend, also known as a heart opener. Heart openers make you feel exposed. For me, that was the hardest thing in the world, and getting into that position would send me into a near panic attack. My heart would race, my breathing would become shallow, and I’d have to come out of it. One day my teacher said to me, “Just drop back. Nothing is going to happen to you.” I realized he was right. Soon thereafter I was ready to face a piece of my own insecurity and the pose became one of exhilaration instead of a place of fear.

Just like I did in camel pose, you can begin to work with your own range of emotions and get to know yourself better. The way you think about poses will change. You will begin to feel stronger on your own two feet and want to start applying the lessons learned in yoga to other areas of your life. It’s a slow process and hard work at times, but getting to know yourself outside of your depression is an important step to realizing that depression doesn’t have to dictate the rest of your life.

It’s these little lessons, these little achievements that are going to help you learn that everything you need to be okay is inside of you. Soon you will feel strong enough to take the next step—whatever that may be for yourself.

If you are so someone you know is depressed or looking for counseling in Indianapolis or Greenwood areas, contact us to learn how we can help.