Tag Archives: Yoga

U.S. Navy Veteran Uses Yoga to Help Other Veterans Heal

Veteran & Yoga Instructor

Anthony Scaletta joined the U.S. Navy as part of the Special Forces as a Special Warfare Combatant Crewman between 1998-2003. Deployed two times, he spent much of his time doing missions on fast attack boats. Boats known for going fast, the repeated jarring on the waves took tole on Anthony’s body, causing him severe back pain. Still in his 20s, he didn’t start feeling the effects until a few years later. Always an athlete, “I just knew that stretching, and trying to get back into my body madeAnthony Navy me feel a little better.” And so yoga became a part of his routine to get healthy, and now he is using yoga to help other veterans.

Practicing yoga for 10 years now, it has been “ever-evolving and slowly growing.” After having a spinal fusion surgery in January 2007, he found that the metal piece in his body was hard to live with in the cold climate of his home in the Northeastern U.S. “So a year or so after the surgery, I think my yoga practice began to pick up. It became apparent it was more than just a physical aspect for me.” His favorite yoga pose, Final Resting Posture, or Savasana, usually is at the end of a yoga session, and according to Anthony, “it’s where the healing happens.”

Using Yoga to Help Other Veterans

Anthony YogaFour years or so later, Anthony became aware that he could help other veterans through the practice of yoga. Working with the Wounded Warrior Project, There And Back Again, a non-profit out of Boston, and the school he attended, Asheville Yoga Center in North Carolina, he was able to complete his yoga teacher training.

Completing his yoga teacher training at the end of October 2014, he is now a yoga teacher as of November 2014. “It’s an honor and a privilege to teach yoga to anyone…I have had the privilege to work with a few veterans that are regulars in my group classes…who had never practiced yoga before.” Now, Anthony is focusing on veteran outreach and fundraising, as the new Outreach Coordinator for the Give Back Yoga Foundation.

He is currently getting ready for an event coming up in June, with the Give Back Yoga Foundation working together with Warriors for Healing, a non-profit based in San Diego, CA. As Anthony says, “(Warriors for Healing) are bringing yoga to the military community, especially veterans with PTSD, TBI, and chronic pain.” Warriors for Healing put together a great video about Anthony here.

Yoga Journal Live! Event JUNE 25-29, 2015 in San Diego, CA

The Yoga Journal along with Warriors for Healing and Give Back Yoga Foundation are putting on a benefit event to support the recovery of 200,000 American veterans with PTSD. Funds raised will provide free trauma therapy for veterans in VA hospitals, yoga studios, and community centers nationwide. Interested in being a part of this great event? Anthony is fundraising for this event with his own team here and is also asking individuals to start up their own teams to help spread the. Join him to support this wonderful cause.

Bridging the Gap Between Veterans and Yoga

Anthony Yoga Poses

What is next for Anthony? In May, he is moving to Virginia Beach, VA, to begin a Mission Continues Fellowship serving as the Outreach Coordinator for Veterans Programs with the Give Back Yoga Foundation.  He will also be undertaking advanced studies in the Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans certification during this time.

Why Diets Don’t Work

If you walk into a bookstore on any given day, chances are you’ll see a section designated specifically to diet books. The newest trend diet that promises you that you’ll drop fifteen pounds in two days or that you’ll have rock hard abs in less than 24 hours. Only cabbage soup? Microwaveable meals that are chock-full of processed chemicals and preservatives? If you’ve been in the ring for a while, knocking yourself out with one diet trend after another, you’re probably beginning to realize that a book claiming to zap your pounds away is not the answer.

Unfortunately we are conditioned to believe that we must be a size zero or look a certain way and apparently the media does a marvelous job at marketing these tactics to us via diet trends, social media, celebrity figures, etc. It’s no wonder that we’ve lost touch with our wild, human and might I add, feminine nature. How is it that no other species, but us, relies on a diet book or doctor to tell them what to eat? If you go outside right now, you will be surrounded by wildlife. Wildlife that is functioning in perfect alignment with what is truly innate to it. Frolicking in the sun. Eating what is provided by nature. Moving the body and taking appropriate amounts of time for restoration.

I’m going to share a not-so-secret secret with you: diets don’t work!

Why Diets Don’t Work

1. Diets are created simply to attract us to these ideas. The more extreme, the more likely it is to have a following just for that reason. The truth is they are not sustainable over long periods of time. Our bodies are incredibly resilient, but they can only take so much negligence. Eventually your body will begin attacking itself and a number of horrible things can transpire. Weight gain, lackluster or acne-prone skin, or even worse–autoimmune deficiencies, disease or even cancer can result from not taking care of our precious bodies.

2. The key to unlocking good health relies simply on dropping the idea that you can lose weight, improve your skin, or whatever it may be, through the newest diet. The answer is to listen to your body and make a lifestyle change! This may sound strange to you, but imagine battling your cravings by actually understanding what you are craving, why you are craving, and how you can emotionally, physically or spiritually release that craving. Typically when a person craves sugar, for example, we don’t even think about the fact that we are even craving it other than the mere seconds it takes for us to swallow a candy bar whole. By making a lifestyle change you begin to realize what your trigger cravings are, what nutrients may be lacking or over-abundant and what foods or activities it will take to heal that craving.

3. If you are craving sugar, it is entirely possible that your craving has nothing to do with wanting sugar, but wanting something to give you instant energy. The downside to consuming sugar is the immediate spike in blood sugar, which ultimately leads to a quick crash, thus perpetuating the cycle of needing even more sugar. Perhaps what you really need is extra or better quality sleep at night to lessen your chances of being energetically deprived during the day. Or maybe you simply need foods that will nourish your body with vitamins and minerals that will actually give you sustained energy without the painstaking crash later on.

4. Eating food should be about pleasure, nourishment and of course fueling ourselves with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It should not be about deprivation, starvation, skipping meals, or loading up on processed, chemical-laden “low-fat” or “sugar-free” foods. Taking a more mindful approach to healing your body will help you release your fear of making a lifestyle change–which is not just about what you eat, but how you live your life. A lifestyle change requires an open mind and heart, a positive attitude and a willingness to experiment with new ideas.

5. Keep in mind that each person on this planet is unique in what is needed to heal on a body-mind-soul level. The foods that nourish one may sicken another. Get familiar with eating only fresh, organic whole foods. These are foods that are provided to us in their natural form, straight from Mama Gaia herself! Whether you choose to nutrify yourself with animals products or not is up to you. I encourage you to experiment with all whole foods and find what makes you glow and what doesn’t quite sit right in your body. Keep a food journal each day and write down what you ate, how it was prepared and how you feel minutes and hours after consuming it. This will help you find out which foods trigger allergic reactions or sensitivities.

why diets don't work

Lifestyle Changes

As mentioned before, a lifestyle change is not just about nutrition. It’s about your life as a whole. Take some quiet time each day to check in with yourself. A few moments of deep breathing, meditation, or reflection on a daily basis will help you relax and find inner peace. We often forget how to simply be. We focus too much of our time on being perfect and getting copious amounts of work done. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but it is completely necessary to have time to just be as well as time to devote solely to yourself! Practice some yoga, journal or snuggle up with a good book and a green smoothie.

Moving your body daily is just as important as eating delicious whole foods. Skip the judgment and do something you love! Did you have a blast hula hooping as a kid? Order a dance or fitness hoop online and release your inner goddess! Perhaps you enjoy swimming? Hit the beach and frolic in the waves or dive into a pool at your local gym! The possibilities for movement and play are truly endless. Just focus on having fun, working up a sweat and releasing the glow from within!

Another crucial factor of a lifestyle change is getting ample amounts of high-quality sleep. High-quality sleep is delicious! This kind of sleep can be described as deep, uninterrupted, soul restoring, clutter releasing, nourishing and energizing. Once you have this kind of sleep you’ll never want to go back to late night caffeine binges, midnight snacks or hours of mind-numbing television. In order to have better, more restful sleep you should skip eating late, drinking little to no caffeine or having small amounts early in the day, and turning all technological devices off a few hours before bedtime. Having nighttime rituals like yoga, deep breathing, hot tea or a warm bath might help you sink into deep, enticing sleep.

Want to know another easy tip to long-lasting health? Drink more water! Yes, water is ultra healing if you didn’t already know that! Our bodies are comprised of mostly water, which we lose through bodily functions like sweat and urination, so it only makes sense to hydrate with more water in order to replenish those lost minerals. If you find drinking water to be difficult, try adding some berries, cucumber, lemon or lime slices to a mason jar and top with water and ice. You can start a challenge with your friends or colleagues to see who can drink the most water, or you can carry a water bottle around with you as a reminder.

Changing your lifestyle habits doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take patience, lots of love and kindness towards yourself. This is a journey and we are all in this together. If we continue to listen to our bodies and take action to heal, then we will always be in alignment with nature and the cycle of life.

 

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.

 

6 Tips for Finding Self-Love

Love is a beautiful, enchanting thing. It is held dearly and shared amongst friends, lovers, and relatives, passed down through generations like a precious heirloom. It’s that one thing we all yearn for so desperately. We search endlessly for it, lifetime after lifetime, seeking out the comfort of love in all the wrong places, and if we’re lucky, in all the right places. It resides in between pages of novels about star-crossed lovers and in the hearts of new mothers’, cradling their babies for the first time. Love is the key to a peaceful world, a better place, a new hope. Imagine a world filled with not only love for others, but love for ourselves. A love so deeply rooted within our bones and soul that it’s only natural to let it flow freely. We seem to have disconnected completely from our inner spirit, our love, and the degradation of our self-love burns a bright path to slowly destroying our planet as a result. We can heal this though.  It starts with each of us and our ability to love ourselves through and through and building that sacred bond that transforms us entirely. Self-love can be renewed, built or simply maintained by following some healing core concepts as defined. Come in to this experience with an open heart and mind in tow.

Find Your Self-Love

● Self love starts with self-acceptance: It’s easy to be hard on yourself or to punish yourself for being a certain way, doing a certain thing or showing a specific behavior. Everyone has self-doubt, an inner shadow within your ego that belittles you for what you ate for breakfast or how little work you did over the weekend. In order to begin the flow of authentic self-love, you must accept yourself fully and truly. Instead of focusing on the negative aspect of something or judging yourself, simply accept whatever it may be and say to yourself aloud “I accept this part of me and I release any negative energy surrounding it. I choose to heal and live in a path of love and light towards myself.” Then simply let that thought go. You can practice this in a moment of self-judgement to bring awareness to any self-destructive habits and replace it with thoughts of abundant love.

● Look into your own eyes: You know that feeling of staring dreamily into your partner’s eyes? Try channeling that love while looking into your own eyes in the mirror. You can do this as a daily practice for a set number of minutes or simply do this anytime you come face to face with yourself, perhaps while washing your hands in the bathroom, applying your makeup or brushing your teeth. However long you choose to do this self-love mirror work, release any snap judgements
or harshness. Smile gently. Feel the love, warm and radiant, flowing through your entire body as you lock eyes with your reflection. She is you and she is beautiful. Acknowledge and accept yourself as you are, find something to love in the things you feel that you don’t. Saying positive affirmation aloud can be incredibly beneficial during this self-love ritual. Something as simple as “I love you,” or “You are beautiful,” can be effective in generating more awareness and love within.Self-Love

● Set aside time for you: Life is busy and hectic, but that’s no excuse to deny yourself some pleasure or relaxation. Carve out some time in your schedule each day to do something just for you. It can be as extravagant or indulgent as you want. Do you have a stack of books you’ve been itching to read? Pour yourself a cup of tea, sink down into your favorite chair and dive into the first one on your list. Is your body trying to tell you that it’s exhausted? Accept this with love and draw yourself a hot bath, toss in some epsom salts, a few drops of lavender essential oil, and soak luxuriously while listening to your favorite playlist by candlelight.

● Eat whole foods that nourish YOUR body: Getting caught up in the newest diet trend is a waste of your precious time and money. The real secret to losing weight, increasing energy and living a healthier, happier life is by eating real food. Everyone is unique and learning what foods make you glow inside and out will align you with your true path to healing, thus perpetuating the wondrous cycle of self love. It’s been said that when you look good, you feel good and perhaps even more rightly so, when you feel good, you look good. When you take the time to give your body what it actually needs, you are operating from a place of love and understanding. Real food can be defined as whole, unprocessed, and fresh. So whether you are an omnivore or a plant-based eater, you will undoubtedly benefit from choosing organic whole foods to nourish yourself–mind, body and soul. Our wellness coach can help you create a meal plan based on real food and give you more information about the impact of ingredients on your overall health.

● Embrace your passion: No matter what it is that you’re passionate about, whether it’s living a healthy lifestyle or a specific hobby, such as dancing or painting, pursue it wholeheartedly. Never let anyone or anything stop you from embracing who you are and what you enjoy or want. When you make the time to live in your passion zone, you are living on course with your authentic self. Authenticity is a catalyst for abundant self-love in all areas of your life.

● Be more mindfully sensual and feel: You don’t necessarily have to make this practice about enticing or attracting a mate or your partner. This practice is for you and your inner goddess. Take some time out to simply feel your body in the moment. If you’re doing yoga, feel your muscles stretch gently and be mindful of each movement as you transition to another pose. Or learn to start meditation. If you are drinking a beverage, engage all of your senses and feel the liquid as it swirls on your taste buds, igniting them. Simply be in your body and feel each pulse, each trigger, each touch or aroma you encounter. Experience it in that brief and fleeting moment. Take it all in and allow it to fuel your desire to be even more mindful. Nothing is more delicious than feeling every sensation and generating that positive self-love while doing so. Being in touch with your body is the gateway to self-love, so embrace it fully and without regard.

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.