Yoga for depression

I haven’t really talked about it much on here because I have preferred to keep it private but yoga has changed my life. That sounds dramatic but it’s true. I have suffered from depression for many years and it’s not something I have been able to tell the world about because there is a huge stigma that I feel I can’t share that dark side to my character.

For years I have seen therapists, taken prescribed medication, tried Reiki, read every self-help book and never really been able to understand why I just couldn’t be happy, plain and simple. I often read things, like “change your thoughts” or “happiness comes from within” if only it were that easy for someone who suffers from such a painful mental illness. It has been so hard to deal with privately most of my adult life and those statements didn’t really resonate because I didn’t know how to “practically” apply those principles.

I started practising yoga, early in 2014, I did a 6 week beginners course and I have been to classes and workshops regularly ever since. I am completely hooked and love the floaty feeling after a session where I feel calm and connected.

I didn’t start doing yoga for the physical wellbeing at all, in fact at first I didn’t really enjoy the fact that it was reinforcing that I was so stiff and weak. I was a bit embarrassed that everyone else was stretchier than me and I was scrutinising my own inability and it wasn’t helping with my self-esteem. Also I’m a very much an Aquarian, that is to say I have a million creative ideas a minute but I rarely have the patience to practice or see something through to completion, I’ve always been about instant gratification. Yoga is teaching me so many things about myself and the fact that I keep going back means I am getting better. I am starting to learn acceptance that there’s no quick route that it takes practice, dedication and patience. I am starting to realise that it is about progress not perfection and for someone who has always been a perfectionist that is a big step for me. I’m starting to see my flaws as ok, acceptable and ultimately a part of an authentic me. I am learning to calm the inner chatter of my mind through meditation and breathe more, long, slow and calm breaths and it’s literally like daily-life oxygen for me. I am so grateful to the inspirational teachers that I have the pleasure of learning from every single class. They have welcomed me into the community and inspired me, I have caught the yoga bug and I am so enthusiastic to learn more and more. I recognise what Iyengar said to be completely true : “Yoga is a fire that once lit never dims, the better your practice the brighter the flame”.

The studio I go to has recently moved and I helped with the move and now I am starting to assist with workshops and classes, I clean the studio and set it up for teachers on some days and I am paid in class passes. I have booked a yoga trip to India for September and plan on doing my teacher training in the future, ideally I’d like to do it next intake which is January 2016 but I will have to see if I am ready, fingers crossed. It’s funny what happens, when you ask the universe, it seems healing really does come from within.

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4 thoughts on “Yoga for depression

  1. Yoga is really great for mind, body and soul. You know you are hooked when you commit to teacher training and a YOGA TRIP! Sounds amazing. I cried my first time at yoga when we were all in shavasana.

    1. Completely, it’s more powerfuk than I ever realised. Thanks for sharing, I feel as though I’m at the very beginning of my yoga journey, buf there’s no turning back now. x

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