Rediscovering Yoga

“The yoga mat is a good place to turn when talk therapy and antidepressants aren’t enough.” – Amy Weintraub

I take antidepressants, which are moderately effective. I don’t do talk therapy anymore, since the closest to a psychologist we have on our unit is a recent college grad. The actual psychologist, who is on maternity leave, deemed him not to be a suited treatment provider for me, so she assigned me a psychiatric resident whom I mostly talk practical issues with. Talk therapy has not been all that effective for me anyway. So would yoga be one of the keys to a calmer, happier life?

I took yoga classes at my old institution for a while in 2009. Though yoga helped me somewhat, it also made me feel rather emotional. Crying in a group just didn’t feel right, so I quit.

I rediscovered yoga a few months ago and bought an instructional DVD to practise in my own room. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to work on my computer. Last week, I finally gave up and searched the Internet for good yoga instructions. Boy, have I been blessed!

First, I came across some Dutch sites which provide step-by-step text and picture guides for many poses and series of poses. I of course can’t see the pics, but the text was quite easy to understand. I tried many of the poses and was relatively successful. I could even do the tree pose, which is a balancing pose in which you put one foot onto the other thigh. I later heard from an activity staff, who used to be a yoga teacher, that this is quite a tough pose.

I also subscribed to YogaDownload.com, which has a large selection of yoga video and audio which elite members ($18 a month) can freely view and download. I downloaded a beginner video in the front room, where we have WiFi access, and played it in my room. It was sometimes hard to follow the video as I practised, but it was very relaxing listening to the calm and gentle instruction.

The activity staff member I mentioned, who used to be a yoga teacher, provides me with individual day activities once a week. She offered to help me learn yoga. Next time she comes, we’re going to practise the sun salutation, which is a relatively easy-going series to warm up your muscles to further practice. When done repeatedly, it can also be used as a work-out.

As I practise on my own, I am finding that yoga is a lot more calming than it used to be when I went to yoga classes. I intend on attending yoga classes sometime again, but for now, I feel much happier practising in my own room. I can’t be sure yet, but I do believe yoga is truly a great addition to my current mental health treatment.

Linking up with Inspire Me Monday and Motivation Monday.

23 thoughts on “Rediscovering Yoga

  1. I discovered yoga a few years ago – at first, I was only looking for something to help me with my back problems. I quickly discovered that it also straightens my mind! I did classes first because I think it is important that someone corrects your posture. But I also felt uncomfortable in the class sometimes, plus I was also bound to class time. Now I practise at home every other day with dvds. I wonder if it is harder for you because you cannot see what they are doing? Keep it up though, the overall effects come with time and practice!

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  2. I’ve tried yoga several times to manage stress and anxiety, but sadly it has never worked for me. Like you I struggle with being in a class. I cannot relax. I have tried yoga at home too, but that’s hard with a toddler running around. I do like meditation and positive affirmations though.

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  3. My senior year of high school I attended a yoga class once a week. I absolutely loved it. The style of yoga offered at my college, however, is much more vigorous and repetitive, which I don’t find calming. I’m hoping to get back into it at some point, though.

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  4. I have heard so many great things about yoga, from so many different people. I’m sure it must be good for you physically and mentally, so definitely keep on going with it. I think it maybe gives you (one) headspace too.

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  5. I also prefer doing yoga on my own over doing it in a class. I find it kind of distracting and intimidating when there are super yoga fanatics that do all the advance poses that I can’t even attempt to try. This makes me want to get in to yoga again. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I have never tried yoga but it sounds like it can be very therapeutic! Im 28 weeks pregnant and have been told that it would be helpful in releasing discomfort. Thanks for the motivation to check it out!

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  7. I love doing Yoga to help me with my anxiety. I am with you though on it making you emotional. I find that the calmer i become, the more i feel emotional as it all bubbles up but the release can be an amazing part of the process it think 🙂

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