Centering Candle Gazing (tratak) Visualization (bhavana) Breathwork (pranayama) Finger Yoga (mudra) Sound (mantra) Setting Intention (sankalpa) Yoga is so much more than just moving the body
Creating the Safe Container “Crying is one of the highest spiritual practices. One who knows crying, knows yoga.” -Swami Kripalu Sahaj welcoming and experiencing everything, just as it is
Yogic View of Depression Constricted Prana – constrictions in all koshas (the 5 bodies of yoga) Health = the free flow of prana Mistaken belief of Separation – Avidya
Duhkha – Suffering or obstructed space Sukkha – Happiness or unobstructed space
Tamas = inertia, lethargy, heaviness Emotionally, this is can be experienced as dysthymia (mild, chronic depression), lethargy, major depression. In yogic terms, it is best to meet the tamasic state with a slow, restorative practice, then build to a more energizing practice. Meeting the Mood/Constitution Understanding the Gunas
Practice for the Tamasic Mood: Stair Step Breath In a seated or supine position, inhale in little sips or steps of breath through the nostrils, filling the lungs. Hold for four counts with visual image (bhavana) and/or mantra. Exhale slowly for six counts. Next take a smooth six-count breath in. Hold for four counts with visual image (bhavana) and/or mantra. Exhale through the nostrils in little puffs, as though stepping down a mountain. Yoga Skills for Therapists, Amy Weintraub, p.78-79
Meeting the Mood/Constitution Understanding the Gunas Rajas = energy, action, movement Emotionally, this can be experienced as anxiety, anxiety-based depression, mania, hypomania. In yogic terms, it is best to meet the rajasic state with vigor, then move to a more calming practice.
Practice for the Rajasic Mood: Pulling Prana 1.Stand with feet a comfortable distance apart and inhale, raise the arms over the head with palms facing each other 2.Exhale and pull the arms down toward your waist, making fists with the hands. Knees softly bent. 10 – 20x 3.Extend the arms out in front of the waist with hands open as you inhale. 4.Exhale and pull the arms in towards you waist making fists with the hands. Knees softly bent. 10 – 20x *Yoga Skills for Therapists, Amy Weintraub, p.83
Practice for the Rajasic Mood: Pulling Prana – continued 5.Alternate the arms, as though cross- country skiing. 10 – 20x Follow with Breath to Stimulate the Nerves: 1.Inhale to two-thirds capacity as you extend arms out from the waist and make fists. 2.Without breathing, pump the arms toward the torso. 3.When you need to, release and breath naturally. Yoga Skills for Therapists, Amy Weintraub, p.83
Seeking Sattva – balance Sattva is the principle of clarity, wideness and peace, the force of love that unites all things together. David Frawley, Ayurveda and the Mind
Overview of Biochemical & Physiological Changes Decrease in cortisol levels (stress hormone) Increase in GABA levels (primary inhibitory neurotransmitter) Increase in HRV (heart rate variability) Increase in BDNF (neuroplasticity, genetic expression) Demonstrated improvement in memory, cognitive functioning, perceptual motor skills, visual perception
Overview of Biochemical & Physiological Changes Relaxes chronic muscle tension Restores natural diaphragmatic breathing Improves oxygen absorption and carbon dioxide elimination Increases alpha and theta waves Regulates hypothalamus at an optimum level Certain techniques stimulate vagal nerve activity Bioavailability of oxygen and glucose, building blocks for the production of neurotransmitters Calms sympathetic nervous system while activating parasympathetic system
LifeForce Yoga ® for Mood Disturbance Study Between times one (before the LifeForce Yoga ® program) and two (two weeks after learning it), participants reported: 64% decrease in total mood disturbance (POMS) 53% decrease in average depression scores (BDI)
LifeForce Yoga ® for Mood Disturbance Study 2 months Overall mood disturbance continued to drop Bennett, S., Weintraub, A., Khalsa, S.B., “Initial evaluation of the LifeForce Yoga program as a therapeutic intervention for depression,” Intern. Jour Yoga Therapy, 2008 http://www.yogafordepression.com/IJYT-2008-Bennett.pdf
Compared restorative yoga vs. gentle stretching and found that at 6 months, the stretching group had decreased cortisol at waking and bedtime compared to the restorative yoga group The authors found significant decreases in salivary cortisol, chronic stress severity, and stress perception in the stretching group compared to the restorative yoga group Effect of restorative yoga vs. stretching on diurnal cortisol dynamics and psychosocial outcomes in individuals with the metabolic syndrome: The PRYSMS randomized controlled trial, Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014 Jul 21;49C:260-271 Best Practice for Stress May Not be Restorative Yoga
Yoga Outshines Walking for Mood In a randomized controlled MRS study, researchers at Boston University compared study participants who walked three times a week for exercise to a group assigned to three weekly Yoga classes over a period of twelve weeks GABA levels were significantly elevated in the Yoga practitioners More mood improvements in the Yoga group on standard psycho-social measurements. Effects of Yoga Versus Walking on Mood, Anxiety, and Brain GABA Levels, J. Complement Med. 2010, Nov. 16 (11 )
Chanting Om Shown to Deactivate the Limbic System -Researchers compared 15 seconds of “OM” (5 – O; 10 – m) to 15 seconds of the sound “Ssssss…” and to 15 seconds of rest -Significant deactivation in the amygdala as well as other emotional areas only during ‘OM’ chanting Neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting: A pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging study” International Journal of Yoga. 2011 Jan-Jun; 4(1): 3–6
LifeForce Yoga Nidra Improved Depression & Anxiety Twelve subjects received a LifeForce Yoga Nidra to Manage Your Mood CD or on an MP3 player with two different length Yoga Nidra instructions, one of 20 and one of 40 minutes in length—3 weeks of home practice.
LifeForce Yoga Nidra Improved Depression & Anxiety Median BDI went from 30 to 16 at the third study visit, representing a change in level of depression from moderate to mild mood disturbance. BAI decreased from 27 to 13, representing a change in anxiety from moderate to very low Effects of Utilizing Yoga Nidra on Reducing Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in a Psychiatric Population. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2012;112(8):543. Abstract C19
Yoga Strategies – no mat required! Breathing Techniques (Pranayama ) Creating Intention/Affirmation (Sankalpa) Using Visual Imagery (Bhavana) Hand Gestures (Mudra) Mantra Chanting (Nada) Community (Satsanga) Nondual Strategies to balance the opposites
References 1.Yoga Skills for Therapists, Amy Weintraub 2.Ayurveda and the Mind, David Frawley 3.Bennett,S, Weintraub, A, Khalsa, SB, “Initial evaluation of the LifeForce Yoga program as a therapeutic intervention for depression,” Intern. Jour Yoga Therapy, 2008 4.http://www.yogafordepression.com/IJYT-2008- Bennett.pdf 5.Effect of restorative yoga vs. stretching on diurnal cortisol dynamics and psychosocial outcomes in individuals with the metabolic syndrome: The PRYSMS randomized controlled trial, Psychoneuroendocrinology 2014 Jul 21;49C:260-271
6. Effects of Yoga Versus Walking on Mood, Anxiety, and Brain GABA Levels,” J. Complement Med. 2010, Nov. 16 (11) 7. Evidence Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2007 8. Bangalore G Kalyani, et al., “Neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting: A pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging study” International Journal of Yoga. 2011 Jan-Jun; 4(1): 3– 612 9. Mankar S, Cruser dA, Jordan M, Ingram J, Brown S. Effects of Utilizing Yoga Nidra on Reducing Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in a Psychiatric Population. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2012;112(8):543. Abstract C19 10. YoginiRose Therapeutics –Yoga with Rose www.yoginirose.com LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute - Amy Weintraub www.yogafordepression.com References Cont.