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Yoga as Therapy?

April 15, 2011

Depression, anxiety and stress affect more than just your mood, they affect our energy levels, sex drive, appetite and physical posture. How we feel is influenced by how we breathe and our ability to sleep.

 Yoga as a therapy? Why yes! Yoga provides you with you  with useful tools to change instantly how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically.

As a Clinical Psychologist and soon to be a certified Yoga Instructor (Kundalini Yoga in May 2011), I found myself giving out “prescriptions” of specific breathing and meditations more and more to patients these days so they can  heal their  nervous system and balance their hormones while we work together to modify thoughts and behaviors. It provides a system of immediate  emotional and mental relief.

The fact is that yoga techniques such as postures, breathing exercises and meditations that use mantra (sounds/vibration) and tapping (mudra) are extremely effective in reducing symptoms  depression and anxiety.  For some of my clients daily  breathing, meditation and exercise have replaced their anti-depressant or stimulants for attention deficits.

Quick Tip:Sit in cross legged position or on your heels. Make sure your spine is straight.  Bring your gaze to the tip of your nose. Relax your shoulders and abdominal area as you inhale. As you exhale gently bring your naval point inward and upwards.  Clear your mind. Focus on your breath for 3 min.

In addition they are effective in improving symptoms of  attention deficits and concentration,  as well as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and breaking  other bad patterns.  Studies show that certain meditations  are effective in improving memory and blood circulation to parts of the brain.

Yoga therapy facilitates cellular regeneration restoring our nervous systems and stimulates our hormones. This is important maintain focus and a balanced mood.  If you experience mood swings, battle with anxiety or experience physical stress reactions (headaches, migraines, TMJ, teeth grinding, back and should pain, stomach aches, insomnia) then yoga therapy and biofeedback could help change these automatic responses.

Meditation and breathing can also  develop your intuition and improve your ability to connect with other people since they develop our ability to interact less judgmentally and act with grace and acceptance.

For more information about group or private sessions please contact Dr Albin at 212-631-1133 or DrJayme@askthecbt.com

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2011 10:32 pm

    Hi Jayme: I’m most intrigued in “Kundalini transformation” I’ve read about. I’m a Contemplative by ‘stance’ and by psychology, a Jungian/Winnicottian/Malanian psychodynamic psychotherapist strongly influenced by my spirituality. I sense you’re a bit like me, maybe — a scientist, therapist and yoga practitioner. Am I close? The more I read about the seven chakras, Kundalini yoga and Tantra yoga the more I realize how our beliefs are closely aligned. I now understand why my mentor Fr. Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, was so enamoured by eastern mysticism.
    Have you experienced true “enlightenment” in the Kundalini sense? What chakra level(s)have you experienced rising your energies to? I remember seeing a young lass’ book where, while practicing Kundalini, she felt she attined enlightenment. And her photos in the center of her book showed a distinct “energy centre” (a glow) in her heart chakra. I never noticed a “third eye” but may have missed it… I’m very intriggued; and your URL has picqued this interest even more. Can we converse? Yours curiously, Alan

  2. December 4, 2012 11:13 pm

    Yoga is a means to relax and stretch the body but its purpose is to prepare the brain to mediate by changing muscular, respiratory, nervous and endocrine systems through posture and breathing. My therapy sessions incorporate breathing, posture and meditation. We use then use the meditative state achieved to reframe
    emotional situations experienced in the past or worrisome events in the future.

    Yoga at its heart is a philosophy about how to approach the world. You live in your physical body so your hormones and neurotransmitters greatly effect your mind.

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