Bookshelf recommendations – Yoga for Depression by Amy Weintraub

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In the second of my recommended readings on yoga, I thought I’d tell you about a great guide on how yoga helps those who suffer from depression.  I struggled with this condition for most of my teens and all of my twenties, so I know how hard it is.  In my late twenties I was really tired of the ups and downs of the condition and my doctor recommended anti-depressants, but I wasn’t happy with that and decided to explore other options.  I had already been practising yoga for about ten years at this point and my teacher suggested I read this book.  It examines the various causes/types of depression, details the ways in which yoga can help, in addition to the approach taken by various schools of yoga and clearly explains postures, meditation and breath work that will bring harmony back to our fractured minds.  All of this is supported by Weintraub’s description of her own journey through depression with yoga as her guide.  The one piece of advice which has really stuck with me is that regardless of how you feel, go to your may every day.  Your mat is your place of sanctuary, where you have nothing to hide and can be yourself and be honest about how you feel.  The asanas, breathing and meditation will help you through the pain but only if you turn up on your mat every single day.  It is now almost ten years since I freed myself from depression’s grip and I still go to my mat every morning to practice and give thanks for the day.

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