By Faye Martins
How do you help a yoga student who comes into a private session or a class with the blues? No matter how many books and videos you go over, there may not be a yoga teacher training cross referencing resource for helping students with the blues. What are the blues? This is a state of mind, which is best described as a mild form of depression.
How Can Yoga Help?
Yoga is a reflective type of activity that allows you to leave your worries and cares behind while you work on lengthening and strengthening the muscles. The more you practice yoga, the easier it becomes to leave your negative thoughts and emotions at the door. It might even be that you choose not to pick them up on your way out. If you are suffering from feelings of hopelessness, anxiety or depression on a regular basis, yoga training can be the key to getting yourself to a much more positive place. Over time yoga can improve your overall attitude and outlook on life, causing you to deal with negativity and adversity in more positive ways.
The comforting nature of child’s pose can be healing, calming and restorative. By going to this comforting space that mimics being back in the womb, you can be still with yourself for a while. This stillness can create the comfort that is lacking in your daily life. It can allow you to realize that whatever problems or worries you are dwelling upon are not as big as you think and they can be overcome by simply refusing to simmer in them.
The forward bend is an inversion with the head hanging lower than the heart. Inversions can be healing because upon coming out of the pose your blood is rerouted throughout the body in fresh supply. It improves circulation and produces feelings of peace and contentment.
Legs Up the Wall
This pose creates a grounded feeling by placing your legs up the wall and allowing the blood-flow in your legs to re-route. It causes you to be thankful in the present moment and not to worry or think about the past or the future.
Cat and Cow
When you are in an anxious state your heart rate often becomes elevated. Cat and Cow poses can help regulate your breathing while providing a satisfying stretch of the spine. Concentrate on incorporating deep inhales and exhales with each movement to release the anxiety fully.
Backbends will open up your heart and chest area, allowing goodness and acceptance to flow in. The pose will also bring fresh perspective when you allow the head to hang down below the heart. Backbends can always be performed over an exercise ball or bolster.
The headstand is a pose with some risk, but it can be modified by doing it against a wall or with other supports. The headstand is the ultimate inversion, causing a lot of the blood to flow toward the brain for a moment. Headstands can produce great peace and clarity while relieving anxiety. However, every yoga instructor should know that headstands have plenty of contraindications including high blood pressure, heart problems, neck injuries, eye problems, previous stroke and much more. Needless to say, the headstand is not for everyone.
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