Yoga can facilitate therapy during sessions.
Yoga postures (asana) and breathing techniques (pranayama) have been known to help people feel better, more connected, and more relaxed. Michelle has a certification in LifeForce Yoga, a type of yoga that is designed specifically for anxiety and depression.
Yoga asana and pranayama affect the way we feel by changing waves and chemicals in the brain: the postures and breathing exercises increase alpha waves (relaxation) and theta waves (pleasant dreams and emotions), and also increase endorphin (pleasure and pain relief) and serotonin (feelings of happiness and well-being) levels. Research has also shown that yoga decreases cortisol (a stress hormone).
Yoga helps in other ways as well. It helps us understand the mind-body connection and then begin to utilize it (by relaxing our bodies we can relax our minds). We develop self esteem by accomplishing body postures that we believe are totally impossible. Yoga helps us recognize that we are not our bodies, thoughts, or emotions – that we observe these things but are not defined by them. We can watch our feelings without judgment, without believing that we ARE our feelings. We are bigger than our feelings; we can manage them. We learn to take control of our minds and can therefore control our reactions, our anger, and our interactions with others. We are bigger than our thoughts and can change them. We are bigger than our bodies and can listen to their signals in order to take better care of them.
We learn an acceptance of self – that we are exactly where we are supposed to be at this moment, no judgment about it.
RUMI'S GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house ~ every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably. She may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.