A couple of changes on the horizon

Beginning in December, Chair Yoga at 11 am on Thursdays has been moved to 10:45 on Thursdays at the Blossom Hill location of Almaden Yoga. So, there is a 15 minute difference in time, and the location has changed to 7 minutes down the road.

Also, I am finishing my first year of Yoga Therapy! I can’t believe that I’m only a couple weeks shy of halfway through. I will have my 500 hour certification for this year. As previously mentioned, my very inexpensive first year intern rates for a Yoga Therapy session will be going up next year. So, if you would like to see me before the end of the year, I have a couple of time slots open still. Currently, I am seeing clients on a sliding need-based scale of $25-$50. Next year, the price will increase to $50-$75 as a second year intern, commensurate with more education and experience in the field. Meeting remotely is also an option, given a good camera on both ends.

If you will be meeting with friends and family next week from near and far, may you have a heartfelt connection with one another. There will be no class with me next week at Willow Glen Yoga or Almaden Yoga. Private sessions may be possible.

Yoga for Depression

I’m finishing up an excellent book, Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way by Nancy Liebler and Sandra Moss. I am not currently depressed, but I certainly have been in the past. Actually, I was first introduced to yoga about 20 years ago when I went through a severe clinical depression, which included a hefty dose of anxiety as well (as depression often does). Yoga is, and has been a touchstone, and a first line of defense when depression and/or anxiety looms.

A little more on that, because this is a topic near and dear to my heart. For many people who get out of control depression, anxiety may be the first sign. If you find yourself acting and thinking more intensely than normal, take care. The body and mind get so wound up, that eventually, the system shuts down and depression may result. Think of it as a car engine overheating. If you’ve ever driven a really crummy car, or series of (as I did for an entire decade of my life), you may have experienced this. First the gauge starts to show that you are getting too warm. If you are a reasonable driver, you may decide that you really need to get somewhere, and maybe you will see if driving slower will still get you there, or to a service station. You turn off the air, pray you hit no stoplights. Eventually, you either manage to fix the problem, or you break down. This process is very like the reality of unchecked anxiety. If you don’t slow down, and regroup, you may not make it to your service station. You may just break down, which is when anxiety turns to depression. Having a daily yoga practice is an excellent way to keep on top of how and what you are feeling.

In this book, the authors offered a great overview of the different types of depression, some Ayurveda informed practices to support the different types, lifestyle changes, and some sample case studies to use as examples. If you find that depression, sadness, or anxiety loom heavy on your heart, I encourage you to find human help. If depression is something you revisit periodically, try reading the book before you are in crisis. You may discover what your early signs are, and be able to minimize your next event. More people have experienced depression than you know. And when you make it through, I urge you to be a light for others who are caught out in the dark. Having made it through, I feel like it is my duty (and a welcome one) to look out for others who may be stumbling, or have succumbed.

If you have never experienced depression, don’t try to cheer your depressed friend up. Just sit with them. Honestly, the best thing you can do is to acknowledge their pain, in a spirit of empathy. There is a wonderful Brene Brown video on the difference between sympathy and empathy. Watch it. Being there means everything.

 

 

Yoga Therapy Available Now!

I am well into my first year as a Yoga Therapist in training, and am free to see clients! I have already been seeing a number of people, with some good results so far. I love this work, since it is where my librarian brain and my yoga brain meet. When you do reference interviews with people at the library, you listen and take in all the information; what they need, what they think they need, what they want, how the  information will be of service. Then, you have to figure out how to get that information. Sometimes, the obvious search terms, engines, or resources don’t work. After that comes the fun part (or the “hunt”, as I like to think of it).

Similarly, in working with people who would like to build more yoga into their lives, I have to take into consideration the goals of their hearts, their emotional state, the consideration of their bodies and current capabilities. I also have to think about where, how and how much they can realistically do, while working towards the goal. The person may have a restriction or special consideration such as joint instability, recovery from a major illness, muscle weakness, chronic pain, or multiple medications.

Now that you know why I like doing yoga therapy, maybe you’d like to know what it is. Yoga therapy applies movement, breathwork, and meditation to work towards optimal health and well-being. It can be directed to address ordinary special conditions (pre-natal or cardiovascular), more unique conditions (cancer recovery, chronic pain) or in just finding a way to bring more balance into daily life, changing to meet the client’s current condition as required. I personally use this practice in my life to moderate/neutralize my predisposition to migraines, modulate my personal tendency toward stress and anxiety, and if I have an injury, working more conscientiously to support and heal that area.

In working with me, it is a partnership. I get a snapshot of daily life from the client, along with their concerns, goals, and any potential issues, seeing if we can get an idea of where there may be any imbalances that are counterproductive. Then we work together through a selection of asanas (poses), weaving breathwork (pranayama) and meditation throughout to develop a 15 minute sequence that the client will do everyday. After a few weeks, we will meet again, and refine/change/adapt the sequence to keep progress moving forward, and perhaps even a little more deeply. Yoga Therapy is transformative because you develop increased body awareness, you are fully in charge of your experience, and the therapist (me) works closely with you to help you find your edge and keep your goal in mind.

Yoga Therapy generally costs upwards of $100 per session, but as a first year intern, I am seeing people on a need-based sliding scale of $25-$50 per session. I will finish my 500 hour training at the end of the year. My rates will go up January 1st, 2018. So, if this is something you are interested in, come see me at the low price! (And then come see me again at the higher price)!

If you’ve already seen me, I’d love for you to leave your thoughts in the comments.