I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the age of 11 after an overseas school excursion went wrong, which resulted in major depression, anxiety and trouble sleeping. I was bullied and assaulted in high school and even had my nose broken which exacerbated my mental health issues.
I discovered yoga in my late 20s which helped me quit a long habit of smoking to treat my anxiety. On a yoga therapy training course in 2013, I heard about the book Yoga for Depression and Amy Weintraub which sparked my interest. In 2016, when Amy visited Australia, I completed my Level 1 part A, then did the rest of the level certification by distance education. Last year in May, I flew to Arizona to start my level 2 training with Rose Kress, which was an empowering experience!
LifeForce Yoga has been a godsend for me and has helped me through the difficult process of grieving the loss of a baby last August. I love how portable the practices are and that you don’t need a yoga mat. I’ve used the practices in the rest room, on the plane, in the car as well as at home and other places!
When I am tamasic (a word we us in LifeForce Yoga that means feeling lethargic or depressive, which helps to destigmatize), I use Breath of Joy, the energizing Chakra Clearing Meditation to lift my mood. Before I was pregnant, I also used stair step breath and back bends with energizing tones. When I am anxious, Brahmari (Bee breath) is great for calming me after I’ve expelled the excess energy. When I can’t sleep as I’m often anxious at night, the cooling version of the Chakra Clearing Meditation (without bhastrika) is useful, seated forward bends with cooling tones, Sheetali Pranayama, Yoga Nidra. If my self-esteem is suffering, I’ve found Power Hara and bridge pose with the sound ‘Ram’ to be quite useful.