All posts tagged: depression

Let’s Talk about Shame…

Shame lurks deep undercover, like a snake in the grass that you don’t know is there but step too close to that which it’s guarding and it’ll rise up with with all it’s got. ‘No closer’ it says as you look towards the deep undergrowth, ‘what I’m guarding is secret, it can’t be shared’… It’s enough most of the time, for us to move away, to let it be and to avoid going back. If you’ve ever felt that there’s something about you which is really dark, really disgusting, something which is different. If you’ve ever felt like you don’t fit, like everyone else is getting the plot and you’re failing at trying, there’s a chance that shame is the gatekeeper to that feeling, like a snake in the grass wrapping itself around what it’s guarding and holding on tightly. For shame, the fear of exposure is deadly, so it’ll use everything it has to survive. Being a harbour for shame is playing it’s game, is conforming to it’s rules and steering clear of the …

Distraction, Addiction & Avoiding Pain… Learning to be myself.

Hello, My name is Lauren and I am an addict.  I am addicted to anything which enables me to avoid feeling my feelings. In order not to feel, I distract myself purposefully, even wilfully by being exceptionally busy.  By saying ‘I can do that’ to anything that means I don’t have to think or feel, it might be caring for others, cooking, shopping, offering my services, teaching another yoga class, cleaning the house, scrolling through facebook, eating too many biscuits, drinking too much alcohol, the list goes on.  There are of course, lots of other drivers for these actions, but for me the ignition, before practicality or necessity and to the degree that I’m so busy I am physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted, is distraction.  It’s a deep internal pleading for my mental, emotional and sometimes physical pain to be taken away.  ‘Taking the edge off’ or even fully submerging myself in avoidance through whatever it is I’m addicted to in the moment (including Yoga classes by the way), is like putting blinkers on to …

Charity Yoga Garden Party in aid of Mind

Those of you close to me will know that mental health awareness is an issue close to my own heart.  Those of you less close to me may be aware of my interest in the subject via blog posts and facebook news updates.  Students of mine will be familiar with our work around simply noticing our states of mind, emotional qualities and the differences between entering a yoga class or treatment with a whirring or racing mind and leaving with a more settled sense of well-being.  And for anyone else in the world, at some point it’s likely you will have experienced stress, overwhelm, feelings of anxiety, pressure, uncertainty or sadness.  It’s also possible that these states of mind have come with the added pressure that because we’re feeling them, it means we’re not ‘coping’ or that somehow we’re ‘lesser’ than our peers who seemingly navigate the world with ease and tranquillity. Recognising and accepting ourselves unconditionally can be difficult.  My own experience practicing Yoga has created a structure, and safe space within which I …

Yoga, Depression & Anxiety… Navigating and Changing our Inner Landscape

Recent research from Boston University School of Medicine is showing Yoga to be more beneficial than other forms of exercise in improving mood.  Their studies relate to Anxiety and Depression specifically and measured increased and rising GABA levels (low levels of which are associated with depression and anxiety disorders) in the brains of their test groups.  In another study Yoga and deep breathing taken twice a week was shown to effectively reduce the symptoms of depression.  It’s promising and reassuring to hear the science emerging on the relationship between Yoga and mood, particularly as I have personal experience of how profoundly Yoga can change the mind… and with it the physical body…   As a yoga teacher I watch people leave my classes every week with a glow, facial tension having eased and often standing taller.  Feedback from clients is showing that a weekly class can effectively manage back pain as well as stress.  Many clients report improved sleep after classes too.  These are benefits I can relate too.   It’s harder to share the benefits which relate to …

Reasons to be healthy, 1…2…3…or Bending over backwards for health!

This is Lupa the Immortal.  Well, technically speaking this is an offspring of Lupa the Immortal, my sourdough starter which came in to being in the very early days of writing this blog (read more in ‘Sourdough, the worlds slowest bread‘).   Lupa spends most of her time in the fridge, slowly fermenting… sometimes she’s really active, bubbling away, being fed and nurtured, and sometimes she’s so forgotten, that when I come to her she needs a little TLC before she’ll produce a healthy offspring… The reason I’m using my bread as an analogy in a post about health is two-fold.  One, that (if you read the original blog post you’ll see) I prefer to cut out the additives, preservatives, bulking agents and sugar that many commercial bread products come laden with, and make my own bread instead.  And two, that I see this simple sourdough starter bloom when nourished and cared for and fade when it’s needs are not being met.  It reminds me of how I so often feel.  It’s only been through …