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Yoga in Practice: Ten Solutions for Depressed Yoga Students (Part 1)

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Aug 17, 2007
Yoga teachers often struggle with methods for helping their students deal with a variety of ailments. Depression is serious, and is one of many ailments, but much like stress, it can be the "root cause" of many more problems. So, let's look at ten ways to turn a Yoga student's life away from depression.

Obviously, severe cases of depression really need professional counseling. Therefore, it is advisable to point some Yoga students in that direction, but all of us have our "dark moments," so these are solutions for milder cases of depression.

Meditate using Visualization or Affirmation: When you teach Yoga classes, always encourage your students to be self sufficient in their meditation practice. Some Yoga teachers have preferred methods of meditation, but visualization and affirmation are easy methods for all Yoga students to learn and master.

Yoga students should learn to envision something that gives them deep gratification and causes no harm to anyone. Often this is something very easy for them to visualize. It could be a loved one, a vacation spot, or an accomplished goal. Within this practice, the Yoga student learns to accomplish his or her vision.

Affirmation is a method that any Yoga teacher can learn to guide. This builds self-esteem and creates positive energy. There are many affirmations CD's to choose from; and we carry them in the pro-shop for Yoga students to work with at home. These two methods create constructive use of solo time, and depression will be purged from the mind, body, and spirit.

Relaxation Techniques: Teach your Yoga students a variety of relaxation methods. We are all familiar with stage-by-stage relaxation techniques, but there are many more methods to teach. There are also self hypnosis CD's that cover guided relaxation methods. These are great for bedtime or quiet time.

Walking Time: Many of us might prefer to do Sun Salutations, but Yoga students can benefit from a walk, just like anyone else. This could be at any part of the day; before work, at lunch, after work, and weekends will help. The fresh air is a needed break from daily drudgery. Strategic use of walking to break up the day has extraordinary health benefits.

Sleeping Patterns: Getting to bed earlier will help Yoga students, or anyone else, get the optimum amount of sleep needed. This will also give them a positive start on the following day. Yoga students that start the day earlier will have time for all of the above-mentioned solutions or have time to see the sun rise.

Sun Salutations, and meditation, on the following morning, after a good night's sleep, will definitely keep depression "at bay." Yoga students who start with these methods will positively charge themselves and feel the strength of self-empowerment.

© Copyright 2006 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard is director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He's a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches that along with fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students who want to be a teacher.
http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org
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