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The practice of Yoga and Meditation is good for your overall mental health

It seems I feel a need to give a testimonial concerning the practice of yoga and meditation. I participated in a LifeForce yoga training after several years of yoga practice.

I am now certified as a LifeForce Yoga practitioner.  I feel confident that I can help you manage your moods with specific breathing techniques that I have done with many of my clients.

What is LifeForce Yoga? It is a practice of compassion that creates a big enough container inside of you to accept all the dualities of mood. It is the practice the first yogis practiced, based on the fundamental belief what all we need is already within us under the current mood, the roles we play and the masks we wear.

My testimonial:

I feel exhilarated and positive after my yoga practice with breathing and the benefits continue into my week. I also feel stronger. I am more flexible. I feel calmer and grounded.

The best is that I now approach problems in my life with more ease and confidence and less frustration.

This has led me to examine if research shows what I feel to be true about the practice yoga and meditation. Does it relieve stress and increase emotional well-being? The answer it YES.

I have and do recommend to my clients to supplement counseling/therapy with the practice of yoga and meditation. I have felt confident this would help support them emotionally because of my own personal experience with yoga and meditation.

There are  recent research studies which examines the outcome of practicing yoga and its possible effects on stress reduction and mood elevation

Here are a few of the headlines from the research examining yoga and its effects on well-being:

Relaxation techniques reduce anxiety

In a recent study all those who took part in the relaxation exercises, yoga, stretching, and imagery reported that they were more calm and were able to cope better with anxiety.
The researchers concluded that the relaxation methods were capable of inducing a deep state of relaxation and that these techniques should be more widely taught to patients who need help controlling stress in their lives.

Source: Percept Mot Skills 1999 Apr;88(2):409-16
Stress, relaxation states, and creativity.
Khasky AD, Smith JC

Can Yoga reduce anxiety and depression? Yes!

Subjects who participated in the yoga course demonstrated significant decreases in self-reported symptoms of depression and trait anxiety. These effects emerged by the middle of the yoga course and were maintained by the end. Changes also were observed in acute mood, with subjects reporting decreased levels of negative mood and fatigue following yoga classes. Finally, there was a trend for higher morning cortisol levels in the yoga group by the end of the yoga course, compared to controls. These findings provide significant evidence of the utility of yoga in improving mood and support the need for future studies with larger samples and more complex study designs to more fully evaluate the effects of yoga on mood disturbances.
J Affect Disord. 2005 Dec;89(1-3):13-24. Epub 2005 Sep 26. Review.Pilkington K, Kirkwood G, Rampes H, Richardson J.PMID: 16185770 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Can meditation help relieve the symptoms of other medical conditions?  Yes!

Meditation is not typically used in place of traditional therapies, such as medications your doctor prescribes. Instead, you might use meditation to supplement your other treatments. Medical research into meditation is limited, and the validity of some studies has been questioned. Keeping that in mind, some research shows that meditation is beneficial for managing moods and health issues  when used along with medications or other interventions recommended by your doctor, including:

High blood pressure
Heart Disease

The best research will be the one in which you are the participant