Friday, October 5, 2007

Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieving Suffering through Yoga


Take the natural path to mental wellness

More than 25 million Americans are treated with antidepressants each year, at a cost in excess of $50 billion. But the side effects of popular prescription drugs may seem nearly as depressing as the symptoms they’re meant to treat. Veteran yoga instructor Amy Weintraub offers a better solution—one that taps the scientifically proven link between yoga and emotional well-being as well as the beauty of ancient approaches to inner peace.

Addressing a range of diagnoses, including dysthymia, anxiety-based depression, and bipolar disorder, Yoga for Depression reveals why specific postures, breathing practices, and meditation techniques can ease suffering and release life’s traumas and losses. Weintraub also reflects on her own experience with severe depression, from which she recovered through immersing herself in a daily yoga routine.
Yoga for Depression is the first yoga book devoted exclusively to the treatment of these debilitating conditions. Amy Weintraub will help readers see their suffering and themselves in a vibrant new light.

Publishers Weekly

Long-time yoga teacher and writer Weintraub offers readers yoga as an alternative to antidepressants, which, she explains, treat the symptoms of the problem but not the whole person. By contrast, "a daily practice of yoga will bring your physical body and your emotional body into balance, restoring a sense of well-being and energy." Weaving in her own triumphant story and those of her students, Weintraub seems to beg readers to give yoga a chance to relieve their suffering. She constructs a convincing, if at times plodding, case by reviewing the medical evidence, such as the practice's impact on stress levels and the healing principles of yoga, which include developing both your energy and your self-awareness. Weintraub also discusses the roles of breathing and meditation, and, most interestingly, explains how holding certain poses can help release trauma that may be "stored" in the body. Although descriptions and pictures of specific stretches, poses and breathing exercises are scattered throughout, Weintraub encourages readers to use the book as a guide and to find a class taught by a qualified yoga instructor. Perhaps some readers will be motivated to do so because of the author's enthusiasm and well-researched material. But the New Age language-"Ishvara-pranidhana can mean that separations between you and your partner may begin to dissolve so that you experience the wholeness of sacred union with the divine through your partner"-might discourage others. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.


AMY WEINTRAUB, MFA, RYT, is a senior Kripalu teacher and an award-winning fiction writer. She teaches yoga and fiction writing and contributes to national magazines, including Yoga Journal, Poets and Writers and Psychology Today. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Buy this book online at Barnes & Noble