Eight in 10 respondents tried prescription medication, and two-thirds of them said it helped a lot.
Even though a growing body of research has demonstrated the legitimate mental and physical health benefits of meditation, some people still consider mindfulness to be merely a New Age fad rather than a serious treatment option.
Now, a new Swedish study offers more compelling evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness-based practices in treating anxiety and depression. Researchers from Lund University found group mindfulness treatment to be as effective as individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating individuals suffering from anxiety, depression and severe stress responses -- and it may be more affordable and convenient. Before and after the treatments, the participants were asked to fill out questionnaires to determine the severity of their anxiety and depression symptoms. While a growing body of research has shown mindfulness treatment to be effective in managing symptoms of anxiety and depression, the new Lund research is the first to show mindfulness to be as effective as traditional forms of therapy. Earlier this year, a review of 47 studies showed that evidence of a positive effect of mindfulness on managing anxiety, depression and pain had been proven across a number of clinical trials. Depressive disorders come in different forms, just as is the case with other illnesses such as heart disease.
It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things.
Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms (see symptom list) that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. A less severe type of depression, dysthymia, involves long-term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning well or from feeling good. When in the manic cycle, the individual may be overactive, overtalkative, and have a great deal of energy. Vedic Meditation is one of the most powerful techniques available for reducing stress and anxiety.
If you are in Auckland (NZ) call me, Warwick Jones, on 09 419 5380, or email to to find our how Vedic Meditation could help you achieve better health. Acceptance, however,  is not about agreement, or acquiescence to a situation but merely seeing the truth as it is instead of struggling against it.
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If meditation helps us observe rather than react to our life experiences, does it run the risk of making us less compassionate? What I’m thrilled to tell you about is the ongoing collaboration between LifeForce Yoga and Internal Family Systems. I’m writing from Yogaville in Buckingham, VA, where the trees are in bud and the daffodils are blooming in abundance.
Yoga Therapeutics is increasing as more Americans are seeking yoga treatment than ever before. The high rates of use may be partly due to a growing body of research showing that some mind and body practices can help manage pain and reduce stress. This bodes well for NCCIH funding for future yoga research, as growing use is one of the four guiding principles that determine the practices and products studied by NCCIH. Many women who suffer from depression are reluctant to take medication during pregnancy, often because they understand that antidepressants and other psycho-pharmacologic agents can affect the fetus. Kaeli Sutton, who has advanced training in both prenatal massage and yoga, co-directs a nonprofit specializing in wellness and education for families and has worked with over 1800 mothers and families, designed the yoga protocol. The 34 women who participated saw their depressive symptoms decline during the 10-week program on two standardized scales. With the increased use of yoga as a complementary treatment by the American public, as documented in the previous newsletter article, combined with several pilot studies by this team indicating the acceptance and efficacy of yoga for prenatal depression, we would hope that funds for further research by Battle and her colleagues will be forthcoming. When we meditate, we are cultivating an ability to witness without reacting to our ongoing experiences. There is a beautiful aphorism that speaks to this question from the great Vedanta sage, Sri Nisargadatta.
In this meta-analysis, the researchers looked at ten neuroimaging studies with 91 meditators and determined that there was a common neural network affected by different techniques whose common goal is to “induce relaxation, regulate attention and develop detachment from one’s thoughts.” In most of the techniques tested, changes occurred in the activity of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) that are associated with reduced task activity and increased interospection activity. In one study that looked at five types of meditation, there was a reduced interaction between areas of the brain that observed and areas of the brain that judged. In their analysis of the data, the researchers determined that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), not only regulates detachment, but it also regulates empathy. In addition, Loving Kindness Meditation and Compassion Meditation activate the emotional area of the brain, the limbic system, through an activation of the amygdala. So perhaps, from a brain science point of view on Sri Nisargadatta’s quote above, our inner world turns from detachment to empathy in the amygdala. Researchers in Australia asked 33 yoga teachers from four different countries who are established in the field of yoga and mental health for recommendations in using yoga as a treatment for anxiety and depression. A consensus doesn’t mean that there was complete agreement, and in fact there was not a consensus on first meeting the mood with a practice before offering a practice to counter the current mood (practiced in LifeForce Yoga).

Senior Yoga Therapist and teacher trainer, Robin Rothenberg teams up with award-winning composer Nancy Rumbel for a second CD of Yoga Nidra practices. I would imagine that once the practitioner is comfortable with the imagery of cool breezes and turning down her thermostat, she may get some relief at the onset of a flashback.
We are thrilled to announce that LFYP and Mentor Joanne Spence is one of 13 nominees for the Yoga Journal Good Karma Awards.
Amy Weintraub E-RYT, MFA, directs the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, which trains yoga and health professionals internationally, and is the author of Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists. A total of 215 patients with anxiety, depression or severe stress reactions were randomly sorted into either a regular treatment group, in which they underwent individual CBT sessions, or underwent 10-patient group mindfulness treatment sessions. In 2011, Harvard researchers found that participating in an eight-week mindfulness training program created significant changes in brain areas associated with sense of self, empathy, stress and memory. Anxiety often goes hand in hand with depression as well since anxious thoughts can lead to depression and depression can lead to nervous thinking. Such a disabling episode of depression may occur only once but more commonly occurs several times in a lifetime. Many people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes at some time in their lives.
Not nearly as prevalent as other forms of depressive disorders, bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs (mania) and lows (depression).
Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. Acceptance is often the doorway to the action that enables us to change.The concept of acceptance is illustrated below.
These supplements can be just as effective as strong mood-altering drugs and you won't have the side effects or the risk for dependence. In this issue, we write about a study that attends to the subtler effects of meditation.  Through the lens of brain science, Dr.
Laura Orth and Liz Brenner, clinical social workers, IFS therapists and senior LifeForce Yoga practitioners will be joining me at Kripalu over Memorial Day weekend to explore how LifeForce yoga and IFS can help unburden those anxious parts!
We’re in the midst of our level one LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training, open to all serious students of yoga. Another factor that may have influenced the increased popularity of yoga is increased access — for instance, industry reports show that the number of yoga studios in the United States has increased substantially in recent years.
The others are that the practice or product must be able to be studied using high-quality and rigorous research, hold promise, and have an impact on the public’s health. Previous research by the authors of this current study has found that pregnant women who are new to yoga are both interested and open to trying it as an intervention to help them manage their mood. Prenatal yoga classes occurred twice per week, with one daytime class and one evening class offered, although the researchers understood that most women would only be able to attend once per week.
On the “QIDS” scale, in which a trained, objective rater evaluates responses, the women on average dropped from scores consistent with moderate depression (10-15) to scores well into the mild range (5-10). Interoception refers to our ability to tune into and observe what is happening within the body–sensations from our organs and muscles, hunger, thirst, how we are breathing. According to the researchers, “The reduction was possibly related to minimized interaction between the self process functions (described as including self-awareness, autobiographic memory, agency and embodiment) and constraints on the self-process, leading to non-involvement and detachment.
In data from studies that look at compassion meditation and loving kindness meditation, one of the areas affected by these meditations is the ventral MPFC. Both the dorsal MPFC, associated with detachment, and the ventral MPFC, associated with empathy are connected through the amygdala, suggesting, according to the researchers, that both detachment and compassion are closely related areas of the brain. However, establishing training guidelines for yoga teachers working in the field of mental health, and a list of appropriate practices and contraindications is an important step in offering the healing of yoga to those who suffer from mood disorders.
Cooling Nidras was created for a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study that looked at the efficacy of using Yoga Nidra, along with yoga asana, for menopausal women suffering from hot flashes. In addition to the traditional body scan, breath awareness, and moments of expanded consciousness, the first practice makes use of cool stream and river imagery and a left nostril breathing practice that is cooling and releasing.
However, the practice seems best suited to basic relaxation that can help with sleep, whether we are menopausal or not. She has combined LifeForce Yoga with her clinical social work background and works as the first yoga therapist at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, one of the largest inpatient psychiatric hospitals in the US. This makes it impossible to view much of the content on this website, or to use all of this website’s features. The researchers noted that there was no statistical difference between the CBT and the mindfulness groups. MRI data revealed that meditation increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, a region associated with learning and memory, and decreased density in the amygdala, a brain region associated with fear, anxiety and stress responses. In addition, thoughts of suicide may be common, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.

For example, the individual in a manic phase may feel elated, full of grand schemes that might range from unwise business decisions to romantic sprees.
Shirley Telles and her colleagues examine this question, considering if detachment and empathy can co-exist or might even be complementary benefits of meditation practice. You missed the sign up for this one, but we have online and residential LFYP Trainings all year to which you’re welcome to apply, either for personal growth or certification. On the “EPDS” scale, which relies on self-reports, average scores fell similarly, from a level consistent with clinically significant depression (more than 10) to scores significantly under that threshold.
Are we less likely to respond to circumstances that call for compassionate action, whether towards ourselves, others, or the environment? Detachment can help an individual to get mental peace.” But what happens to our ability to empathically connect with others, when we are “detached”?
This is the front area (anterior) of the brain that is responsible for our executive functioning. LifeForce Yoga is especially gratefully to lead investigator Michael de Manincor and his colleagues for this important work. Although hot flashes were not significantly reduced in a population that had more than 28 hot flashes a day, yoga and yoga nidra did show a significant improvement in quality of life factors including sleep and sexuality (libido) as compared to cardio exercise and usual care.
When in the depressed cycle, an individual can have any or all of the symptoms of a depressive disorder.
The mechanic indicates that you need new brakes, and you state that can't be so or shouldn't be so ( non acceptance) and therefore refuse to get your brakes fixed. Research shows that people … Continue Reading Healing Modalities Supplements for AnxietyPeople suffering from anxiety can be prescribed anti-anxiety medications. We also report on another prenatal yoga study coming from Brown University and Butler Hospital with encouraging news for pregnant women suffering from depression. In addition, more Americans practice yoga than receive chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, and almost as many Americans practice meditation. The study data also showed that the more prenatal yoga pregnant women did, the more they benefitted psychologically.
For the first time, researchers have given us a review of literature that analyzes brain activity during different meditation techniques with some of these questions in mind.
The changes indicating reduced task activity and increased interospection were noted in the dorsal (posterior or back) of the MPFC.
The second round was to create a consensus on frequency and duration (dosage) of the yoga, approaches and techniques to be included or avoided, and training and experience for yoga teachers.
The practitioner is guided to imagine a cool breeze brushing or fanning across each body party, a shady grove, and being cradled by moist earth. In 2004, she founded Yoga in Schools (YIS) as a way to reach school children and teachers to help them nurture their own well-being through yoga. And I’m honored to be joining her a host of internationally acclaimed yoga teachers to help you to find your bliss! You get in the car and drive off without fixing the problem, because you were not practicing acceptance. However, if you don't like the side effects that come with those medications, or you're nervous about taking drugs, there are supplements for … Continue ReadingSocial Anxiety TreatmentFear and anxiety every once in a while is a natural part of the emotional process, and most people are able to experience those feelings without it escalating into something more serious. The review was done by senior researcher Shirley Telles, PhD, and her colleagues, in order to determine if “detachment,” defined in this study as “reducing or removing the need to control, possess, and be influenced by the actions of people or circumstances,” and “empathy” can co-exist in meditation.
In an article published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in March, 2015, the authors write that a general consensus of survey participants recommended that for maximum benefit, yoga be practiced an average of 30 to 40 minutes, 5 times per week, over a period of 6 weeks.
She suggests that the practitioner imagine an inner thermostat, and then guides the raising and lowering, by degree, of the body temperature.
Since then, Yoga in Schools has become a leader in the field of school yoga, reaching over 20,000 children and 1,000 teachers with sustainable wellness programs.
For those who suffer from … Continue ReadingPostpartum Depression TreatmentThere are many different types of depression, and even if you've never suffered from it before, a specific event can trigger depressed feelings that go beyond sadness and irritability.
The key components agreed upon by the survey takers for depression were Breath regulation and postures. Although the shortened protocol, necessitated by the study’s parameters means that Rothenberg did not include the exploration of the opposites of emotion and belief (manomaya kosha and vijnayamaya kosha), I can imagine using this CD, not only for managing hot flashes during menopause, but any time a moment of cool rest would be appreciated.
Joanne teaches and presents across the US at conferences and retreat centers including Kripalu, Omega and the Garrison Institute. There was also general consensus that yoga teacher training be at the 500-hour level over two years; that the teacher maintain her own practice, that she take some kind of training in yoga for mental health and receive professional supervision or mentoring.

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