Meditation and yoga : hatha and kriya yoga and mindfulness meditation for depression

Meditation and Yoga for Depression:  Sitting in the Dark

Using ancient sciences validated by modernity to overcome mankind’s oldest challenge


Meditation and Yoga are two (unless done together, then they’re one) of the most powerful cures for depression known to us, and they can certainly have more pervasive, long-lasting effects, on one’s entire life and happiness, than medication or even psychotherapy.  One of the world’s most serious health crises, depression causes millions of suicides and untold suffering around the world each year, not to mention loss of work and economic productivity that depressed people can experience.  Depression can be addressed by many means, but few are as simple, effective, and cost-free as yoga or mindfulness meditation or both.  We discuss these means in “Depression Self-Help.”  Why not meet our spiritual coaches now?


Critically, the simple yet powerful techniques of meditation and yoga have a unique advantage over most other forms of treatment: they cost nothing, rely less on third parties like therapists or insurers, are free from undesirable side-effects, reduce health care costs, and are easy to learn and practice in daily life regardless of socioeconomic status. They may also be taught as completely free of any religious and cultural baggage, thus making the techniques accessible to all and offensive to none.  They are a part of our holistic and intuitive life coaching and Spiritual Coaching


Our coaching on types of meditation and yoga is based on individual practices spanning nearly 20 years and on exhaustive research and thinking. The clinically-proven techniques to which we will direct you (no matter where you live) include mindfulness or Vipassana (insight) meditation, and Pranayama, Kriya, and various forms of more physical yoga, such as Hatha.


But why not just use the drugs?


The first step in dealing with depression is this: DO seek out psychotherapy, and DO use anti-depressants if prescribed.  Once you have a firmer foundation from which to do some real personal work, it will be time to consider older, deeper techniques.  However, except perhaps in cases of severe or chronic depression, I do not believe medication is a viable long-term solution.


Existential Crisis

But there are serious existential issues in using anti-depressants only: do anti-depressants really “cure” depression – or merely superficially treat its symptoms, and even then only for as long as the drugs are taken?  That is, anti-depressants may be in the interests of pharmaceutical companies’ stockholders, but many spiritual practitioners believe the drugs may actively suppress our instinct, inclination, and ability to take charge of our own spiritual and emotional growth.


Even more pernicious, perhaps, is the growing movement to “biologize” depression as purely a matter of brain chemicals, which, while serving the admirable goal of removing the stigma of depression as an affliction of the weak or lazy, is also removing the time-honored motivation for sufferers to transform their suffering into learning experiences a la the Christian mystics’ “dark night of the soul” – and also inhibits critique of the society, lifestyle, or personal goals that causes such unhappiness and alienation.
This existential failing of conventional therapy is the heart of the problem to be addressed by Sitting in the Dark; the other failings of pharmaceuticals have been provided above primarily in order to highlight the marketing angle of the book for publishers who today are looking for and marketing more and more contrarian theses and books on spirituality. The efficacy of alternative therapies for depression fulfills both of these popular criteria.


Sitting in the Dark: Spiritual Sustenance for Depression in a Starved Age

My advice and resources are based on both an experiential background in yogic and meditation practice that dates to the mid-1980s and on exhaustive research, thinking, and even minutely observed attention to my own experiences with depression, antidepressants, and meditation. My counsel includes a closely reasoned synthesis of major spiritual and wisdom traditions’ perspectives on mental illness.


I propose additional means of combating the epidemic, whether in addition to or in lieu of modern anti-depressants. These clinically-proven, if under-publicized, means primarily include: the transformative power of mindfulness or Vipassana (insight) meditation, and Pranayama, Kriya, and various forms of more physical yoga.


(Other clinically-proven but little-noticed methods include acupuncture; negative-ion therapy (negative ions are the reason you like the crash of waves at the beach, or the sunshine); and a host of cheap supplements (fish oil, numerous vitamin B complexes, etc.) that have been proven in clinical trials but drowned out by pharma marketing in a get-well-quick world.)
There are a lot of books on depression. There are many on meditation, including a few that discuss handling difficult emotions. But very few books on meditation explain how to negotiate the infamously incessant darkness of depression, focusing instead on means to be free of more conventionally transitory emotions.
While major causes of depression do include genetic predisposition and early childhood trauma, proximate triggers are usually emotional stressors such as relationship ruptures and economic worries. And within those stressors, the micro causes are an inability to feel and acknowledge feelings, including unacknowledged fear, pain, and anger, as well as self-accusation. Meditation – the art of self-acceptance and calming or de-stressing of mind and body – is an ideal remedy.


Other Pages on Spiritual Coaching:


Spiritual Life CoachLaura Svolos

Kriya Yoga Life Coach — What Is Kriya Yoga?

Spiritual Coach — Gerry Eitner

Spiritual Growth Coaching: From Monty Python to the Bhagavad Gita

Health and Spiritual Coaching

Spiritual Life Coaching

Spiritual Life Coach — At Feroce

Depression Self-Help

Meditation and Yoga for Depression

Holistic Relationship Coach — Christina Winsey-Rudd

Intuitive Life Coaching

Intuitive Life Coach


Contact us about spiritual life coaching for depression that relies in part on helping you to develop a meditation and yoga practice.


The best, top Meditation and Yoga for Depression coaches online serve clients in Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area, Miami, Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis,
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