8 week course
Yoga for anxiety and depression
As seen on BBC Sport
A gentle, science-based approach to restore healthy function of the nervous system, rewire the brain, release muscular tension and balance brain chemistry incorporating the latest research in neuroscience. You will benefit from the supportive, easy-going environment where you can connect with others who understand what you're going through.
I know it's not easy to think about starting yoga when you have anxiety or depression. That's why I run this small group therapeutic course to teach the most valuable and effective techniques to help manage anxiety, depression and panic attacks.
Suitable for people with:
GP-diagnosed or self-diagnosed anxiety, depression or both
Little or no experience of yoga
Low-levels of activity and/or fitness
Other health issues
WE HAVE RUN THIS COURSE OVER 30 TIMES AND IT ALWAYS SELLS OUT SOON AFTER GOING ON SALE.
BE INSPIRED BY STUDENTS FROM THE LAST 5 YEARS
"This was such an important way for me to exercise self-care in a safe space regardless of weight, fitness or mental state that day". Jenny
"Came off anti-depressants, so feel it has helped greatly." Helen
"This course and space created by it have been a grounding anchor at a time of great uncertainty. I don't think it is a coincidence that this course has coincided with a time when I have developed a much healthier relationship with food and my body." Caroline
"Had less panic attacks. Feel as though I could control the anxiety" Alex
"This group has improved my motivation to participate in things" Karen
"Learnt techniques I can apply during work to relax me." Sophie
"After trying various methods of treatment, I've found this is the one I've had most control of and therefore got the most out of." J.C
"I thought I knew all there was to know about anxiety - I was wrong. This course helps you to start loving yourself again and show yourself kindness" Nicky
"I can't express in words how much this course has helped me." Aaron
"Everyone being there for the same reason made it easier to relax." Jan
"I am a lot calmer after each session." Rehana
"Susi is very knowledgeable, kind and helpful and supportive." Jude
"Susi is a fantastic guide and teacher. The printout that takes you through the 6 weeks is so simple and easy to understand. I have been practicing most days at home and this is wholly down to her excellent teaching and instruction manual. I will miss these classes." Trilby
"First time doing yoga, having really experienced a lot of anxiety and panic attacks. Looked forward to the classes and found virtually every part helpful. I now understand much more about the link between my body and my mind, which has been extremely practical for dealing with anxiety when it arises." Dean
"This was such an important
Anxiety and depression are patterns. Patterns can be changed.
How specific yoga can help
The body and posture
Anxiety and depression lay down patterns in the body. Depression can lead to a 'closed off' or 'collapsed' posture, a sunken chest, weak core muscles, overstretched upper back muscles. Anxiety can cause tense shoulders, tight ribs/chest, gripped jaw. Specially selected yoga postures can rebalance the physical body making it easier to 'stand tall', connect to emotions, express ourselves and let go when the time is right.
How we breathe is the result of how we feel (and how we hold ourselves physically) - depression shows up as slow, laboured breathing with little to no rib movement. Anxiety typically has a shallow, fast breathing pattern with little or no movement in the abdomen. These breathing patterns create imbalance in the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Too little carbon dioxide (hyperventilation, over-breathing) and you feel panicked, disorientated, on high alert. Too much carbon dioxide and you feel drowsy, sedated and lacking in motivation or energy. Therapeutic yogic breathing techniques start with awareness and acceptance of the breath. Once you are comfortable observing the breath you could slowly make shifts in the breathing ratios, types of breathing and focus to rebalance O2 / CO2. The breath also shifts the nervous system from fight / flight / excite (and freeze) to rest / digest. You can learn how to change your level of anxiety or depression by breathing differently.
The nervous system
The nervous system in its healthy balanced state would be able to gear the body up for excitement or activity and calm it down for rest. A depressed person may find their nervous system is stuck and they may not experience excitement or fear - the world may seem unstimulating and there is a numb response to most things even though they can rationally understand it would be pleasurable to another person. An anxious person's brain may have developed a sensitivity to threat so that they experience a flood of hormones preparing them for danger in situations they can rationally understand do not warrant such a strong response. Some of the yoga techniques rhythmically stimulate and then calm the nervous system to help shift any stuck patterns and get you used to the less familiar sensations. Some techniques focus on either stimulating or calming, depending on what each individual needs (you will learn how to recognise which branch of your nervous system is active). When we feel safe an energized state becomes playful, when we feel threatened it turns to defense. When we are safe an immobilized state is a sign of trust, intimacy and rest, when we feel threatened this can lead us to shutdown and withdraw. Some postures are held for longer to give the nervous system time to get used to the new position, recognise it is safe and reset the baseline for connection instead of defense.
During depression it is common for thinking to be based in the past - ruminating, replaying, regretting. Anxiety based thinking tends to reside in the future - worrying, over-preparing, catastrophising, avoiding. Meditation gives the mind a clear focus or activity to keep it anchored in the here and now. This changes the wiring of the brain (neuroplasticity) to change your thinking.
Without intervention these patterns can become more and more set and can feed into one another making a holistic approach more and more important.
Joining the group
It is common to experience tiredness, fatigue and to feel generally run down if you are struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety. Aches and pains, headaches, tension and high blood pressure are also common.
It can sometimes be hard to see how things could be different, you could feel overwhelmed and be unsure where to start. "This group has improved my motivation to participate in things" Karen
By dedicating time to undertake a nurturing practice such as yoga we strengthen our ability to cope with the demands of life and improve our self-esteem. "The atmosphere and progression are really helpful in becoming more relaxed outside of lessons." Name supplied
Yoga can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of panic attacks and help you manage them so that you can do the things you want to do again. "After trying various methods of treatment, I've found this is the one I've had most control of and therefore got the most out of." J.C
We ask that you commit to as many of the 8 sessions as you can when you book so that we can get to know you and you can experience the benefits of regular sessions. You are then welcome to continue to attend the next courses to keep up your practice."Learnt techniques I can apply during work to relax me." Sophie
It is natural to feel anxious at first however people find this fades significantly after the first session. People find that attending sessions regularly with the same group can be a very therapeutic and healing experience. "Felt uplifted" Alex
DAY and TIME: N/A
Studio information: A light and airy new studio in the heart of Prestwich. Very welcoming to those new to yoga. All classes here are trauma sensitive.
All equipment provided. Bathroom / changing area / kitchen available for use.
Teas and snacks provided.
Free Parking on local roads.
Access: Wheelchair and step-free access unavailable at present.
Pricing and refund policy
FULL PRICE £80
CONCESSIONS £65 (please type CONCESSION) in the voucher code box when booking