Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thrilled 2B Teaching Yoga for Mood Today

I've been preparing for months for our "Yoga for Mood" workshop today at Yoga Kula in Berkeley. Looks like we'll have a full house of women, from beginner yoga practitioners to serious yoginis, and I'm deeply honored by the robust registration. We'll be covering PMS, post-partum depression, seasonal affect disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety and garden-variety mood swings. The focus is on natural solutions and the use of yoga to buffer mood.

There's still room! Register right here online or join us today at 1:30pm. We also have two more workshops coming up at Yoga Kula and another next month at the Claremont Resort in Berkeley. Click here for more details.

As I refining the sequence this morning at 6am by the fire in my home, I was reflecting on the integration of Eastern traditions with the wisdom of our Western experience, and how this integration may positively impact mood. In Yoga, as in most ancient Eastern traditions, we learn about unconditioned awareness. We learn about how to use meditative practice and direct the flow of prana to awaken. We change long-standing and stuck neural pathways, and create new neural networks that support our awakening to True Self.

Our Western tradition regarding psychology and mood is completely different: here we use therapy and other techniques to individuate, to understand more fully our drives, conflicts, interpersonal dynamics and learned habits, from childhood to later life.

Yet these two systems are complementary and even interdependent. One of my teachers, Dr. John Welwood, PhD, describes the interplay of the Eastern and Western systems as similar to the in and out breath. Western is the "in" breath: focus on form, individuation; Eastern is the "out" breath: letting go of form, history, individual characteristics in the service of the greater Self. We start the integration with the slow, directed breath of lengthening the inhale and exhale.


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I'm an organic gynecologist, yoga teacher + writer. I earn a living partnering with women to get them vital and self-realized again. We're born that way, but often fall off the path. Let's take your lousy mood and fatigue, and transform it into something sacred and useful.