How Does Yoga Affect My Emotions?

Where does emotion sit in your body?What parts of the body feel the emotions of Anxiety, Depression and Grief?

Each emotion will have a feeling of temperature, speed and location in the body. As we become more attuned to where these emotions can sit, the more we can help to heal ourselves and others.

Stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.

Explore the nuances of setting up yoga poses as sanctuary for mind, body and spirit.

Your Brain & Yoga

We will pay attention to how the nervous system and brain connections work with physical actions. Modifications for individual students will be provided with yoga props, to allow investigation for all bodies. We will  learn to rest deeply, releasing the body and drawing the mind towards a joyous quiescence within.

“Regular and precise practice of Sirsasana develops the body, disciplines the mind and widens the horizons of the spirit. One becomes balanced and self-reliant in pain and pleasure, loss and gain, shame and fame and defeat and victory.” – BKS Iyengar

Yoga for Stressful Times

Classes are a combination of active and passive poses, along with time for relaxation and meditation. The combination of breath, movement and mindful attention will provide a way to cope with difficult situations.

Progression and sequences of poses will build skill and understanding, from pose to pose, and class to class. This precision in action emphasizes correct alignment of the body within poses,  building strength and stamina, balance and flexibility, and a renewed sense of well being. Eastern/Western views of physical and subtle support, can enhance sequencing of props and poses to heal and balance.

Anxiety, Depression and Grief are discussed, and how to integrate yoga  as a tool to help. These tools can become lifesavers of self care and survival.

Class Focus

Strong Legs, Stable Mind

Standing Poses for Hamstrings & Legs – Standing poses form the basis of yoga practice to develop stability, flexibility, lightness and balance. They strengthen the legs, and create a foundation of the feet, allowing us  to extend from that base. The poses build strength in the pelvic and shoulder girdles, creating a structure of support for the spinal column. Learn tips and techniques to help you develop a lifetime of practice, and modifications for ageless practice.

Moving Forward

Seated Poses for Knee, Ankle & Feet – Seated poses stretch muscles of the spine and legs, which help release tension and increase flexibility. They strengthen and tone core muscles of the back and abdomen, and create freedom in the pelvic area to help prevent strain on the lower back. We will explore a variety of poses including twists, core strengtheners and forward folds to tone abdominal muscles, lower back, oblique and upper thighs.

Changing the View

Inversions can be seen as the epitome and centerpiece of yoga asana. They offer physiological benefits of working against gravity and the freedom of changing the relationship of body bearing weight. Inversions help to increase blood flow and circulation, calm the nervous system, and relieve stress. They can enhance mental clarity and emotional stability. The body upside down changes directional blood flow, which boosts major body systems including circulatory, respiratory, nervous and glandular, and gives a rest to the heart. Headstand and shoulderstand will be taught in this session.

Supporting the Heart

Shoulder Openers & Backbends – Physically, backbends open the hips, strengthen and stretch the legs and lower back muscles. They tone, lengthen, and increase blood flow around the spine and diaphragm, which helps boost energy, relieve tension in muscles and release natural endorphins and hormones. Backbends offer a profound exploration of our selves within a physical experience integrating the body with the mind, senses, and breath. Freedom of movement in the shoulders expands the ribcage and improves  respiratory function. B.K.S. Iyengar recommended backbends for depression and as a holistic alternative for heart patients and ischemia.

Finding Sanctuary

Forward Folds – Forward folding poses help to provide a feeling of sanctuary and support, which calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. They promote total exhalation of air from the lungs by compressing the chest which helps to calm down the mind. Forward bends open up the back body, lengthens and strengthens hamstrings, inner legs, spinal muscles, ankles and knees. The asanas mimic the shape of the body in the womb (primary curve), providing a physiologically nurturing support, which aids in working with anxiety and grief.

Wringing the Waste

Twists – Twisting poses develop flexibility in the spine, increase circulation and help to cleanse internal organs. They work to compress the internal organs and glands of the torso, forcing out metabolic-waste. B.K.S. Iyengar, describes twists as a “squeeze-and-soak” action, similar to wringing out a wet towel. The organs are compressed during a twist, pushing out toxins, which allows fresh blood to carry oxygen to heal and rejuvenate the body. Twists  can give us an instant energy lift and decompress the vertebrae in a safe healthy way. They work to reduce stress and anxiety by quieting the “monkey mind”, and bringing attention into the present which slows and calms the mind.

New Classes Begin
February 25
@Yoga Bloom WEST

Additional locations & Online option available in March

Stress Kills!

The Cleveland Clinic says:

Stress that continues without relief can lead to distress – a negative stress reaction. Distress can disturb the body’s internal balance or equilibrium, leading to physical symptoms such as headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, sexual dysfunction,  problems sleeping and emotional problems. These include depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry. Research suggests  stress can bring on or worsen symptoms or diseases.

New Classes Start Feb 24 & 25

Learn Tools to Cope

This session at at Yoga Bloom WEST in Parkside SF. You can join us for more class options in San Francisco – Announcing additional locations soon

What is Emotional Health?

Emotional health helps us manage stress and maintain calm in a busy world. Yoga offers a unique approach to wellness; addressing mental and physical factors that lead to disease. It can help relax physical systems and begin the process of self-investigation and healing.

The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between stressors.

Common health issues of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, addiction, and other stress disorders can take a great toll on our emotional stability. Understanding emotional health means paying attention to our overall happiness and well-being.

Emotional health involves maintaining control of thoughts and feelings. People with good emotional health are resilient in challenges, find ways to express creativity, and understand the importance of social connections. They also recognize the power of spirituality and the value of staying positive.


Nervous System Response

The body’s autonomic nervous system has a built-in stress response that causes physiological changes to allow the body to combat stressful situations. This stress response,  known as Fight or Flight Response, is activated in case of emergency. However, this response can become chronically activated during prolonged periods of stress. Prolonged activation of the stress response causes wear and tear on the body – both physical and emotional.

Yoga can help support anxiety, depression and the experience of grief. The sequencing of yoga poses has been proven to be effective to treat disease, as it combines movement, rest and stress reduction as it cultivates subtle awareness,  activating the parasympathetic nervous system Rest and Digest Response. Yoga can help to treat and heal the deepest level of our beings.

This series will explore the yoga as sanctuary for mind, body and spirit.

Yoga Teacher Training in Toronto Canada

What's Yoga Therapy?

One of the fastest growing areas in yoga is the application as a therapeutic modality for physical and emotional conditions. One of the most highly recognized and renowned leaders worldwide in this area is veteran yoga teacher and therapist Cora Wen. She recently shared her outlook and contagious enthusiasm for the field of yoga therapy.

What can I do about Stress?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, Stress management tools can reduce the degree and intensity of your current stress reactions and help you develop skills for preventing additional, harmful reactions.

Stress reactions take five general forms:

  • Subjective experience of distress (feeling tense, anxious, worried, harassed)
  • Physical symptoms in response to stress (such as raised blood pressure, tension headaches, upset stomach)
  • Responding to stress with unhealthy habits (smoking, overeating, and overdrinking)
  • Suffering a decline in performance
  • Increased conflicts with people, or decreased satisfaction in personal relationships

To reduce stress, you must be able to:

  • Be aware of initial signs of stress reaction
  • Develop basic stress management skills
  • Be able to apply the stress management skills in real life