I was pleased to be able to attend on Sunday, 4 November what was a wonderful gathering of therapists to hear the latest research findings from the US where the benefits of yoga, deep breathing and meditation were reinforced in the treatment of anxiety, stress and depression as well as post traumatic stress disorders.
Yoga practice is recommended because it has greater impact on anxiety than normal exercise since individuals feel better when they do these positive lifestyle activities and thoughts and feelings can be positively changed through breath. (See my notes on yogic breathing.) It has been shown that there are significant improvements in areas of revitalization, tranquility and physical exhaustion.
Lead speakers Patricia Gerbarg (Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychiatry at New York Medical College) and Richard Brown (Associate Professor in Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons) highlighted the various areas in which yoga breathing can play a significant role in future i.e. :
- Stress related medical conditions :inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular and autoimmune ( arthritis)
- Disaster relief and community resilience
- Children under stress : home, school, hospitals, clinics, war, social violence
- Psychosocial systems : patient, family, caregivers, medical staff, teachers parents.
The strong message is that the conscious use of your breath will maintain concentrated focus and present moment awareness.