I tossed around the idea of publishing this article for quite some time for fear of judgment from my teachers and fellow yoga school students. Considering that a major principle of yoga is non-judgment, and realizing that Iím part of the most supportive and loving community I know, Iím not too concerned about this anymore. I decided to publish this article so that those struggling with anxiety might be encouraged to try yoga. I have also decided to publish this article in the hopes that students who have experienced this place in their practice would know that they arenít alone. This is also for those who have been in this place but didnít know how to define it.
I have been practicing Bikram Yoga for four years. Bikram Yoga is a sequence of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, practiced in a 105 degree room and 40 percent humidity for 90 minutes. I began this practice as a depressed 13 year old, and this yoga has changed my life. Because this yoga practice has saved me from depression, I want to sustain it. So, when I reached this place in my life where anxiety became the highlight (which is very new to me) it was terrifying.
The sheer force of that fear made me initially title this article ďWhen the Joy Escapes the Practice,Ē but like my anxiety, my practice, and my life, this article too has grown and become a homage to a terrible event that gave me back something I thought Iíd lost.
ďDopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brainís reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine is the brain chemical that allows us to have feelings of bliss, pleasure, euphoria, drive, motivation, focus, and concentration. In addition to simply making you feel good, dopamine helps control weight, energy levels, and supports brain and heart health. Increasing dopamine is known to improve cognitive function, particularly attention and memory tasks. Dopamine is easily oxidized. Foods that are rich in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables may help protect dopamine-using neurons from free radical damage.
When your brain is forced to function on insufficient amounts of dopamine, you become more likely to experience a range of health problems such as weight gain, depression and involuntary body movements.
Depression is mainly a product of genetic factors, however the causes can also be due to the social and emotional life of a person. While most people with severe depression will take prescription antidepressants, but anti-depressant medications are pricey and they come with extreme side effects that can include suicidal thoughts, weight gain and personality changes. The good news some people with less severe depression may be able to treat their illness with natural antidepressants.
11 Natural Antidepressants Foods That Are Better Than Popping Pills
This might sound a little too simplistic, but believe it not, this humble veggie is great for your brain. Itís a great source of vitamin B6, protein, and calcium which all promote relaxation and a happy mood. Broccoli is also great to reduce anxiety, insomnia, and can help reduce sugary cravings.
The compound curcumin is found in turmeric, a spice commonly used in the Indian curry. Itís packed with antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and free radicals in the body, and now it may help to ease depression symptoms as well.
The anti-depressive effects of gingko biloba have been studied and has been proven to be effective in treating mild to moderate depression. Gingko Biloba helps to improve oxygen and blood flow to the brain, helping to reduce symptoms of cerebrovascular insufficiency (decreased blood flow to the brain) which normally results in tinnitus, headaches, depression, short-term memory loss, carelessness and lack of alertness.