Healing Depression and Anxiety with Yoga

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, pharmacist, therapist, or yoga master. I am not recommending people who are experiencing depression or anxiety stop taking medication and start practicing yoga. I am simply sharing an article and linking to the source of information. I do not benefit financially by sharing this information. I am not an employee, shareholder, or partner of any organization mentioned in this post or the complete article written by Parvati Shallow.

Excerpt of Article by Parvati Shallow  | CBS News

2015-0508 Yoga Slide 3
Clinical psychologist and yoga instructor Bo Forbes. / BoForbes.com

Today’s treatments for depression and anxiety leave much to be desired. Pharmaceuticals may help the symptoms, but they can also have negative side effects like weight gain and decreased sexual desire that may cause people to abandon medication altogether. As cases of depression and anxiety increase throughout the world, research is being conducted to find more sustainable and accessible treatments.

“Despite modern advances in psychopharmacology, and the development of so many integrative forms of psychotherapy, we haven’t made a significant dent in this epidemic of emotional illness,” says clinical psychologist and yoga teacher Bo Forbes.

Anxiety disorders, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting about 40 million adults. If current trends continue, it’s estimated that by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability throughout the world.

With the aim of awareness in mind, Forbes’ classes are not like the typical hot, sweaty Westernized form of yoga that many of us have experienced. Her classes move slowly and are geared toward increasing awareness inside the body. They integrate breath with each movement.

To read the complete article by Parvati Shallow, click here.


Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.

Thanks to Parvati Shallow for writing the article; CBS News for committing its resources to the article; Bo Forbes for adding to the article; National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) for identifying some common types of anxiety disordersCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for providing the supporting statisticsGoogle for helping me find the article; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in the article.


  1. I have problems with depression and have done yoga from time to time. I feel it’s helpful and this is a greater reminder to do it more often. I agree that there is something about combining the mind, body and soul that gives way to less depression and anxiety. In my community they have a free yoga in the park session 2x per day. For me the act of exercise increases the endorphins which allows me to feel better and sleep better. Thanks for posting this

    1. Cheryl, my plan is to try yoga when I can fit it into my schedule. Right now, there is way too many activities in my schedule. I know I need sleep, but I cannot fit that into my schedule either. A reader of my blog, and participant in the Comment Challenge, strongly urged me to participate in yoga.

  2. Scott, I would encourage you to try yoga as a way to work on balance challenges particularly. You may need to try a few different locations to find a suitable studio/instructor, and you probably will need to tailor the parts you participate in. But I’d bet you can get some good out of it. If you want to sample Kundalini yoga there is a little studio in Santa Ana (check http://www.yelp.com/biz/kundalini-yoga-taught-by-ram-dass-bir-singh-khalsa-santa-ana to get an idea of what people going there think about it). Glad I saw this post – it reminds me I need to start going regularly.

    1. Howard, I am tied up this weekend, but I added your note to my calendar. I will contact a few yoga studios on Monday. Thank you. ~ Scott

  3. Hi Scott,

    Yoga has been a powerful treatment for anxiety and depression for me. Twenty or so years ago and long before I knew about my brain injury, a yoga instructor named Dave Monette started a little Kundalini yoga studio in the Portland office building I was working in at the time. I didn’t know a thing about Dave or about yoga, but my life was in a tailspin – failing at both my marriage and my engineering consulting job, and deeply depressed. So I started going after work a couple nights a week and continued after I lost my job. Over time I learned that Dave also had a trumpet shop where he made trumpets for clients like Wynton Marsalis. A key to his success was yoga – specifically Kundalini yoga, which was brought to North America from India, where it had been practiced for centuries. Kundalini teachers use specific combinations of breath, chants and postures to awaken the Kundalini energy at the various chakras, or energy focal points, along the center of our body all the way up to the top of our head. I realize this may sound a bit “out there” but I assure you and your readers it is very real, and I’m glad to see the benefits of yoga making inroads in the medical and research communities. Dave told us the secret to his success came from a message delivered by his cat when he was in one of the deep meditative states Kundalini creates. In his vision, his cat told him it was all in the mouthpiece.(www.monette.net for more on Dave and his trumpets). I give Kundalini yoga a lot of credit for getting me through one of the most difficult periods in my life.

    1. Howard, nothing about your description sounds “out there” to me. I know so little about the type of yoga you mentioned that it would be unfair of me to dismiss it without knowing about it or trying it. ~ Scott

    1. Frank, I have balance,visual, and auditory challenges as a result of my brain cancer and related treatment. I don’t feel anxious or depressed. Do you think it would be worthwhile for me to try yoga? ~ Scott

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *