Review: Yogic Breathing for Depression

Although depression is a painful affliction, there are many viable options to combat depression, some as simple as breathing techniques. In the CD Breathe to Beat the Blues, Author Amy Weintraub, who struggled with severe depression herself, leads a series of ten yogic breathing exercises, and concludes with a peace-inducing meditation. In one of the tracks, she shares her own personal struggle with depression and her successful recovery using yoga to combat depression.

While a generally thoughtless event in our day to day lives, breathing is a essential for our day to day well-being. Breath isn’t often acknowledged for what it truly is: Life-force. Only when breath is taken away, say as a swimmer heads toward the surface of a lake, is it appreciated for its life-giving ability. When breath becomes constricted and shallow, it is no longer being used to its full potential. The body is not getting the oxygen it needs for optimal functioning, energy is not being replenished properly, and mood often becomes unstable.

“The Yogis believe that we become depressed because we become blocked and constricted,” says Amy Weintraub, founder of LifeForce Yoga and author of Yoga for Depression. “Yoga therapy can help clear the space and remove the constrictions-no matter what form of yoga you’re practicing.”

When looking for help with depression, yogic breathing can provide a solid foundation to generally elevate mood and strengthen the mind. Breathe to Beat the Blues combats depression at its source; even for those who are not depressed, the CD provides yogic breathing exercises to both clear the mind and energize the body. As one reviewer puts it: "The yogic breathing exercises on this CD help transform me in the morning from a fatigued and grouchy gal into my higher self in 38 minutes! Even if I have time to do just 4 exercises, I feel energized, centered, and more clear-headed."

For some, the intention to focus on breathing is not enough to inspire actual practice. Amy’s CD helps establish a daily routine; even if the listener has time for only a few exercises each day, the practice will prove beneficial. Some of the breathing techniques are surprisingly easy to practice throughout the day, even at the office. Many people have found the CD an excellent and life changing investment.