Yoga Interventions to Shift Depression Along with the pandemic, mood disorders have reached epidemic proportions. Depression is four times more prevalent than it was before the pandemic when 40 million Americans reported suffering from anxiety and depression. This is affecting young adults at even higher levels and deaths from drug overdose and suicide in that population are skyrocketing. There are simple practices from the yoga tradition that can be effective in bringing us into balance and many don’t require a yoga mat or previous yoga experience. When I founded LifeForce Yoga in 2004, it was to make these practices accessible for those without a yoga background who might not find their way to a yoga studio or who might not [...]
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So far Liz has created 35 blog entries.
My heart is full! Last week's launch of my new YOGA FOR YOUR MOOD CARD DECK has been gratifying. So many of you have reached out to say it's making a difference in your life. As someone who suffered from an anxiety-based depression for many years, I know personally the relief that yoga can bring. That's why I have been teaching and writing about it for nearly thirty years. Portable mental health is key in these troubling times. We all need some relief, and these short, powerful interventions can shift your mindset. I love seeing your images, please keep those photos coming - it's wonderful to see them near and far. Here is a recent article I penned for the Yoga [...]
Dear Ones, My heart is full of love, and excitement, and my head is in a tizzy! Next week, I will be seeing my beloved daughter and three grandchildren, the third of whom I have only met on video calls. Over these past 18 months, they have celebrated birthdays, graduations, recitals and other momentous events. Since they live in Canada, I have missed out on it all. Finally, after so many missed moments, we'll reunite for 6 days on Coney Island! Will I be able to keep up with their buoyant little-kid energy and enthusiasms? My daughter is competent, so I trust her to arrange their Kosher food needs, as I usually screw up some of that. I also don’t [...]
Here I am in my happy place, right? Right. And yet, I wish I could transplant this dreary weather to the Sonoran desert that needs the rain and humidity so desperately. This morning, the skies are gray. Again. In the 13 days since I arrived, there hasn't been a beach day. So, like everything else that seems to disappoint, I need to look at my expectations, which are always the source of my suffering. When I do that, I can also see the gifts hidden in the gray. First, there is the great privilege of taking a vacation. What a gift it is to me to reconnect with dear friends on the East Coast in balance with the lovely solitude [...]
Dear Ones, Despite or because of the many rainy days since I arrived in Rhode Island, the waters of Narraganset Bay nourish my soul. I am blessed to begin my day with a standing practice surrounded by water. This is Naragansett Bay. :) We can’t always be on vacation in our happy place, so it’s vital to cultivate a healing practice wherever we wake up in the morning. Click below for the 3rd video in my Metro Meditations series that I recorded in downtown Tucson before I left. These quick videos are short, potent interventions, doable anywhere, anytime for a quick shift. This is a working vacation for me. Yesterday, after lunch with old friends, I finished a second draft of the screenplay for Temple Dancer and, along with [...]
Dear Ones, Mood happens. We all know this, because though many of us have been vaccinated, none of us have been immunized against our shifting moods over these last 15 months. Even if we're not clinically depressed or anxious, we've known depression, lethargy and panic. Although there's no replacement for therapy, be it psychotherapy or yoga therapy, there are some really quick, effective ways to shift your mood in the moment. That's what my new YOGA FOR YOUR MOOD DECK from Sounds True is all about. It's a quick entry to therapeutic practices and self-regulation skills for every body. The Yoga for Your Mood Deck has already been recognized as an important contribution in this review, and I'm grateful [...]
Dear Ones, Research tells us that intense grief can alter the heart muscle so much that it causes "broken heart syndrome," increasing the risk of heart attack 21 times after the loss of a loved one. On the other hand, feelings of love, whether for a child, a lover, a four-legged being, a spiritual teacher or the Divine increase feel good hormones like oxytocin, prolactin and dopamine. We feel as though the heart expands with love. We live in times where protection, be it a mask, a vaccine, or fear of the other makes us feel constricted. More than ever, we need practices that open the heart to love, that connect us to others and to the Divine as we [...]
Dear Ones, I’m elated today! Most of you know how I suffered from depression for many years until yoga and meditation transformed my life. Well, writing fiction has been a lifetime journey, fraught with rejection, which did not help my depression, as well as gratifying personal reward. Having so many dismissing letters like this one: “Oh I loved this book and I stayed up all night reading it, but it’s not for us,” one editor wrote my agent. The editors usually end their letters with, “Best of luck finding a home for this excellent novel.” Now, I am thrilled to tell you about my collaboration with the actor Daisy Fair to bring Temple Dancer’s principal character Saraswati to life on [...]
Many of us are vaccinated. As we begin to emerge from these months of hypervigilance and begin to dine out, to gather with friends and family, and to listen to live music, life is not as we knew it. A sense of isolation may linger. We are cautious, concerned about mask-wearing when they are no longer mandatory and about social distancing. This caution can contribute to a feeling of disconnection from our friends, our families, our communities, even from ourselves. That’s why tapping into that which is changeless is part of my daily routine. There are many portals I can open to sink into that boundary less sense of Oneness, and so can you. There is the absorbed state of artistic [...]
As our hemisphere turns to spring, the thermometer registered 95F in Tucson. The desert is filled with birdsong, lizards, and ocotillo blooms. And yet amidst all the beauty, all the renewed energy of emergence, depression can linger. Do you sometimes feel like a late bloomer, the 'not yet ready for prime time' one? Friends have had varying reactions to the vaccine. Covid has taken its toll on some dear to me. We are on the other side now, and I am grateful. Throughout, my practice has been my anchor. Here is a pose that helps me face each day with renewed energy and trust. After practicing, I feel brighter and ready for what life brings. I hope you will too. [...]