How does Yoga help with depression and burnout? First of all I’d like to share my experience with you so you can have more insight in how it helped me, and if it can be helpful to you.
My journey to recovering from depression and (mental) burnout has been a rough, bumpy and emotional ride. If I must be really honest with you, and myself, I’ve had experienced negative emotions and feelings since I was a little kid. The many dead wishes I had, the self-hate and the awful feeling of being lonely. If only I knew back then what I know now.. for example: How does Yoga help with depression and burnout? And how can meditation help with letting go of suppressed emotions?
As a kid I was a victim of child abuse and bullying. School wasn’t my safe place, nor was home. I was that weird kid on the school playground, who was scared easily and had no strength to defend herself properly. The fact that my childhood wasn’t, what we call, normal really defined me as a person (until a few years ago). I felt misunderstood and stupid. Yet there were many people who adored me for the person I was. Those people really saw ‘me’, if you know what I mean.
When I was almost 16 years old, my parents put me in an institution. An open institution, which means I could go to school, was allowed to go out with friends and could go home during weekends. Of course there were many rules to follow, but damn, that place really did me good! The institution became my new home since my parent’s house didn’t feel like that anymore. The household issues between my father and me grew into a very toxic situation, which resulted in me not wanting to return to their house during the weekends. After several months I found peace with living at the institution and felt like having a new home.
Having an awkward relation with your parents isn’t easy. Not being able to connect with your sister is heartbreaking. And not being able to live a normal childhood-life sucks. I used to block out most of my memories from the past as I had no need to recall those awful feelings. But I did remember feeling fear whenever my father was around, even after moving out. I also remembered the many fights and heartbreaking words we’ve shared. I blame him, because I won’t blame my mother. I know she wasn’t raised like this.
The childhood traumas, combined with other life/ school/ work situations caused me to completely break down. One morning in 2015 I woke up for a workday and my body just collapsed. Tears rolled down from my eyes and my body begged me to stop… NOW! That’s the day my body really spoke to me and told me it’s time to take care of myself in order to heal and to become happy. I decided to listen and that’s when my journey to self-care and healing officially started.
I was doing Yoga for maybe 1,5 years and didn’t really understand how to connect with my body. I pushed myself through intermediate to advanced positions, while I was at beginner level. NOT OKAY! The breakdown came with many positive things (which I only realized many years after), including learning to listen to the needs and signals of my body. I decided to reset my Yoga journey and to restart from 0 and just go with the flow of the journey itself. Best decision EVER!
Being able to connect with my mind, body and soul changed my mindset and my vision on life. I realized that my past doesn’t define my future and that I am in control of my life, my well-being and my dreams. Both Yoga and Meditation gave me new insights and a positive(r) mindset. I learned to appreciate the little things in life and became more grateful for what I have and for what’s coming my way.
Yoga can help with releasing feelings of anxiety, depression and (mental) exhaustion. As you learn to move on the movement of your breath, you automatically become more aware of your body and current thoughts. Yoga allows you to live in the present moment and to not focus on the past or future. It also doesn’t judge and it’ll be a different experience for each one of us.
It doesn’t matter what you look like, what you’ve been through, what you like or dislike, if you’re a beginner or advanced yogi, or …
Yoga is YOUR JOURNEY.
As I grew in my yoga journey, I also grew in the process of letting go. It took a long time to heal from negative memories and feelings, but once you allow yourself to be free, it becomes addicting. Freeing your mind and body of that what you no longer need and creating space for yourself and your growing process. Welcoming self-care also allows you to forgive and to move on.
Will it be easy? Nope. But will it be worth it? Oh yes, 100% ! Freeing your mind from being imprisoned is such a relieving experience, and totally worth giving it a try.
I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t enjoy meditation at first. My mind and I weren’t ready for it. Facing my pain and fears was something I’ve been trying to avoid for way too many years. But as my Yoga journey continued and I started teaching my own classes, I became more curious about meditation. Especially guided meditation or doing meditation in nature. Going deeper within and calming the mind gave me an extra push to let go of my deepest heartbreaks, such as my childhood traumas.
The experience itself
I could see myself going down into a spiral of suppressed emotions and, damn, it freaking hurt! It felt like my heart got ripped out of my chest and tears were rolling down from my eyes, but I didn’t stop. No, I knew I had to go through this in order to heal. Of course I needed multiple mediation sessions to fully let go of those suppressed childhood memories, but I managed to do it! It felt freeing and I somehow felt ready to forgive my mother.
And after a few months I also felt ready to forgive my dad. I’ve found comfort in the thoughts that “Maybe they didn’t know any better. At the end I turned up to be a good kiddo who knows what she wants in life, right? *wink*”.
I suggest to NOT start with meditation if you’re in a mental dark place. If you’re not ready to go down the rabbit hole, just start with Yoga only. There are many Yogaclasses on YouTube, such as my Yoga Channel, so you’ll definitely find a teacher that fits with your needs and wishes. Just make sure to pay attention on a proper alignment and to listen to your body. Never ever force yourself into a position. Mind over body-connection!
Yoga definitely helps with releasing negative emotions and feelings. Especially Yin Yoga as this Yogastyle allows you do go deeper into the muscles and body by holding positions for a longer amount of time. Especially the hip and glutes area are places where you could experience an emotional release. This is totally normal as it’s part of the process aka. your journey to self-love.
“Self-care start with you and at Zen With Debby.”
In time you might feel ready or curious to give meditation a try. How will you know? Your mind and body will let you know when that time has arrived. Trust me, you’ll feel when it’s time.
Don’t know where to find a good program or class for Yoga and Meditation?
I’ve got you! You can follow along with our YouTube videos or 14 Day Guided Meditation Program to welcome relaxation and calmness into your life. Our videos can be followed from anywhere and at any moment of the day.
A perfect way to recover from depression and burnout and to release feelings of negativity, anxiety, fatigue etc.. Become Zen With Debby and welcome a happier and better version of your already amazing self!