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Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga    by Amy Weintraub order for
Yoga for Depression
by Amy Weintraub
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2003 (2003)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Shannon Bigham

Most of us exercise for a few basic reasons. We want to look better and to keep our bodies in good physical condition. Regular exercise keeps the waistbands of our pants from getting too tight, and physical conditioning permits us to go up a few flights of stairs with a bag of groceries without gasping for breath. Many of us also exercise to help alleviate stress from normal everyday living, and the regular tasks of juggling work, family, children and the myriad of responsibilities that most of us have. Yoga for Depression shows us the benefits of this form of exercise for those who suffer from depression.

More than 25 million Americans (and equivalent numbers in other countries all over the world) currently take antidepressants. The US cost of the drugs alone exceeds $50 billion dollars annually. And many people experience side effects that range from mildly irritating to debilitating. Author and yoga expert Amy Weintraub provides a holistic approach to treating depressions through yoga. Her book outlines various kinds of depression (anxiety-based, major depression, chronic low-level depression, bipolar disorder) so that the reader can identify his or her own symptoms and determine what type of 'yoga system' is appropriate to help. Weintraub offers medical evidence to provide a link between yoga and the alleviation of depression, and she discusses her personal experience of obtaining relief from major depression through daily yoga.

While Yoga for Depression explains certain postures, breathing and meditation techniques, the book focuses more on the philosophy of using yoga to relieve depression, rather than serving as a practice manual. There are a few pictures of Weintraub demonstrating yoga poses, but no detailed explanation of the sequence of postures. The reader will need to seek out further resources (Weintraub provides an extensive list in the back of the book) to practice recommended techniques. Yoga for Depression provides an interesting, holistic alternative for sufferers from depression, and is recommended to those seeking an alternative to anti-depressants.

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