February 17, 2014

Transformative Yoga: Facing Depression & Accepting Healing. ~ Simone Aguilera Romig

Yoga for Depression by Simone Aguilera Romig

Before I began practicing yoga almost two decades ago, I had heard the word “transformative” occasionally tossed around to describe the practice.

It’s not that I doubted the enormous possibilities within this ancient practice; I just never realized that the transformation about to occur would be colossally baffling.

After coming in and out of depression during my mid-twenties, I realized my suffering needed a sentient path toward healing. In other words, the symptoms of my disease were not responding entirely to traditional medicine. Having said that, I am a firm believer in traditional medicine. My life without Zoloft would not be a decent one. However, I needed more than the clinical remedy to soothe the daily struggle I felt inside me.

My first yoga practice was filled with insecurities and fears, as well as with hopes and needs. Arguably, these are emotions we all deal with at one point or another over the course of our lives. Sometimes emotions on opposite ends of the spectrum entwine, making us feel confused and lost. Other times we are fortunate to have a patterned bombardment of struggles.

To me, yoga practice represents a mini experience of life’s journeys—it enables me to embrace it all and keep it under control. Yoga gives me the skills to maneuver through these smaller scale challenges. Ultimately, I take the lessons I learn and apply them outside my comfort zone (studio) and away from my security blanket (mat).

Clueless about what was going to happen at my first yoga class many years ago, I realize now that I was given the opportunity to begin dealing with all of life’s conundrums in a room full of strangers breathing loudly, sweating profusely and demonstrating an awkward fondness for a rubber mat.

In yoga practice, the sense of vulnerability that frightens most people becomes a welcome predicament. It encourages us to be one with every aspect of the Self and inspires us to develop self-acceptance. All the turmoils locked deep inside and rotting our organs are released through twists and openers. The wringing out of all impurities is not optional—one must let go.

Today, I continue my daily practice very much like the day I first stepped into a yoga studio. The difference, however, lies in my efforts to continue creating a foundation to overcome my darkest thoughts and my most debilitating emotions.

Because Yoga is transformative, I find myself in a constant process of creating happiness out of life’s most absurd moments—on and off my cushy mat.


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Assistant Editor: Kathryn Rutz / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Courtesy of the author


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