Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are patterns that reduce our ability to live a life of ease and joy. Yoga allows us to change those patterns so that we may live and breathe more fully.

Many people experience depression and/or anxiety on some level or other, in fact for some it has become so ingrained into their life as to be normal, almost even acceptable. Those who suffer frequently do so in silence, it can be a place that feels overwhelmingly isolating and hard to get out of and yet there is an increasing body of evidence that shows that yoga is able to have a profoundly positive effect on mental health. There are many reasons for this key is the fact that yoga is an integration of the mind and body, using the breath as its anchor yoga brings us back into our bodies, it rewires neural networks and creates a sense of ease within the body.

Yoga brings us bring us back into our bodies through the connection to the breath.


When was the last time you genuinely stopped to hear the sound of your breath, to allow the experience of the body to emerge into your field of awareness? Anxiety and depression causes us to close off and shut down, it creates postural shapes that reduce our capacity to breath, to stand up tall and to be connected to the moment. Many say that they feel stuck, unable to move on and find their flow.


In the practice of yoga we are invited to gently observe the breath, to notice where in the body we feel ourselves breathing and how that feels. The breath is an autonomic function, we do not need to teach ourselves how to breathe but we can teach ourselves to be a curious witness to the breath, in fact the breath is the only function that we are able to control. Through this gentle observation of the breath we can become more aware of the dictatorial nature of the mind, we may witness the thoughts and feelings that race through the head-space and how our breath responds in kind. The combined effect of the breath awareness and the postures allows us to open up the body, to create space and room to breathe, to explore the gentle dance of the inhale and exhale and allow ourselves to experience the natural peace of the given moment.

Yoga can help change the way the brain “thinks” by, over time, creating and strengthening new neurons and neural pathways to help us get out of ruts and stuck old ways of thinking.


Increasingly studies have shown the effects yoga has on our brain and what has been seen very clearly is that the brain is more plastic once was thought. Both through a combination of genetics, culture, education & life experiences our brains develop and neurons are created which have an ongoing impact on every system of the body by sending nerve signals to and from the brain. How the body responds to a potential stressor is determined by how we are wired and whilst we may be inclined to see this as a static and unchangeable aspect of our selves, it is in fact the complete opposite.


Patterns of behaviour and thinking that arise in anxiety or depression of any kind can be rewired and therefore how we move through our life can be changed. The practice of yoga demands focused attention and self-regulation and studies have shown that the neurofeedback helps regulate the balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. A carefully balanced sequence of postures alongside breath control both stimulates and down regulates the nervous system, by creating this within a safe and secure environment the mind no longer feels like it is in danger, providing further positive neurofeedback.



Yoga builds resilience to stress.


The number of people living with anxiety and depression has sky rocketed in recent decades and there are many reasons for this; the continual need to be performing, the loss of communities and increasingly disparate networks, the feeling that others are living the perfect life when you are not, a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of connection to nature. As technology drives forward, advancing how we live in incredible ways, it also leads to a sense of disconnection from what is real, from a life lived in our bodies. The complex pressures of our lives can build up leaving us feeling like we are stuck with no sense of who we are. We lose the purpose to our lives and that can lead to a sense of hopelessness and despair, we lose the ability to find joy and pleasure in our lives.


Through the mindful practices of yoga and meditation we are able to tune into the moment, we can start to see that the ruminations of the mind are entirely based on past experiences and future worries, that the stories we tell ourselves are not real and really all that matters is the current moment. Through this whilst our life may be challenging we are able to develop greater degrees of resilience to stress and the ability to bounce back from difficult experiences.

charlotte yoga-942
Group classes

It is not unusal to experience tiredness, fatigue and to feel generally run down if you are struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety. Aches and pains, headaches, tension and high blood pressure are also common.

It can sometimes be hard to see how things could be different, you could feel overwhelmed and be unsure where to start.


By dedicating time to undertake a nurturing practice such as yoga we strengthen our ability to cope with the demands of life and improve our self-esteem.


Yoga can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of panic attacks and help you manage them so that you can do the things you want to do again.


Each course of classes is run over 8 weeks and it is asked that you try to commit to the full course, the studies show that it takes 8 weeks of continual practice to shift old patterns of behaviour and thinking. You will be invited to develop a home practice through online recordings and hand outs.


It is natural to feel anxious at first however people find this fades significantly after the first session. People find that attending sessions regularly with the same group can be a very therapeutic and healing experience.