Yoga Asanas routines and sequences will be tailored to suit the individual focusing on their personal needs, desires and areas of concern. Yoga asanas have three main benefits for the individual:
Many therapeutic techniques like psychotherapy, counselling and drug therapy help to alleviate psychological conditions and complaints. However, mental health disturbances are still largely apparent and of great concern to the Australian public, with mental health and substance use disorders being the single largest contributor to non-fatal health loss for Australians 29. Yogic Pranayama has been hypothesized as a potent means of alleviating this problem.
"Prana" is breath or vital energy in the body and is responsible for life or life force, and "ayama" means control. So Pranayama is "Control of Breath" and is helpful to achieve a purified, disciplined and one-pointed mind. Pranayama typically involves a short sequence of both bilateral and unilateral nostril breathing. In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Swatmarama explains that a disturbed breath leads to a disturbed mind, hence, to cultivate a steady and quiet breath in order to control the mind and prolong the life 28.
Theoretical data collected from various Yogic texts and findings of recent investigations suggest that Pranayama is an effective means of alleviating irrational impulses and emotional aberrations of the mind by improving psychological functions 21, 25. Physiologically, this is said to be achieved through the balancing of Prana in the nadis. Balanced prana stabilises physical functions throughout the body through 1). the down regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and 2). the reduction in the activation of the sympathetic nervous system 21.
There is ample evidence throughout the literature of the effectiveness of Pranayama not only for mental conditions such as anxiety 1-5 and depression 6-11, but also extensive literature on the anatomical and physiological benefits of the practice such as those on the cardiovascular and cognitive systems 12-19. There are a number of pranayama techniques that can be used to reduce the symptoms of a variety of conditions, for example; Surya Bhedun Pranayama is effective in producing positive emotions and [is] therefore useful for depression 23-24, Bhramari Pranayama has shown to be important for nervous system disorders such as prolonged stress, anxiety and insomnia 25 while also improving levels of self confidence 26, and Bhastrika pranayama is excellent in shortening the severity and duration of the common cold/flu by improving lung function and clearing congestion of the nasal passage 27.
This element of the practice is more psychological in nature and focuses largely on the principle of mindfulness (mindful thought, experience and action) and learning how to integrate mindfulness into our everyday lives using techniques such as; progressive body relaxation, mindfulness meditation and gratitude journalling. Research on mindfulness has shown it to be effective at improving mental wellbeing, behaviour regulation, and interpersonal relationships 20.
The true purpose of yoga (Yog) is to experience deeper transcendence states of existence where the true Self is realised. While the benefits outlined above are likely to have profound effects on the individual, these are merely byproducts of Yog. Experiencing the true purpose of Yog, union of the mind and body, even for very short periods of time, can be deeply transformative for the individual. Hence for some, the benefits of Yog will not end at mere wellbeing, but continue on to be transformative, to bring about a more positive and enriching lifestyle, a new life goal or a deeper understanding of life purpose and identity.
BPsych(Hons) & Registered Yoga Teacher
My aim is to improve the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the individual using a holistic, mind-body model of wellness. I take a philosophical, person-centred approach as I work together with the client to uncover the underlying issue at hand. By identifying the root cause of an issue, I believe we can more readily achieve transformative, lasting wellbeing. Based on the premise that every individual is complex and unique; treatment is tailored and personalised to suit the particular physical, mental, emotional and social needs of each individual.
After completing my Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) at Queensland University of Technology, I travelled to India where I completed my yoga teacher training course. Since then, I have lived between Brisbane, Byron Bay and Melbourne, working both nationally and internationally to integrate my passions in yoga and psychology.
By layering and melding ancient Eastern Yoga philosophy with more contemporary Western models of psychology, the profound principles buried in each of them become clearer and stronger, and an intensity of effectiveness becomes possible. Using a synergistic blend of techniques from both East and West, I believe deeply transformative, whole-self healing is possible.
In addition to traditional Laprana sessions which combine yoga with psychology, pranayama breathing and meditation, Renee also offers private yoga sessions for indivduals in her Northcote studio. She can also come to you.
BPsych(Hons) & Certified Yoga instructor
8am - 9pm Monday-Saturday