Yoga Therapy for Fear, Treating Anxiety, Depression and Rage with the Vagus Nerve and Other Techniques by Beth Spindler, C-IAYT, ERYT, A Book Review by Mantrini (Helen) Mikuska
“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is fear” …Mahatma Gandhi.
In this book author Beth Spindler, a certified and practicing Yoga Therapist in the greater NY area, brings in yoga philosophy and classical techniques to guide the student toward fearlessness. The approach she uses in medically-proven to help the student find their own inner radiance that can be covered up due to fear and anxiety. She reminds us when fear is actually useful and when it is not.
Spindler shares some lovely yogic techniques in her book. One I really like is a “hand-to-heart kriya” to improve the flow of the udana vayu, (a part of prana or the life force), which can be obstructed by fear. There is a gratitude practice to create a new pattern of thinking to replace those old habit patterns of resentment.
As for asana, Spindler offers several different practices. One is a gentle, fear-free asana practice for osteoporosis or disc issues. She also has a practice for TMJ release (since we clench the jaw so much when we are afraid), and a practice for digestive health (since our stomach gets upset when we are in fear). There is even a stressbuster asana routine.
Throughout the book Spindler keeps bringing in yoga practices beyond asana. She introduces the panchamaya kosha model and how to work with these koshas or sheaths that may be covering the radiant self. She includes mudras that address fear, mantras to gently let go of fear, chakras where we hold fear, meditation to eliminate “worry chatter”, and pranayama (yogic breathing techniques) for the release of stress.
It wouldn’t be complete if post-traumatic stress was not addressed. Spindler offers quick, accessible yoga therapy methods for accessing the vagus nerve, so one can instantly have relief from the symptoms of fear.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone experiencing fear, stress, anxiety or depression. With so many accessible approaches included, everyone is surely going to find something that will give some relief.
Yoga Therapy for Fear is readily available at most booksellers.
Published by Singing Dragon, 2018
PHOTO: Mantrini (Helen) Mikuska, E-RYT500, is an Ayurvedic teacher and SOYA lead trainer in Calgary, AB. She is the owner of Harmony Yoga and Pilates Studio. Helen has over 40 years in the fitness industry, and has been teaching yoga for 16 years.