Simple yoga techniques significantly ease stress disorders so you may take control of life again, says a leading expert.

Simple yoga techniques will significantly ease many of Christchurch earthquake-shaken residents’ post traumatic stress disorders so they can take control of their lives again, a leading expert said today.

Donna Farhi of Rangiora in North Canterbury is a world leader in yoga teaching and she will be hosting yoga therapist Libbie Nelson to present a major two-day yoga symposium at the Bishop Julius Hall by Canterbury University in Christchurch on August 24 and 25.

About 50 people from all over New Zealand and Australia are attending the event.

Farhi says so many people suffer from depression in New Zealand and many more Christchurch residents will feel the anxieties and depression as a result of the September 4 and February 22 earthquakes.

“The Ministry of Health’s website says one in six New Zealanders will experience serious depression at some time in their life. It is one of the most common reason that people are absent from work, or unable to run a home.

“The World Health Organisation estimates that by the year 2020 depression will be the second most common cause of ill health and premature death worldwide. It’s also the most common risk factor for suicidal behaviour.’’
Christchurch has seen a radical increase in people seeking counselling for stress and mental health disorders , most significantly post traumatic stress disorder, that are a direct consequence of the earthquakes.

Farhi said police had also reported an increase in domestic violence and alcohol and drug abuse related crimes which are largely attributed to poor coping strategies of people displaced by the Christchurch earthquakes.

“It is difficult to take command of one’s experience when already in the throes of anxiety and anxiety-driven depression. Simple yoga relaxation techniques such as learning to control and slow the breath or training the mind to refocus can give people the skills to take command of their lives again.
“Research shows that yoga is being used clinically to treat post traumatic stress disorder. The American army is planning on spending $4 million to do further research on using yogic techniques to help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan because of the incredibly positive results seen so far.

Farhi is a yoga teacher who has been practicing for 35 years and teaching since 1982. She is one of the most sought after guest teachers in the world, leading intensive teacher training programmes internationally. Donna will host Australian-based Libbie Nelson to run a two-day anxiety and depression yogic workshop at the Bishop Julius Hall on August 24 and 25.

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