08 Yoga and Depression with Chris Calarco
I first interviewed Chris in episode 5, Integrating Mind and Movement. In his first episode, we talked about his background, his yoga teachers, and answered some questions from his regular students. This episode was a little bit different. In a recent one of his workshops, before we started class, Chris talked to us about the recent celebrity suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. Our small group discussed the fact that many people, including several in the room, came to yoga help with anxiety or depression, or because the philosophy attracted them. I came to yoga more through the physical asana practice and I’ve been fortunate enough to not have suffered from depression or chronic anxiety, so I thought this episode would be helpful for two audiences. First, to let those that do struggle with mental health issues know that they’re not alone and hear from someone who has used yoga and meditation as a part of his treatment, and second, to give a window into this experience for those like me so that we may understand it better.
A Note About the Episode
Chris and I talked about the intersection of depression and yoga, and specifically about his own personal experience. I shared some things, too, things I haven’t really shared with anyone but my husband,so it’s a very honest and vulnerable conversation. I usually edit the Podcasts at least to decrease some of the long pauses that can happen when people are thinking about what they want to say or sometimes there’s some noise in the background that I want to get rid of or something like that.
I didn’t edit this podcast at all. and I wanted to leave the pauses intact so that you could be transported into that conversation yourself and really feel the thoughtfulness behind the things we shared that day. So if you hear some really long pauses don’t worry your podcast player didn’t stop playing; it’s just the natural course of the conversation.
Resources for Mental Health Help
If you know someone who suffers from depression, please share this episode with them. It’s really important that we talk about it. A big theme in this conversation was connecting with one another. Chris talked about how it can be very very difficult for a person suffering from depression to reach out to somebody else. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to somebody that’s not in our immediate circle. If you or someone you love needs to talk to someone, there are hotlines that you can call to talk to someone that knows what you’re going through – anonymously, confidentially. You can also call to get more information about depression and resources that are out there.
The National Hopeline Network is one that I want to highlight because they have an online chat function in addition to being able to talk to somebody over the phone. Go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org and click on chat button in the upper right corner. Please don’t let the word suicide in the web address sway you from getting help. People can use mental health hotlines for different reasons including finding a mental health treatment center, learning more about treatment options, discussing personal problems, or just talking to someone who understands.
If you’d like to take a class with Chris, you can check his teaching schedule. Follow him on Instagram @calarcoyoga and if you’d like to reach out over email, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources Mentioned in the Podcast
Towards the end of the episode, Chris mentioned some books that have helped on his journey. They’re listed below in case you want to check them out. Enjoy the reads!