Yoga Therapy For Stress & Anxiety
I’ve known Bob Butera for a long time now. Back in 2001, when I switched my
grad school focus from Expressive Arts to Yoga for Trauma, I needed a PhD
mentor in Yoga Therapy. Through a series of connections (my brother’s ex-
girlfriend’s mother, if you must know) I got in touch with Dr. Robert Butera
(Bob) of the YogaLife Institute in Pennsylvania. He agreed to mentor my
studies and has been a guide, colleague, and friend ever since.
Over the years Bob has supported me in running Brantford, Ontario’s first yoga
studio, Welkin YogaLife Institute. We worked together in launching
Comprehensive Yoga Therapist Training (along with Kristen Butera and Staffan
Elgelid ) and have brainstormed on many projects. Bob also taught me how
Our most recent endeavour, with the aforementioned Staffan Elgelid, is the
newly-released book Yoga Therapy for Stress and Anxiety (YTSA). We
collaborated on a snapshot of this topic in Staffan’s book Yoga Therapy: Theory
& Practice and have focused on de-stressing our students and trainees for
years. It probably won’t surprise you to know that almost two-thirds of our
students join yoga to help them with stress and anxiety, so we know the topic is
beneficial to you.
Just about everyone feels stress. Nearly all of us have had our stress levels amp
up to anxiety, whether for an anomalous week, months of crisis, or as a chronic
state. College counseling centers are filled with students suffering from anxiety,
depression, PTSD, and related conditions. Working adults are burdened with
constantly being online, on-call, or somehow accessible to their bosses and job
requirements. Even aged people and children report being stressed. Stress is
related to all areas of life and can deeply impact our overall health.
Most healthcare interventions speak in terms of “managing” stress. They talk
about doing relaxation or meditation or exercise with the intention of coping with
high stress levels or anxiety. Although this approach uses various holistic
interventions, it is still only managing the stress rather than actually alleviating it.
YTSA combines simple, real-life examples with practical exercises so that
you can readily apply the ideas. We wrote the book for people of all ages,
experience, and levels of health. Whether or not you are into yoga, the techniques
of the book help you understand HOW to regulate your mental, emotional, and
biological responses to stress. We talk about stress as it relates to relationships,
work, psychology, and physical health. We support you in applying stress
transformation techniques to body awareness, breathing, relaxation, meditation,
nutrition, and your approach to work, personal interactions, and spirituality. If
you feel stress, there are sure to be practices in YTSA that you can use the
techniques to unwind it.
We wrote the book so you can jump into whatever topic relates to your greatest
stress, even if it appears near the end of the book. You don’t even have to read a
whole chapter. Almost every page has a practical de-stressing technique so that
you can customise your stress transformation journey. My main hope is that you
are already inoculated against stress, but if you aren’t, I hope you will check out
Yoga Therapy for Stress & Anxiety. On behalf of Bob and Staffan, I thank
you for caring for yourself and seeking ways to transform your relationship with
stress once and for all.