Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way

Creating Happiness with Meditation, Yoga, and Ayurveda


1. Depression, Mental-Alternative treatment. 2. Medicine, Ayurvedic. 3. Hatha yoga. 4. Meditation.

Just with Paypal

Book Details
 291 p
 File Size 
 1,204 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 978-0-470-28631-9 (pbk.)
 by Nancy Cullen Liebler, Ph.D.,
 and Sandra Moss, M.S.P.H.

The ancient, timeless wisdom of Ayurveda, the science of life,
focuses on the human being. According to Ayurveda, every
individual is indivisible—undivided, total, complete—a unique
expression of universal consciousness. Within this life, there is a beautiful
amalgamation, which is the union between energy and matter, or
rather, the union among the body, mind, and conscious principle.
In the human body, every single cell is a center of awareness and
is a functional unit that contains its own intelligence called mahat.
Furthermore, there is a beautiful communication taking place among
cells—this is the fl ow of intelligence, also known as prana. Prana is a
bridge among the body, mind, and consciousness. It is the manifestation
of consciousness into the great fi ve elements—space (also known as
ether), air, fi re, water, and earth. These elements operate at the cellular
and physiological level. The structural aspect of the body is governed by
ether (or space), air, fi re, water, and earth. However, the functional aspect
of the body is governed by the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Prakruti is an individual’s unique constitution, his or her unique
genetic code. The model of prakruti in Ayurveda speaks a great deal
about the interplay of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and how they govern
our psychophysiology and psychopathology. Over time, however, the
bodily doshic ratio of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha can change, and that
altered state is called vikruti. We are constantly exposed to external
environmental changes—diet, lifestyle, relationships, jobs, even seasons.
These changes are constantly bombarding the body, and the
doshas react in the form of doshic aggravation. This is a crucial point
where the disease process begins. Vikruti, the altered state of the doshas,
can happen on either a physical or mental level.
This beautiful book, Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way, explains
the interplay among the three doshas. Nancy Liebler and Sandra Moss
have nicely blended Ayurvedic philosophy into their unique work in
the psychological fi eld.
The many faces of depression refl ect qualitative and quantitative
changes in Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. When Liebler and Moss speak
about the broken brain, they are mirroring the Ayurvedic concept that
biochemical disorders can create a khavaigunya, or defective space, in
the manovaha srotas, which is the mind-body connection mechanism.
Manovaha srotas are the psychoneurological channels through which
thoughts, feelings, and emotions fl ow continuously between the body
and the mind. When these channels become blocked, a defective space
is created that permits the doshas to accumulate and create psychological
problems. Depression is one of these problems.
Nancy Liebler and Sandra Moss have taken the wisdom of Ayurveda
and elegantly integrated it with yoga and meditation in this book, creating
a healing modality that addresses the whole person. Every sentence
of this book breathes the truth of spiritual awakening so that the chemistry
of happiness can unfold by metabolizing life, processing matter,
and digesting the emotions—all of which creates the chemistry of happiness.
If we pay complete attention to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions,
a transformation takes place—and through that transformation,
we can awaken our own physician within.
Ayurveda explains that every person is a good healer; the body knows
how to heal itself. Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way offers a new
dimension to healing oneself. It teaches us a very simple and practical way
to live without suffering from depression. It is my wish that great joy, happiness,
and healing energy will unfold in your heart as you read this book.
—Vasant Lad, B.A.M.& S., M.A.Sc.

By picking up this book, you are in good company. You are
among the 40 percent of Americans who are, according a report
in the Journal of the American Medical Association , regularly accessing
care from outside the Western medical tradition. People are increasingly
seeking treatment based on a paradigm that goes beyond the reductionist
view of the human body.

This book is about Ayurveda — the original and ultimate form of
mind - body medicine that is the traditional system of medicine in
India — and its power to eradicate the root of depression. The central
theme of Ayurveda is that nature and the mind - body are aspects of a
single continuum of intelligence. Vedic knowledge (dating from India ’ s
Vedic civilization, thousands of years ago) explains that what exists in
the macrocosm of the natural world also exists in the microcosm of
human physiology — in other words, the human mind - body and the
natural world are refl ections of each other.

According to Ayurveda, human physiology is an ecosystem in which
a stressor on any one aspect of the being affects every other aspect.
Research in Western medicine is currently validating this concept that
has come to us from the ancients. For instance, psychoneuroimmunology
(PNI) informs us that the systems of the body are interrelated
and that they communicate with one another through messenger molecules.
PNI is considered to be one of the most exciting fi elds in modern
medicine. Studies in this fi eld have taught us that, in a very basic
sense, our health is the direct result of the relationship between the
mind and the body.

The knowledge that has come to us from the Vedic sages and from
PNI informs us that the body is the outward manifestation of the
mind, of awareness or consciousness. PNI proposes that we can no
longer consider the mind as one thing and the body as another, or
mental health as separate from physical health. This is new information
for us Westerners, who are often inclined to believe that if we are
depressed or anxious we should just “snap out of it.” That isn ’ t the
case. We can no more snap out of emotional diffi culties than we can
snap out of physical challenges. We need practical techniques to eradicate
the root of depression and anxiety. This is where Ayurveda comes
into the picture.
Refi ned techniques that help to bring balance to the mind - body
were developed thousands of years ago. These techniques are available
to us today, and they have never been needed more. Depression
is growing by leaps and bounds in every industrialized country in the
world. It is considered to be the “ common cold ” of mental illness.
Since depression is caused by a nexus of issues, the likelihood is that
there will never be a one - size - fi ts - all “ magic bullet ” that will be a cure -
all. Instead, monitoring one ’ s lifestyle is and always will be the best way
to ensure physical, emotional, and mental health. We wrote this book
hoping that it will give you what you need to make the changes necessary
to enhance your health and ultimately your happiness.

We urge you to remember that Ayurveda is compatible with
Western medicine. Whatever Ayurvedic interventions you add to your
lifestyle will simply enhance your well - being. We hope that you’ll take
the suggestions we make to heart and implement them, and that they
will, indeed, help you to prevent or undo depression in your life. You
deserve to live your life to its fullest, happiest, and healthiest every
single day. Your life can only be what you make it. Make it yours and
make it great!
We wish you the full realization of your birthright: perfect health and happiness.

Table of Contents
Foreword by Vasant Lad, B.A.M.&S., M.A.Sc. vii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1

1 Beyond the Broken Brain 7
2 Why Depression Happens 23
3 The Many Faces of Depression 31
4 Airy Depression 44
5 Burning Depression 52
6 Earthy Depression 62
7 Metabolizing Life 70
8 Consciousness Becomes Us 82

9 Meditation: Transcending Darkness 99
10 Breathing: Letting Your Life Force Flow 123
11 Exercise: Moving Your Spirit 143
12 Yoga: Posing for Life 160
13 Sleep: Recharging Your Life Force 188
14 Food: Nourishing Rites 216
15 Now What? 252

Appendix: Authors’ Evaluation of the Mind-Body
Questionnaire: Assessing Our Imbalances 267
Resources 269
Index 271


Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey
Published simultaneously in Canada
Drawings by Chris Houghton

Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that
appears in print may not be available in electronic books. For more information about
Wiley products, visit our web site at www.wiley.com.
DMCA.com Protection Status