Meet Bliss Baby Yoga guest teacher Dr Lauren Tober! Lauren is a mother, Clinical Psychologist, Yoga Teacher and specialist in the areas of Perinatal Mental Health, Anxiety and Restorative Yoga.
We spent 5 minutes talking to this inspiring woman, learning more about how she’s using yoga to help alleviate anxiety.
Who are you?
What do you do?
When I’m not teaching on Bliss Baby Yoga’s online trainings or hanging out with my family, you can find me counselling and coaching in Mullumbimby and teaching Yoga Teachers about mental health in my online Mental Health Aware Yoga training.
How has Bliss Baby Yoga been part of your journey?
I first came across Bliss Baby Yoga when I was a few months pregnant with my first child, 12 years ago. My husband and I were both teaching Ashtanga Yoga in Canberra at the time, and we came up to Byron Bay to take the prenatal and postnatal training with Ana Davis and Anna Watts. A couple of years later when I was pregnant with my second child and living in Byron Bay, I joined the Bliss Baby Yoga teaching faculty, and started teaching about postnatal depression, counselling skills and the Highly Sensitive Person. The Bliss Baby Yoga team are like family now, and I’m just delighted to be part of this amazing organisation.
How do you use yoga to help reduce anxiety?
Yoga is a wonderful tool for reducing anxiety. When we’re feeling anxious we really need calming practices like steady breathing and relaxing postures, but these are often very difficult to access when our minds are racing and our hearts are beating a million miles an hour. An effective way to use yoga to reduce anxiety is to meet yourself where you are, by starting with something more physical and energising like doing some sun salutations, and gradually over time slowing the pace down, and finishing with a gentle breath practice or Savasana. If you are feeling really anxious and you start with slow abdominal breathing or Savasana, then you’re likely to feel irritated or triggered by your practice pretty quickly, and it won’t give you the wonderful benefits yoga have to offer.
Anything you’d like to share about using Restorative Yoga therapeutically?
In the Bliss Baby Yoga Online Level 2 Restorative Teacher Training course I teach about how to support your anxious students with Restorative Yoga. One tip is to remember that with anxiety, the mind is usually very busy, ruminating over and over on anxious thoughts. A ruminative mind needs something to focus on. If you don’t give an anxious student something to focus their mind on in a restorative class, it’s likely they’ll spend the whole time ruminating. For example, they might be thinking about what they said wrong at work today, or worrying if they’ve let their child watch too much TV during lockdown, or if the lump in their throat is cancer. It can be incredibly helpful to give your students something to focus their mind on. This might be music, counting the breath, a guided meditation or reading poetry. Be creative!
What’s next for you?
I’m excited to be building a custom built podcasting studio and online yoga training space, to continue to share Mental Health Aware Yoga online. This has been a dream for the past four years, and building starts next week!
What is your current favourite go-to practice to calm and soothe?
My favourite go-to-practice to calm and soothe is supported Child’s Pose. It’s simple, and deeply nourishing. I love it myself, and whenever I share it with my clients or students, they rarely want to come out of it! It’s one of my favourite homework assignments to give my clients (and one that usually gets done!).
Dr Lauren Tober is a mother of two, yoga teacher and clinical psychologist. She is a special guest contributor for our Bliss Baby Yoga Online Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training courses in the area of Perinatal Mental Health, as well as our Online Level 2 Restorative Yoga Teacher Training course, sharing her wisdom on Restorative Yoga & Anxiety.
To learn more about Lauren and her offerings, visit www.laurentober.com
Photo credit Image #2: Drishti Photography
Further Reading related to this topic:
- Dr. Lauren Tober discusses Postnatal Depression
- Extended Exhalation Breath with Dr Lauren Tober
- How Postnatal Yoga Can Support Mental Health (Including 3 Simple Practices) by Maria Kirsten
- Prenatal Yoga for Anxiety by Shannan O’Neill
- Rosie Matheson: introducing women to their wombs and the power of their bodies