If you’ve ever taken a Peloton class with Anna Greenberg, you probably already know how passionate she is about de-stigmatizing discussions around mental health. You might not understand the significance of this matter to her, though. Greenberg is sharing her background of mental health problems and the roles that therapy and yoga have had in assisting her in getting to a healthier place in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.
According to Greenberg, “I really battled in my late teens and early twenties.” “When I started out strong and declared, “I’m going to do this; I’m going to have my life; I’m going to get immersed in relationships and life and passion,” I would suddenly run into a brick wall and be unable to go on. It was just how I was feeling, not particularly due of anything in particular.” (
She reveals that the obstacles she was running into were mental ones. “I would essentially be unable to show there because I would have extreme anxiety and depression. Thus, everything would disintegrate.” Going outside at one point caused her to feel “very overwhelmed.” “I would simply begin crying when I saw all the pure air. I simply felt incapable of handling life “She goes on.
Greenberg eventually looked for expert assistance. She temporarily tried hospital-based inpatient care before switching to outpatient home care that included daily therapy. From that moment on, “I had a fairly clear goal in mind,” the woman claims. “I desired my own life, close friendships, and the capacity to carry out my desires. Whatever I had to do, I would do.”
Greenberg eventually put together what she now refers to as her “army of confidence,” which consists of her interpersonal connections, a renewed commitment to keeping her promises, and daily yoga practice. “In the end, yoga practice surpassed therapy as the most beneficial thing. It provided me with such amazing perspective, “Greenberg explains. (
She provides an analogy to illustrate the positive effects of yoga on her anxiety and despair. The only thing she could see was herself and all her issues: how she wasn’t good enough and how she couldn’t accomplish “the things she wanted to accomplish,” she says. It felt like she was wearing a helmet with only mirrors inside. However, she explains, “Once I found yoga, it was like that helmet just came off, and I felt so much more connected to something bigger.” “I could get out of my own way and feel that these insecurities, these things, were actually not as powerful as what was preventing me from moving forward.”
Although Greenberg has found yoga to be beneficial for keeping her mental health in check, yoga by itself may not be a successful treatment for mental health issues. Pooja Lakshmin, M.D., a psychiatrist who specializes in women’s mental health and is a member of Peloton’s Health and Wellness Advisory Council , says that because the research about yoga as treatment for depression or anxiety is conflicting, she wouldn’t claim that it could be used as a treatment. However, she continues, “we know that, generally speaking, things like meditation and yoga can be incredibly helpful in terms of managing stress and managing the effects of our busy life.” She draws attention to the ways that these practices can bring awareness to the body and breath.
According to Dr. Lakshmin, mental health care should be based on a holistic program rather than a single strategy, even though yoga may reduce stress levels for some people. “It will undoubtedly involve a combination of strategies. We frequently have to test a variety of alternatives, “Adds her. People may rely on social and community support networks, as well as forms of exercise they enjoy and can fit into their lifestyles, in addition to more conventional mental health therapies like therapy and medication, she suggests. (See: Experts Say Exercise Is Good for Your Mental Health.)
But it doesn’t mean your effort is done if you find a formula that works for you. According to Greenberg, “mental health care and wellness is…something I concentrate on constantly.” She says, “I really try to surround myself with routines, objects, and people who help me remember my aim, which is that I want to enjoy my life.
Although discussions regarding mental health problems and treatments are now more common than they were in the past, there is still work to be done to eradicate the stigma associated with these subjects. Dr. Lakshmin believes that while receiving assistance is frequently mistaken for weakness, it actually strengthens people. (
Greenberg, who is now a well-known Peloton instructor, uses her platform to talk about the problems that so many people experience and to highlight the advantages of getting treatment. She asserts that everyone who is a human being with a human brain and human experiences would benefit from approaching mental health in the same manner they approach physical health. “Being a human is all about having good mental health.”