Local author on how Yoga helped her overcome depression
Yoga has a great deal of physical health benefits. It can help with weight loss, muscle building, endurance and even cardiovascular health. One thing that is somewhat less known, however, is the benefits that it can have for mental health as well.
Local yogi and owner of Revolution Power Yoga in Avon, Julie Kiddoo, has written a book, titled “Bye-Polar: A Journey of Resilience, Power & Freedom,” on her experience with depression and finding healing in yoga.
Kiddoo was hospitalized twice for depression — once in her senior year of high school, and again in her first year of college. Both times she was completely catatonic, staring at the ceiling of her hospital room.
While Kiddoo eventually was discharged from the hospital, she would continue struggling well into her adult life.
One particular year, Kiddoo was going through quite a bit — her husband had switched jobs and her father-in-law was very sick — and her depression was lingering.
A friend begged Kiddoo attend a yoga class with her, but at first, she refused.
“I always thought that people that meditate were weird,” Kiddoo said.
However, when she finally agreed to attend, things clicked.
“We were in (the) savasana (pose), I had a towel on my face and ‘Amazing Grace’ began to play, and I just started bawling,” Kiddoo said. “I knew I had to start taking care of myself.”
Fast forward through countless yoga practices and an instructor training to Jan. 18, 2012, and Kiddoo opened a yoga studio of her own, Revolution Power Yoga. The studio is now located in the Traer Creek Plaza in Avon.
“I wanted the community to know that they have a place to come, and that they’re not alone,” Kiddoo said. “And to know that they have a home.”
The yoga practiced at Revolution Power Yoga is mindful and prepared to cater to a person’s mental health needs. Kiddoo pointed out that faster movement is healthy for those suffering from anxiety, while slower movements cater to depression. Of course, breath work and restorative yoga are practiced, as well as Baptiste power, which is where Kiddoo found healing and hope.
Today, the studio has a team of over 50 individuals, and practices five core values: community, discovery, integrity, possibility and courage.
After her discovery of yoga and healing, her sister-in-law suggested that Kiddoo find a way to share her story, as Kiddoo’s young niece was surrounded by middle school-aged friends suffering from depression and self-harm.
After about four years, Kiddoo decided to take her sister-in-law’s advice and start a blog. However, upon starting the blog, Kiddoo knew that her experiences would play out better as book. Three and a half years later, “Bye-Polar” is ready for release.
The book recounts her experiences with depression and her journey to healing herself through yoga.
Kiddoo is also getting creative when it comes to supporting mental health with yoga. She’s partnering with SpeakUp ReachOut, an organization dedicated to fighting suicide in the valley, for a training called Prevention and Postvention for those either suffering themselves or know someone suffering.
Additionally, Kiddoo offers deals for teens, noting that the rising suicide rates in the valley are somewhat of an anomaly.
“I don’t really know how (suicide) became an option,” Kiddoo said. “What’s missing to make these kids kill themselves?”
Kiddoo suggested that it might be related to the idea that resort towns are utopia-like, when in reality, those living here go through the same struggles as everyone else.
Talk it through
Kiddoo’s book will be celebrated at a release party at The Bookworm of Edwards on Friday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. The event will include a discussion with Kiddoo and a Q&A. Kiddoo’s mother will also be at the event to serve as a resource to parents of those struggling.
“(My mother) is the number one reason that I found healing,” said Kiddoo. “She never gave up on me.
The event will cost $10, and will include appetizers and a book signing.
“Sharing is important to me because it’s how I grow,” said Kiddoo of publishing her book and the launch party. “And it’s how others grow.”
Those struggling with mental health issues can find not only community, but individualistic tools through yoga and mediation practices with Kiddoo at Revolution Power Yoga by emailing info@revolution