Overcome Depression With Yoga
Depression can be managed by various yoga practices and by following the yogic way of life. According to scriptures, bliss is inherent nature of all beings. But in our day to day life, we have lost this inner connection to our own source of joy and bliss. In Sanskrit, the word for health is Swasthya which comes from two root words Swa which means Self and Stha which means centered. Swasthya essentially means established in ones own Self. According to the spiritual texts, the nature of the Self is Sat-Chit-Ananda or Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. So Ananda or bliss is our inherent nature. Yet, we tend to forget this and indulge in depressive thoughts.
The first step to overcome depression is to understand the basic fact that happiness is our true nature. As embodied beings we have a source of inner bliss, which we might have ignored all our life. But, this inner joy can be tapped into by creating an inner connection with our own inner Self. This understanding gives a positive approach to life. It makes us aware of our inner thoughts and conditions. We constantly become aware of our negative thought patterns and will be able to overcome it by asserting our real nature which is full of bliss.
Apply Yoga Philosophy In Your Life Stay Happy And Enjoy Every Moment
Knowing and applying the ancient yoga knowledge in daily life, which talks about some simple yet profound principles of yoga, can be the secret to happy and healthy living. For instance, the Santosha principle teaches the value of contentment. The Aprigraha principle can help us overcome greediness or the desire to keep possessing more, which can be a reason for stress and anxiety. Also, the Shaucha principle talks about the cleanliness of the mind and body. This rule can particularly help if you tend to get too anxious about catching infectious diseases.
The yamas and niyamas of yoga will also help us eat nutritious food and live a healthy lifestyle which significantly contributes to overcoming anxiety and stress. To understand the yoga philosophy, you may consider reading Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankars commentary on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.
How To Do The Utthita Trikonasana Or Extended Triangle Pose
Stand upright and make a convenient distance between your legs . Rotate your right paws to 90 degrees and left claws to 15 degrees.
Bring the center of your right heel into the center of the rotation that is formed with your left foot. Make sure your claws are pressing the ground and the body weight is equally on both legs.
Take a deep breath inward, turn your body right, move your body downwards from the hips, keep the waist upright, lift your left hand up in the air and move the right hand down to the ground. Thus keep your two hands parallel.
Place your right hand on the heel or keep your waist without bending, as much as possible. Pull your left hand towards the roof and bring it into the parallel of the shoulders. Put your head in the middle, center the eye sight towards the palm.
Always remember that your body should folded from the edge. It should not tilted forward or backward. Buttocks and thorax completely remain in open position.
Stay stable and maintain a maximum stretch in the body. Take a deep breaths and relax the body with every breath that goes out.
Thereafter, inhale, rise upwards, bring your hands downwards and straighten the legs.
Repeat the process in same way on the other side also.
Do not do this posture if you are suffering from migraine, diarrhea, hypertension, neck or back injury.
|Read Now: 10 Natural Weight Loss Tips Without Gym or Exercise.|
Read Also: How Many Calories Does An Hour Of Yoga Burn
Yoga Is A Mindful Practice
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can have an extraordinary effect on depression. Author and psychologist Daniel Goleman explains, The combination of mindfulness and cognitive therapy is what makes MBCT so potent, as mindfulness helps you notice your feelings and cognitive therapy helps you work through them.
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them. In yoga classes, the teacher often encourages you to focus on your breathing, observe sensations in the body, and become aware of your thoughts or emotions. Practicing mindfulness on the yoga mat can provide you with tools to incorporate into your daily lives.
Kundalini Yoga For Depression
The contents of this article is not to be considered medical advice. This is only a yogic and energetic viewpoint. If you or someone you know suffers from a serious medical condition, you should consult with a doctor.
Approximately 19 million Americans suffer from some form of depression. Just about every person on earth has dealt with depression at some point in their lives. One can experience short term depression or even long term clinical depression. Many know the feeling of depression all to well you can feel sad, unmotivated, disconnected, helpless and that you have no energy. When in depression, there doesnt seem to be any reason to get out of bed and existence is futile. For some, depression affects their every day lives to the point where they have to call out of work and lock themselves away from others.
There can be many reasons for depression that can stem from genetics, chemical imbalance in the brain, repressed memories, and current life events. Substance abuse can also cause depression and make it harder to get out of it. Many emotional reasons for depression can come from unexpressed emotions, inability to handle emotions, stress, grief, loss, etc. Depression can have roots in an unbalanced chakra, for example the 1st Chakra can have to do with acceptance of life 2nd Chakra has to do with connecting with emotions 3rd Chakra has to do with self-worth/ self-esteem and the 4th has to do with love.
Also Check: How To Get Flat Stomach Through Yoga
How Does Yoga Help To Overcome Depression
Yoga has many different aspects to it and many different styles that focus on working on different parts of your body. It is basically a mix of physical movement and meditation the two vital ingredients for treating depression. Meditation can help clear your mind and help you focus on the present. And the physical movements in yoga can help in improving the connection between your body and mind. Breathing exercises are useful when it comes to lowering the symptoms of depression. Those who practice yoga have been known to have higher Heart Rate Variability , which reduces the stress response and increases the relaxation response in the body.
How To Improve Mental Health Through Yoga
As defined by the World Health Organization mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to his or her community. But in this 21st century, several factors disturb the mental health of a person and those factors are a part of individual life. These are something that cannot be removed from life and it depends on upon person to person how they deal with it. But as per the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh there are certain poses or Asanas which can reduce stress and anxiety and help one in improving their mental health.
You May Like: Tight Yoga Pant
Depression And Yoga Therapy
If your autonomic nervous system is balanced out, then the rest of the brain works better
Dr. Chris Streeter, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at Boston University School of Medicine
Anyone who has been diagnosed with depression will meet diagnostic criteria, sharing commonalities with others who suffer with this mental health issue. But despite this, it is still a deeply personal illness, and yoga can be part of a personalised response which takes into account both mind and body.
The experience of depression varies from individual to individual. Depression can develop the wake of difficult circumstances, or it may have no definable cause. Similarly, the illness may last for months, or appear intermittently over the course of decades. Symptoms can also manifest themselves in varying ways for example, one person might be affected by a draining and persistent sense of sadness, but another may experience emotional numbness and lack of interest in life.
Medication is, for many people, a vital and sometimes life-saving intervention, and doctors will often also recommend counselling or other psychological therapies. Yoga therapy offers an additional treatment which can be adapted to the individual needs of the patient, while also empowering them with a tool they can immediately take into their everyday life. This is particularly pertinent considering that people can sometimes wait months for access to talking therapies.
Yoga Asanas For Depression
I have listed here 7 yoga poses that you can practice for depression. These yoga asanas can also help beginners to yoga for anxiety and depression.
1. Balasana: The Child Pose
Balasana or the child pose can help calm your nerves and release the pent-up stress and anxiety from your body. The asana stretches your lower back, hips and helps your body relax. One of the most relaxing and comfortable poses, balasana can be done by following these steps:
Step 1: Kneel while sitting on your heels. Make sure that your toes touch each other.
Step 2: While keeping your hands on your knees, spread your knees hip-width apart.
Step 3: Slowly bend your torso forward with your forehead touching the floor or mat.
Step 4: Bringing your arms forward, place them on either side of your head, palms facing downwards.
Step 5: Stay like this for a few minutes until your body starts feeling relaxed.
2. Sethu Bandhasana: The Bridge Pose
Sethu bandhasana or the bridge pose can help you strengthen your back muscles and back. It can also help you relax and relieve stress, anxiety, and alleviate symptoms of depression. To practice this pose, you need to:
Step 1: Lie back on the mat or floor while keeping your arms on either side, facing down.
Step 2: Lift your legs, fold them at the knees. Make sure that your ankles and knees are aligned to each other.
Step 3: Gently lift your back off the mat and stay like that for a few seconds.
Don’t Miss: Learn To Do Handstand Yoga
Salamba Sirsana With Garudasana
Kneel on the floor. Lace your fingers together and set the forearms on the floor, elbows at shoulder width. Roll the upper arms slightly outward, but press the inner wrists firmly into the floor. Set the crown of your head on the floor.
Inhale and lift your knees off the floor. Carefully walk your feet closer to your elbows, keep your heels elevated. Actively lift through the top thighs, forming an inverted V. Firm the shoulder blades against your back and lift them toward the tailbone so the front torso stays as long as possible.
Exhale and lift your feet away from the floor. Take both feet up at the same time, even if it means bending your knees and hopping lightly off the floor. Turn the upper thighs in slightly, and actively press the heels toward the ceiling . Place the right thigh over the left and either stay there in a half bind or wrap the foot around the calf in a full bind. Press the thighs into one another.
Detox benefits: All types of headstands improve cardiovascular functioning by reducing strain on the heart. Its a wonderful pose to assist people suffering from a depressed immune system and also helps with allergies. Headstands also help increase digestive fire and body heat. They can increase the function of the endocrine glands, especially the pineal and pituitary glands.
Several Factors Can Be Responsible For Depression
- Biochemistry: Differences in neuro-hormonal chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Genetics: Depression can be hereditary. If a direct family member suffers from depression the risk that youll develop it sometime in life is increased by 50-70%.
- Personality: People with low self-esteem who may be vulnerable to stressful circumstances are more likely to experience symptoms of depression.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, physical or mental abuse may be more susceptible to depression.
Recommended Reading: How To Reduce Tummy After Pregnancy
Depression And Anxiety Disorders: Benefits Of Exercise Yoga And Meditation
SY ATEZAZ SAEED, MD KARLENE CUNNINGHAM, PhD and RICHARD M. BLOCH, PhD, East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina
Am Fam Physician. 2019 May 15 99:620-627.
Many people with depression or anxiety turn to nonpharmacologic and nonconventional interventions, including exercise, yoga, meditation, tai chi, or qi gong. Meta-analyses and systematic reviews have shown that these interventions can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. As an adjunctive treatment, exercise seems most helpful for treatment-resistant depression, unipolar depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Yoga as monotherapy or adjunctive therapy shows positive effects, particularly for depression. As an adjunctive therapy, it facilitates treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly panic disorder. Tai chi and qi gong may be helpful as adjunctive therapies for depression, but effects are inconsistent. As monotherapy or an adjunctive therapy, mindfulness-based meditation has positive effects on depression, and its effects can last for six months or more. Although positive findings are less common in people with anxiety disorders, the evidence supports adjunctive use. There are no apparent negative effects of mindfulness-based interventions, and their general health benefits justify their use as adjunctive therapy for patients with depression and anxiety disorders.
How To Do Baddha Konasana Or Cobbler Pose
Sit upright while doing this posture and spread your legs straight.
Now bend your legs in such a way that both legs touch each other. But at this stage, keep your knees straight in the direction of the side.
Now try to bring your ankles to the pelvis. The more pelvis will be as good as you try to bring towards the ankles.
Now try to touch your thighs to the ground. During this posture, slowly take the breath inside and leave.
Those who have pain, injury or who have problems with the groin or have a groin injury in their knees should avoid this posture.
|Read Now: Magical Quantum Exercise with the Power of Yoga.|
Read Also: How Long Do Yoga Mats Last
How Common Is Depression
Depression is considered to be a mood disorder that causes a person to experience a lot of sadness and grief for extended periods that have nothing to do with what is going on in their lives. People with depression experience extreme sadness and loss of appetite.
About 300 million people around the world suffer from some type of depression, making it a common problem. There are many types of depression that a person can suffer from, namely, major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder , seasonal affective disorder , and atypical depression.
The Benefits Of Bikram And Hatha Yoga
In one study â conducted by Lindsey Hopkins, Ph.D., of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center in California, and colleagues â involved 23 male veterans.
Twice weekly for a total of 8 weeks, each participant engaged in a session of hatha yoga, which is a type of yoga that focuses on a combination of physical exercises, meditation, and breathing exercises.
The researchers found that participants who had high scores on a depression scale prior to the 8-week yoga intervention demonstrated a significant reduction in depression scores after the 8 weeks.
What is more, participants were found to enjoy the practice, rating enjoyment of the sessions as 9.4 on a scale of 1 to 10.
In another study of 52 women aged 25 to 45 years, Sarah Shallit â of Alliant International University in San Francisco, CA â and colleagues randomized more than half of the participants to twice-weekly sessions of Bikram yoga for a total of 8 weeks.
Bikram yoga â popularized in the 1970s by Indian yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury â is a type of yoga consisting of 26 postures.
The remaining study participants were wait-listed for the Bikram yoga sessions for 8 weeks, and they acted as the controls.
The depression levels of both groups were assessed at four time points: at study baseline, at weeks 3 and 8, and at 1 week after the yoga sessions had ceased.
Don’t Miss: Vinyasa Yoga Calorie Calculator
Yoga For Depression And Anxiety: Take The Next Step
The ancient practice of yoga is quite beneficial for depression, anxiety, and other common mood disorders.
Some of the known ways in which yoga works is by slowing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, increasing brain volume, and normalizing stress hormones and brain chemicals that are integrally linked to mood.
You can start experiencing better mental health today by trying the yoga poses presented on this page.
But be forewarned, yoga can often be a gateway practice one that puts you on a path to a generally healthier lifestyle.
Setu Bandhasana Or Bridge Pose
In this posture, the body becomes in the same shape as the bridge, so it is called Bridge Pose. Make the posture for 1-2 minutes. It strengthens and relaxes the back muscles. Stretch the back, chest and neck. Makes the mind anxious and relax from the stress. Opens the lungs and fixes the problem related to thyroid and improve digestion.
Read Also: How To Carry Yoga Mat
These 5 Effective Yoga Poses Can Reduce Symptoms Of Depression
|Listen to this article|
Are you often engulfed by feelings of worthlessness? Is getting out of bed becoming a task for you? Do you feel like you have no future? These are some things that could point towards depression.
If this is how youve been feeling, you might find some relief by practising yoga. When it comes to this age-old system, it is so important to remember that yoga isnt just for physical health but also contributes to improving mental health.
Yoga has shown its efficacy in multiple things like weight loss, cognitive behaviour, physical ailments, and mental health is another thing that yoga can take care of.
There have been multiple studies published in journals like PLOS ONE, International Journal of Preventive Medicine, Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, and more that have noted that yoga has shown promising results when it comes to depression and anxiety.
Thats why, weve got in touch with Grand Master Akshar who is a yoga expert, to help us understand why some poses in yoga are paramount when it comes to depression and anxiety.
But before you begin on this yoga journey, please bear in mind that ease poses can ease your depressive symptoms but cannot cure your depression. If you do have depression, please seek professional help.
Here are the five yoga poses that you can do regularly to fight depression: