Vrikasana / Tree Pose
In yoga for depression and anxiety vrikasana or the tree pose is extremely helpful in calming the mind and for easing the anxiety effectively.
This is an easy asana for promoting concentration and developing self confidence.
Powerful Yoga Mudras For Anxiety Depression And Stress
Anxiety, depression, and stress are the emotions we experience from time to time. It brings the feeling of fear, sudden panic, or a constant nagging worry in our minds. Yogic techniques like meditation, mudras, and pranayama work on those same roots from which all these emotions emerged.
Some simple hand mudras of yoga, when practiced with rhythmic breathing and meditation on certain energy centers , have the power to alter the ongoing thought pattern of a person. These hand mudras can become a powerful tool to come out of the anxious moments in the day to day life.
Salamba Sirsasana / Supported Headstand
Salamba sirsasana or the supported headstand is an excellent yoga for anxiety and depression.
This asana is considered as the best asana for boosting the brain power, calming the mind, relieves stress and treats mild depression, headache and insomnia as well.
Recommended Reading: How To Become A Yoga Instructor For Seniors
It Teaches You Ways For Breathing
Yoga helps you become aware of your breathing. When you are in control of your breath, you can deal with panic attacks, which limit your ability to breathe freely. Any time you notice signs of anxiety or you are feeling depressed, pay attention to your breathing using yoga. In short, enhanced breathing reduces anxiety and the impact of panic attacks. Any time you are anxious, try breathing in and out to feel better.
Dysregulation Of Stress Responses
Stress and depression are clearly linked, as stress may precipitate or exacerbate depressive symptoms and depression may be a cause and/or outcome of acute or chronic stress.,â Exposure to chronic stress, whether physical or psychological in nature, has cumulative effects on the body which is referred to as âallostatic loadâ . Under circumstances of physical or psychological burden, the brain activates a neurobiological stress management reaction. In a short-lived situation, this reaction is adaptive and normal, designed to protect the individual from imminent threat. However, when stress is chronic, the individualâs neurobiological mechanisms become dysfunctional. Subsequently, mental and physical health can begin to deteriorate . Sometimes referred to as allostatic âoverload,â permanent injury or disability may occur when the chronic stress exceeds the physical and mental capacity of the individual to cope., Without availability and use of biopsychosocial resources, such as healthy coping behaviors, this can result in psychological and physical health decline leading to psychosocial functioning decline, decreased health-related quality of life, and increased incidence of comorbid conditions.,,â
Recommended Reading: Does Yoga Make You Lose Weight
The Best Type Of Yoga For Anxiety
Additional research sheds light on certain types of hatha yoga that are best for anxiety and depression. For example, Iyengar yoga has been proven as an effective treatment for clinical depression and major depressive disorder.
Iyengar yoga is a practice focused on alignment and often relies on the use of props, such as blocks and straps, to achieve a well-aligned physical posture. Unlike vinyasa yoga, which is a more cardiovascular-intensive, flow-based yoga style, Iyengar yoga focuses on longer holds.
As a result, students of Iyengar spend more time focusing on breath and mental awareness, which helps cultivate peace and calm.
In a study on 30 people with clinical depression, three months of high frequency and low frequency yoga significantly improved the major symptoms of anxiety. Areas improved included tranquility, positivity and physical exhaustion, all of which greatly improved sleep quality. General symptoms of depression also improved.
This study suggests that Iyengar yoga is a promising treatment for anxiety symptoms, including depression especially when prescribed by a physician and used in combination with other proven therapies.
Viparita Karani / Upside Down Seal Pose
Yoga for anxiety is one of the most recommended remedies worldwide as it cures the symptoms of anxiety naturally without any medication and side effects.
The viparita karani yoga asana is an easy pose for calming the anxiety, mild depression and insomnia related to stress.
Can A Regular Yoga Practice Curb Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression We Dive Into The Science To Give You The Answers
Yogic practice has roots that reach back thousands of years, involving much more than just the kinetic, posture-based meditation thats grown into a massive industry in the west. Still, modern physical yogic practice can unlock other aspects of traditional yoga including introspection and social ethics while also potentially treating depression and anxiety effectively.
Over the past decade, interest in yoga as a treatment for mental health disorders has led to various studies on the topic. Most of these studies confirm what any long-time yoga practitioner would already know: yoga offers serious benefits for anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
With the various yoga schools that have developed through the years, theres something that should work for anybody. There are high-intensity classes that take place in sweltering environments and would challenge even seasoned athletes, as well as low-key classes that focus on gentle stretching and breathing.
The Science Of Yoga For Anxiety
Hatha yoga, the most popular type of yoga practiced in the United States, is a promising treatment for people with anxiety. Hatha yoga is an umbrella term for the physical branch of yoga therefore, all types of yoga postures we practice today fall under this category.
Its unclear which aspects of Hatha yoga help alleviate symptoms of anxiety however, scientific hypotheses believe the combination of meditation, breathwork and physical postures help reduce anxiety symptoms.
Other researchers suggest that yogas anxiolytic effects are caused by biomechanical or physiological processes. In the same way that other forms of exercise are beneficial for anxiety, yoga is a natural and enjoyable way to alleviate stress and worry while improving ones mood.
The social aspect of being in a group yoga class may also be helpful for elevating self-esteem and self-worth.
Additional studies show that the positive effects of yoga for anxiety dont take long to manifest. In a study on 52 women, instances of stress, anxiety and depression decreased significantly after just 12 sessions of Hatha yoga.
Yoga is believed to be more effective than other forms of exercise for treating anxiety and depression because it directly involves the regulation of thoughts and feelings.
In turn, the mindfulness aspect of yoga helps moderate the central nervous system, which regulates the hormones and nerve impulses that play a role inmental health conditions.
You May Like: How Long Does Yoga Take To Tone
Yoga For Depression: 7 Best Yoga Asanas To Help Cure Depression
Ive heard, and I suspect youve heard too if youre struggling with depression, that doing meditation, some self-reflection, and practicing yoga can cure depression. Ive had my reservations regarding these statements because how are you supposed to practice yoga when you dont have enough energy to get out of bed.
Yoga and depression are something that I never believed can go hand in hand until I tried them myself. In this blog, Ill help you discover how you can practice yoga to cure depression and explore some easy, beginner yoga asanas for depression you can practice.
But, before we get to the asanas, lets relearn some important facts about depression.
Matsyasana Or Fish Pose
This backbend posture helps in relieving tightness in your back and chest. It energizes your body by reducing stress and anxiety.
Steps to Follow
- Lie down flat on a yoga mat.
- Place your hands rested on your side and legs stretched.
- Press your forearms and elbow on the floor to lift your upper back and create an arch.
- Lift your shoulder blades and upper torso onto the floor. Bring your head back and place the crown on the floor.
- Keep putting light pressure on your forearms and elbow.
- Take five breathes and slowly release the posture.
- While releasing the posture, press your forearm and lift your head slowly. Breathe out and put down your torso and head on the floor.
Recommended Reading: Is Yoga A Sin In The Catholic Church
The Link Between Depression And Anxiety
The link between depression and anxiety is prevalent, yet complex. Half of all people who experience depression also have anxiety that interferes with work and life. People with anxiety are more likely to experience depression because anxious feelings and constant thoughts of worry can contribute to low self-esteem.
High-functioning anxiety and depression where symptoms fuel a persons success and overachievement is an even more dangerous condition because it often goes unnoticed. Over time, high-functioning anxiety and depression cause elevated inflammation and stress hormones that can lead to chronic illness.
Individuals who experience high-functioning anxiety and depression are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, stroke and additional mental disorders such as substance abuse.
Shavasana Or Corpse Pose
This posture is the most important asana and is again a restorative one. It heals a lot of ailments and can be done by every one irrespective or age, previous diseases or injuries.
Steps to Follow
- Lie down flat on your back, in a relaxed position. Keep your arms comfortable on your side, slightly away from your body.
- Let your feet drop open. Close your eyes.
- Breathe in and breathe out. Concentrate on your breathing.
- Let your body feel heavy on the floor.
- From crown of your head to sole of your feet, leave all body part and be at ease.
- Relax your face.
Recommended Reading: Is It Good To Do Yoga After Workout
Padmasana / Lotus Pose
Padmasana or the lotus pose is known as the depression buster as this yoga for anxiety and depression helps in calming the mind, deal with stress easily.
This asana is beneficial for instantly soothing nerves which can lead to mental distress, outburst of anger and sadness.
Study Selection And Data Extraction
Titles and abstracts of articles identified through the database search were screened by two independent researchers. The researchers coded all retrieved results to separate categories, including one pool of alternative medicine studies. Please see Appendix 2 for an overview of study coding procedures. From the alternative medicine study pool, studies were coded as yoga, mindfulness or meditation and these were then retrieved for full-text screening. In this second step full texts of all studies that were deemed suitable were retrieved and reviewed for eligibility by two researchers . When there was any disagreement the authors convened for a discussion senior researchers were consulted if disagreement could not otherwise be resolved. Figure 1 shows the PRISMA-P flow chart.
Figure 1. Prisma-P flow chart.
You May Like: Should You Do Yoga Every Day
Proven Benefits Of Yoga For Anxiety Relief
Since stress is a precursor to anxiety, it pays to stop stress before it escalates.
One key way yoga alleviates stress is by decreasing levels of the damaging stress hormone cortisol.
Yoga modulates the stress response by slowing down rapid breathing and heart rates, lowering high blood pressure, and increasing heart rate variability.
Heart rate variability is an indicator of resilience to stress more variability is healthier.
Exercise of all kinds reduces stress, but yoga may be one of the best.
This may be because yoga stands out as a proven GABA booster.
GABA is one of your main inhibitory neurotransmitters.
It inhibits brain activity, enabling you to relax.
When you are low in GABA, your brain gets stuck in the on position leaving you feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and overstimulated.
Just a single one-hour session of yoga can increase GABA levels by 27%.
A healthy brain is the first line of defense against any mood disorder, and theres evidence that yoga protects the brain from age-related shrinkage.
Using magnetic resonance imaging , researchers found a correlation between doing yoga and increased brain volume.
Areas of the brain that experienced the greatest volume gains included the hippocampus, a region thats instrumental in reducing stress.
Matsyasana / Fish Pose
Matsyasana or fish pose is an effective yoga for anxiety. People experiencing with anxiety often complain of tightness in the chest and neck area.
This asana stretches the muscles in the chest, throat and ribs to relieve the tightness and tension in chest, neck and shoulder area effectively.
Matsyasana even improves the blood circulation for calming the brain.
Read Also: How To Start Yoga First Time At Home
How To Do Yoga For Depression And Anxiety
Yoga has proven beneficial for reducing depression and anxiety. Learn how to do specific yoga poses recommended by an instructor of yoga teachers.
Yoga is a practice that uses body poses and breathing techniques to strengthen and balance the body and the mind.
Why is there such interest in this ancient discipline?
It could be because of the many proven physical health benefits of yoga improved strength and flexibility, weight loss, and management of pain and chronic illnesses.
But possibly the interest in yoga is as much due to its impressive mental health benefits.
Soaring rates of depression, anxiety, and other common mood disorders have coincided with yogas recent fast rise in popularity.
Here are some of the proven ways in which yoga can transform your brain, mood, and mental health.
How Yoga Therapy Works Against Anxiety And Depression
When used correctly, yoga can be incredibly powerful in treating anxiety and depression. Even when yoga is relatively new to you, simple meditation and physical exercises can help. Meditation works to get you in touch with your inner self. It allows you to clear your mind and makes you aware of your feelings at the moment. Physical exercises, on the other hand, strengthen your body as well as your mind.
Below is a list of ways yoga works against anxiety and depression.
Improves your Mood
Yoga poses and exercises are excellent methods of increasing your serotonin levels. Serotonin, otherwise known as the happy hormone, is what your brain needs to stay in high spirits. A serotonin deficiency means that you will feel often demotivated, stressed, less energized, and anxious.
The fluid, gentle, and calming nature of yoga is what makes it incredibly relaxing and ideal for people with anxious and depressive symptoms. Anyone can do yoga, this irrespective of age, weight, or gender. Your experienced instructor will know just how to help you focus on concentration, breathing, and physical movement, all tailored to your mental and physical needs.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Ready To Get Started With Yoga?
Have you been diagnosed with depression and anxiety? If yes, then yoga has something good in store for you. So how can you get started?
Check With your Doctor First
Choose the Right Class
Feel free to try different yoga classes to find which is the most comfortable for you.
Don’t Miss: Can You Do Yoga When Pregnant