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Yoga & Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in the world. Tens of millions of people across the planet are diagnosed with some form of depression every year. While many cases of depression are tied to personal issues that affect the emotions, some have biological roots.


The first thing a depressed person stops doing is moving. Regular exercise becomes intolerable. But Yoga exercise, starting with as few as three poses a day in just a few minutes’ time, coupled with correct breath patterns, can become so pleasant to you that soon you will want to do more and more. Often depression sneaks in slowly, as breathing patterns change from too much sitting at a desk, stress, age, or illness. The deep, invigorating breath techniques of Yoga bring large amounts of fresh oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body. Like a spring wind, it blows through the system bringing new light and strength to the unused parts of the body and mind where depression hides.

Another thing to be noted is that depression is one of the most treatable of the mental illnesses, particularly if you get early intervention. There are a variety of medications and talk therapy techniques in existence that have great potential to ease your symptoms. A qualified mental health professional can guide you toward the right treatment program for you. Here we focus on Yoga asana to tackle depression.

The Lion Pose (Simhasana)

Contraindications: Knee pain or injury

This is a wonderful pose for gaining courage and lightening your emotional load; the facial expressions involved are guaranteed to boost your mood.

Benefits: The Lion is a great pose for loosening up the muscles of a clenched or tight jaw. All the muscles of the face are used; each repetition causes tension to melt away.

The Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Releases tension and is also good for deep breathing and relaxation.

Benefits: This is a great chest-opener; many people who have depression coupled with anxiety often have feelings of tightness or pressure in the chest—this pose can help ease the pressure. The Fish is also very beneficial for a tense neck, shoulders and lower back.


The Child’s Pose (Balasana)

A good, relaxing counter-pose if performed after the Fish pose.

Benefits: Child’s pose is a comforting, peaceful asana. Staying in this position is not only relaxing, but also promotes a feeling of safety and security. The stretch involved to the lower back and arms also feels wonderful!

Warrior  (Virabhadrasana)

This yogasana  is a great confidence booster; anytime you feel unsure of yourself or uneasy, try this posture.

Benefits: This is a very easy asana, but also a very powerful one. Warrior  can help you feel more grounded. You can gain equilibrium both mentally and physically, with this pose.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

There’s just no better way to end a yoga session than with the ultimate relaxation pose.

Benefits: The benefits of this pose are truly endless. Nothing beats a good bit of relaxation. Use this pose anytime you feel upset or blue. If it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning to face the day, use this posture to give you a little better perspective. If you suffer from insomnia, this is a perfect way to end the day.

Sun Gazing can also be a powerful technique of Yoga for depression and overall health.

There are many ways to relieve depression and you should always ask your physician about which ways are best for you. Among the many options you might have is through Yoga. Meditating and Yoga exercises stimulate your circulation and nervous systems along with other bodily functions. It also improves your concentrate and energizes your mind and body.

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