We all know that yoga in one way or another is beneficial for our body. Very often we think it is beneficial only for our physical body but quite often, we don’t know that it goes beyond that, and has great benefits for our mental and emotional state. A consistent practice offers all kinds of mental and physical health benefits.
Recent studies show that yoga can:
- Reduce the stress level
- Help with anxiety and depression
- Increase self-confidence
- Increase energy level
- Improve flexibility, strength and posture
- Prevent back pain
- Improve balance
Yoga involves different body postures (asanas), breathing techniques, and meditations. The combination of meditation and physical movement provide important elements for relieving depression. Meditation helps bring a person into the present moment and allows them to clear their mind. Controlled, focused movements also help strengthen the body-mind connection.
Asana practice helps counteract anxiety-driven depression because it reduces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, inducing what's known as the relaxation response.
Studies have demonstrated reduced levels of cortisol in those who practice yoga. It’s thought that the breathing exercises that are a key part of yoga induce the body’s relaxation response, and mindfulness meditation is also associated with lowering cortisol. In one study, participants showed lower cortisol levels immediately after a yoga class – which suggests the effect isn’t confined to long-term practice.
One of the most disorienting symptoms of depression is feeling disconnected from yourself and the world around you. But part of the yoga philosophy is the belief that there is no separation between one's self and the rest of the universe. Our tendency to see ourselves as separate is an illusion that the mind and the ego created.
As an exercise, yoga is a natural way to increase serotonin production. It plays a big role in the treatment of depression and is believed to play a major role in increasing happiness.
In addition to its physiological benefits, yoga teaches awareness, an invaluable skill for people who struggle with anxiety or depression.
Yoga Postures for Depression
- Balasana (Child's Pose)
Effects: Releases spinal muscles after backbends, calms your nerves, and relaxes you.
- Halasana (Plow Pose)
Effects: One of the most quieting poses for the nervous system; relieves irritability.
- Prasarita Padottanasana
Effects: Calms jittery feelings and reduces fatigue.
Effects: Brings relief from anxiety, energizes your whole body, makes you feel more alive.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Effects: Reduces anxiety and energizes the body.
Yoga for Opening Heart Center
Here is a quick yoga class where the main focus will be on opening our heart center and giving out more love and light to the world. By giving more we open ourselves to receive more, The more we give the more we are able to receive.
Yoga for Depression
Yoga For Depression is a 15 min yoga practice to help balance and restore both the physical and emotional body. Tend to your nervous system through mindful yoga to tend to the brain and body connect in a powerful way. With a focus on the breath, this yoga practice invites you to be kind, be accepting, practice regularly and heal naturally.
Author: Monika Dizdarević, HSTY yoga teacher and Mohanji Acharya. Monika dedicated her life adding value to society and sharing more positivity, light, love, kindness and compassion with the world through different techniques like yoga, meditations etc. Follow Monika on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/my_conscious_lifestyle/