Yoga

How to Do Yoga for Depression and Anxiety

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Yoga is a practice carried out since ancient times and is indisputably beneficial for both physical as well as mental well-being. It can positively cure conditions like depression, anxiety, anger, frustration, and other mood disorders. In this article, we will discuss how magical is yoga for depression and also teach various poses which have been proven scientifically to have a positive effect on mood disorders and have helped in getting rid of the same. In recent times, the rate of mental disorders has risen, and so has the popularity of yoga, and people are more pro towards curing such conditions naturally rather than taking anti-depression pills. If you are one of those who are looking for a non-medical way to cure your mental condition, then this is the right place for you to be.

Yoga is now scientifically proven to be one of the best ways to get rid of depression as well as anxiety. Yoga mainly comprises of asanas and breathing exercises. This helps the person to cleanse one’s subconscious mind and to get rid of all the negative energy. One feels way more confident and looks at life from a different point of view.

Doctors have themselves accepted the fact that yoga is a much more healthy way to reduce stress than consuming anti-depressant medicines. Such pills may give instant relief but are not right in the long run, whereas asanas and breathing exercises not only helps one to be positive but also provides immense courage to face life.

What is Depression?

Depression is a common yet serious medical condition that seriously impacts how you feel, what you think, and how you react to a particular situation. It makes you feel low and lose interest in the activities you once enjoyed. It can significantly reduce a person’s capacity to work in an office as well as at home, but thankfully, this condition is curable and that too, without medication only by doing proper yoga asanas.

Symptoms of Depression:

The symptoms of depression might vary from mild to severe and includes the following:

  • Feeling low or sad always
  • Loss of interest in the activities once enjoyed
  • Facing trouble in getting sleep or sleeping too much
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Thoughts like suicide or showing suicidal tendencies
  • Facing difficulty in concentrating or making decisions.

[Read More: Depression Symptoms]

What Causes Depression?

Depression is a very complex disease. No one knows the exact cause of depression. However, several factors may cause distress; a few of them are illustrated below:

  • Prolonged medical illness
  • Certain medications that contain isotretinoin, corticosteroids and interferon-alpha can increase the risk of a person going into depression
  • Abuses in the past can make one vulnerable to depression in the future
  • Genetics or family history of depression

[Read More: Depression Causes]

Yoga as a Cure for Depression:

Research shows that yoga helps in depression. It is a very powerful treatment for depression. Coupling yoga with medication can escalate the recovery process and relieve a person of depression. While the medication helps to bring the person to the present moment, the controlled and focused movements in yoga help in strengthening the body-mind connection and thereby curing the depression.

To know in detail which type and how yoga helps in depression read further. A few yoga poses for depression have been mentioned below

9 Unique Yoga Asanas for Depression:

1. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose):

Yoga Asanas for Depression

This is a powerful asana that can quickly cure fatigue and depression. This asana has an overall rejuvenating effect on the body as all the stress that is trapped in your back vanishes in no time. In Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, our upper body is awakened and strengthened and hence is considered as one of the best yoga asana for depression.

Method:

  • Lie down flat on your belly with your toes facing downwards with a few inches distance between the two.
  • Place your palms near your chest and lift your upper body.
  • Straighten your arms and legs pressing the top part of your toes against the floor.
  • Look straight or upwards, and your shoulders should be away from your ears while your chest should be rising.

2. Adho Mukho Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose):

Yoga Asanas for Depression

By doing this yoga exercise for depression, the body is flooded with fresh blood in mind and throughout the body and thereby helping in calming the person and reducing depression and anxiety. Besides, it also strengthens the abdominal muscles and thereby improves the digestion.

Method:

  • Make a table with your body where your hands and legs are the legs of the table, and your back is the tabletop.
  • Now straighten your legs from your knees and arms from your elbows by pushing your hips upwards. The final posture will look like an inverted V.
  • Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart, and the legs are hips-width apart with the toes pointing straight.
  • Straighten your neck with ears touching your inner arm and your eyes gazing at the navel.

3. Halasana (Plow Pose):

Yoga Asanas for Depression

By doing halasana, one can experience calmness in the brain. It corrects the body posture and reduces the strain on the back. Insomnia and headache, which are a common symptom of depression, can be kept at bay by doing this asana as there is increased blood flow to the brain. It is considered as one of the best anti-depression yoga, which can calm down the nervous system.

Method:

  • Lie down straight on your back, keeping your arms alongside your body.
  • Now lift your legs making a 90-degree angle with the ground.
  • Taking the support of your hand lift your body from your hips and pushing it towards your chest.
  • Slowly bring down the legs and take them over your head and try touching them to the ground beyond your head while keeping the knees straight.
  • Release the support from hands and straighten your arms and place them on the ground with palms facing downwards.

[See More: Yoga For Stress Relief]

4. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose):

Yoga Asanas for Depression

By doing Uttanasana, the tension in the back, neck, and shoulder is relieved, and thereby, the functioning of the nervous system is improved. Besides, it also reduces anxiety, thereby calming you down. The blood circulation in the body, especially in the brain is improved, and thus, one must practise this yoga to reduce depression.

Method:

  • Stand straight with your arms along the body and feet at shoulder distance.
  • Placing the arms on your hips bend forward from the hips.
  • Moving down further, try touching your chest to your thighs and head to your knees while keeping your knees straight.
  • Bring down your hands beside the toes or hold them at the back of your ankles.

5. Salabhasana (Locust Pose):

Yoga Asanas for Depression

This simple backbend pose strengthens the entire back and has a healing effect on a wide range of problems such as backache, postural problem, weakness, etc. It helps in energising the body when you are low on energy, especially in the case of depression. Try this yoga to fight depression by carrying out the following steps.

Method:

  • Lie on the belly and keep the hands on the sides and forehead on the floor.
  • Lift both the hands and legs.
  • This helps the body to take in oxygen and frees it from depression, gas, bladder, and back pains.

6. Balasana (Child Pose):

Yoga Asanas for Depression

When stressed out completely or feeling too low, doing balasana can relieve you from depression very quickly and rejuvenate the soul. It is a restful asana which can be sequenced between more complicated asanas. It is one of the best yoga poses for depression treatment.

Method:

  • Kneel on the floor with your toes touching each other and knees as wide as the hips
  • Exhale and bend forward to place your torso between your thighs and head touching on the floor.
  • Lay your hands alongside your head with your palms facing downwards.

[See More: Remedies For Depression]

7. Setu Bandhaasana (Bridge Pose):

Setu Bandhaasana (Bridge Pose)

This is a great asana that strengthens the back muscles and relieves the stress that is trapped in the back. It is considered as one of the best yoga exercises for stress and depression. By practising SetuBandhasana, one can calm down the brain and thereby reducing stress anxiety and depression. It also aids in improving the digestion of the body. This is how you can do it.

Method:

  • Lie down flat on your back with your knees bent and foot on the floor hip-apart. Make sure that the ankles and knees are in one straight line.
  • With the support of your arms, that is placed by the body and palms facing downwards, lift your back off the floor.
  • Roll in your shoulders so that the chin touches the chest. Let your shoulders, arms, and feet support the weight of your body.

8. ViparitaKarani (Inverted Lake Pose):

ViparitaKarani (Inverted Lake Pose)

This pose is also called the legs up the wall pose. Apart from a host of benefits such as relief from stress and anxiety, this pose also has an anti-aging effect. You can use a prop such as a blanket, pillow, bolsters for support while doing this asana. It is one of the best yoga poses for anxiety and depression.

Method:

  • Sit next to the wall in a manner that your feet are on the floor, and the left side of your body is touching the wall.
  • Lie on your back such that the legs press against the wall and the soles of the feet face upwards.
  • Press your buttocks against the wall and legs touching the wall so that your body makes a 90-degree angle.
  • Now slowly lift your buttocks and slide the prop under them. Alternatively, you can use your hands to form that curve in your lower body.

9. Savasana (Corpse Pose):

Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Savasana helps you normalise your breathing, relax your body, and thus rejuvenates you. It reduces the blood pressure and thereby improves the effect of all the previous poses sink in better. Savasana is thus required to be done in the end, which will accelerate the healing process. This asana is also considered as depression yoga meditation.

Method:

  • Lie down on your back with your feet a few inches apart.
  • Let the arms lie alongside the body with the palms facing upwards.
  • Do a few sets of abdominal breathing.
  • Close your eyes, relax, and let your body rejuvenate.

[See More: How to Control Anxiety]

All the above techniques of yoga for depression can help one to release stress and lead a non-depressive life successfully. If done regularly, these asanas are powerful enough to release the emotional scars and trauma deeply ingrained in the physical, as well as the psychological body. However, one has to be positive of all the techniques and follow them regularly for best results.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:

Q1. How Does Yoga Help with Depression?

Ans: The following are the various benefits of yoga for depression:

  • Yoga reduces the stress on your mind and body.
  • It is a self-soothing technique similar to meditation and improves the energy in the body
  • It also helps in relieving the anxiety from the body.

Q2. Can Yoga Cure Depression?

Ans: According to the neuroscience research report, the yoga exercises can switch on the genes to increase the production of a neurochemical in the body called galanin that helps in toning down the brain/body stress response. Simple yoga poses with stretching for 15-20 minutes can reduce the depression by 30%, and with regular practice, you can even come out of the depression condition.

Q3. What is The Impact of Kundalini Yoga for Depression?

Ans: Kundalini yoga is also known as depression yoga treatment. Kundalini means the spiritual energy that is located at the base of the spine. By practising Kundalini yoga, one can awaken the Kundalini Shakti from the base chakra passing through the six chakras and penetrate in the Crown Chakra. Kundalini yoga is a combination of devotion, power, and mental control, and thus by awakening, the Kundalini Shakti, one can experience immense peace and thus come out of the depression rapidly.

Q4. Is Yoga Good for Depression?

Ans: Doing regular yoga increases the prana in the body and thus makes one feel relaxed and energetic. Even the recent research in medical science has validated that yoga can cure depression, and thus, yoga and depression cannot go hand in hand. A regular practitioner of yoga cannot be a depression patient, and a depression patient who starts practising yoga will come out of his depression condition.

Q5. What is Yoga Nidra for Depression?

Ans: Meditation and yoga is a boon for those who suffer from depression, pain, anxiety, fear, and other psychosomatic problems. When the depression becomes acute, our body needs something that will tell them, everything is going to be okay, and you can relax. Here is where the role of Yoga Nidra comes in, Yoga Nidra is a systematic, multistage relaxation technique that helps in shifting the concentration of breathing and takes the person into a deep meditative stage. It is thus a mind and body balancing technique that can help one come out of his condition rapidly.

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