Yoga For Depression


Yoga is a relaxing form of exercise that can help alleviate depression. Meditation and yoga poses can help you attack the root cause of depression - the feeling that you can't handle the demands of your life. It tones the nervous system, stimulates circulation, promotes concentration, and energizes your mind and body.
Practice a daily yoga routine that includes 30 minutes of meditation and at least 20 minutes of poses. Yoga stretching exercises help improve blood circulation making it easier to break through the lethargy that often accompanies depression.
Breathing (Pranayama)
The breathing exercise known as ujjayi pranayama is beneficial for healing depression.

Breathing exercises for depression

Yoga Asanas Recommended For Depression
 The Sun Salutation (12 repetitions a day)
 Bow pose
 Corpse Pose
 Maha Mudra
 Plow pose
 Shoulder Stand
 Vajrasana (Sitting on the Heels)

Yoga Relaxation Exercise for Depression

Try the following tense-relax exercise as you lie in the Corpse Pose:
As you inhale through your nose, tighten the muscles in your knees, calves, ankles, feet, and toes. Hold the tension, then relax and exhale.
Inhale, tensing all of these parts as well as your abdomen, pelvis, hips, and thighs. Hold them taut, then relax and exhale.
Tense the muscles in your neck, shoulders, arms, elbows, waists, hands, fingers, chest as well as muscles in your trunk and legs. Hold the tension, then relax and exhale.
Finally, starting with your scalp, face, and head, tense all of your body muscles. Hold the tension, then relax and exhale. Feel how all of the tension has melted away from your body.

True yoga is not a fitness routine, nor is it a religion. Yoga is a spiritual practice with the goal of awakening to one's true nature or cosmic consciousness, gradually attaining higher and more expanded states of absorption and at the most advanced stages - "samadhi." Even many of the most well known "authorities" and authors use Yogic terminology incorrectly, and confuse the stream with the ocean, so to speak. True authorities on the depth of this vast subject are very rare, (and I do not list myself among them). The following information is only an introduction into the art and application of Yoga for depression.

Everyone feels "blue" from time to time, but when depression deepens or persists for a long time, it can suppress your energy for living and make you more vulnerable to disease by dampening the immune system. Depression is sometimes a warning that may help you to protect your mental and physical health. It can be viewed as a signpost, signaling "It’s time for a change."

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. The heavy, unmoving feeling of depression will be on the run! Yoga exercises put pressure on glands and organs, helping them to produce the soothing, healing chemical balance that is needed to feel well and be well. Yoga exercises improve circulation, sending invigorating oxygen to your brain and all your muscles. The stretching and strengthening movements flush toxins from the body as well.

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.

Complete relaxation and meditation practice show you how to access the strength and power of your inner self for a support system that keeps you going through all the ups and downs of your life.
Regular practice of Yoga will protect you from depression and help you stay bright-minded, while recognizing the signals that depression is giving you. To begin with, choose three exercises that appeal to you, and do them every day. Then, as you get more comfortable, expand your routine to give yourself more of a challenge and increase the beneficial effects.

Understanding Depression
Depression, simply defined, is when a person suffers a combination of negative feelings: worthlessness, hopelessness or lethargy may coexist with an overall feeling of sadness that lasts for more than two weeks. All people get ‘the blues’ from time to time, but clinical depression is different. Sufferers may begin to feel as if their emotional lives simply cannot improve. This condition is a serious one; many people with depression contemplate or attempt suicide.

The remedies discussed here ARE NOT MEANT TO REPLACE MEDICAL CARE. These yoga postures work wonders for mild non-clinical depression (lasting a day or two), and sufferers who are under the care of a licensed counselor or physician will also benefit. However, these postures should not be considered a substitute for the advice of your doctor.