Some days, you dread getting up in the morning and facing the world. Hopelessness takes over, and you feel empty. If this recurs often, you are in trouble, my friend, as depression is knocking on your door. The sooner you find a solution, the better. Does yoga help with depression? Yoga is said to relieve depression naturally, and here’s a list of 7 yoga poses that will help you do so. Take a look.
Before that, let’s get to know a few facts about depression.
What Is Depression?
Depression is an illness that affects your brain. It is your reaction to something sad, loss of someone, or dejection. When these feelings aggravate and become intense, it leads to a medical condition called clinical depression.
You know you are depressed when you display the following symptoms consistently for two weeks.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
You feel worthless and guilty on a daily basis
Your concentration decreases and indecisiveness takes over
All the hobbies and activities you enjoyed previously now don’t seem appealing at all
You think about death and contemplate suicide
You feel unstable and fidgety or incredibly dull and slow
There will be a significant change in your weight – you either gain it or lose it
WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?
When you get emotionally attached to something over a period, and it doesn’t exist anymore, it leaves a gap, and depression takes over to cope with the loss. Genetics, fluctuation in the hormone levels, some medical conditions, post-surgery reaction, and high stress levels also cause depression. It is a common yet severe problem that needs to be tackled before it gets out of hand. Let’s now find out how yoga and depression are related.
YOGA AS A CURE FOR DEPRESSION
Yoga is one of the best ways to lighten your mood and keep depression at bay. Yoga poses increase blood circulation to the brain and enable the production of the mood-elevating hormones.
The practice of yoga doesn’t have any adverse side effects, which make it a better option as compared to other medication for depression. Some yoga poses to fight depression are mentioned below. Try them for at least 12 weeks to notice significant changes.
YOGA FOR DEPRESSION – 6 EFFECTIVE POSES
- Balasana (Child Pose)
- Sethu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
- Halasana (Plow Pose)
- Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose)
- Savasana (Corpse Pose)
1. Balasana (Child Pose)
Balasana helps calm your brain and relieves stress and anxiety. It gently stretches your lower back and hips, enabling your body to relax. Peace and calm prevail over your entire being, helping you deal with your depression better.
Balasana is considered as one of the most comfortable yoga poses. All you have to do is kneel and sit on your heels. Make sure your big toes touch each other. Keep your hands on your knees and spread your knees hip-width apart. Then, bend your torso forward, in between your divided thighs, with your face touching the ground. Bring your arms forward and place them on either side of your head, with the palms facing down. Be in this position for a few minutes.
2. SETHU BANDHASANA (BRIDGE POSE)
Sethu Bandhasana strengthens the back muscles and relieves a tired back. It helps you relax and works wonders for people suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression.
Sethu Bandhasana opens up your heart, making you feel light and at ease. To do the pose, lie down on the floor on your back. Keep your arms on the floor on either side with the palms facing down. Lift your legs by folding them at the knees. Make sure the ankles and knees are in a straight line, and the feet are a few inches apart. Then, gently lift your entire back off the floor and stay there for a few seconds. While doing this, your thighs should be parallel to each other, and your chest should touch your chin. Make sure you do not bend your chin.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana can easily cure mild fatigue and depression. It has an overall rejuvenating effect on your body, and all the stress trapped in your back will vanish.Urdhva Mukha Svanasana strengthens and awakens your upper body. To do the asana, lie on the floor with your face down and legs following the same with the toes facing downward and a few inches apart. Place your palms near the chest on either side, facing down. Keep your palms close to your ribs. Lift your torso and straighten your arms and legs a few inches off the floor. Press the top part of your feet firmly into the ground. Keep your head straight or facing upwards and your shoulders away from your ears and let your chest rise.
3. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Adho Mukha Svanasana enables fresh blood to flow into your body. It stretches the neck and cervical spine, releasing the stress in them, thereby reducing anxiety and calming your being.
Adho Mukha Svanasana strengthens your abdominal muscles and improves digestion. To do the pose, make a posture of a table with your body. Use your legs and hands to make the legs of the table and your back as the table top. Now, straighten your elbows and knees, pushing your hip upward and forming an inverted V-shape with your body. The hands should be shoulder-width apart, legs hips-width apart, and the toes pointing straight. Firmly press your hands to the ground and straighten your neck. Your ear should touch your inner arms. Keep your eye gaze at your navel.
4. HALASANA (PLOW POSE)
Halasana reduces the strain on your back and enhances your posture. It calms your brain, gives it a good stretch, and reduces stress. It keeps headaches and insomnia at bay.
Halasana is one of the best calming poses for your nervous system. To do the pose, lie flat on your back, with your arms kept alongside your body. Lift your legs off the ground at an angle of 90 degrees to the ground. Then, place your hands on your hips and using them as support, lift your hips towards your chest. Slowly bring down your legs and take them over your head, touching the ground beyond your head and placing your toes firmly on the ground. Make sure your thighs are straight to avoid them touching your head. Remove your hands from the hips, straighten your arms forward, and place them on the ground with the palms facing downward.
5. UTTANASANA (STANDING FORWARD FOLD POSE)
Uttanasana relieves tension in your back, shoulders, and neck and improves the functioning of your nervous system. It calms you and reduces anxiety.
Uttanasana also improves blood circulation. To do the asana, stand straight with your arms alongside your body and your feet at arms’ length. Now, place your arms on your hips and bend forward at the hips. Make your head and chest touch your thighs. Bring your hands down and put them beside your feet or hold your ankles from behind. Keep your thighs straight.
6. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Savasana rejuvenates you and helps your body relax. It reduces blood pressure and lets the effects of the previous poses to sink in better.
Finally, after all the mind and body invigorating poses, Savasana will give you all the rest and scope to heal. To do the Savasana, lie on the floor on your back. Keep your feet a few inches apart and let them fall sideways. Let your arms lie alongside your body with your palms facing upwards. Now, gently close your eyes and let your whole body relax, slowly and gently. Take deep breaths, and stay in the moment.
All the above mentioned poses in yoga for depression will help relieve the emotional scars and trauma deeply ingrained in your physical and psychic body. Do give it a shot.