Aid your fight with these yoga poses for depression

Sep 02, 2019

Depression consumes its host in multiple ways. Sometimes it’s a mellow emptiness, other times a painful torment. Sometimes it’s blatantly obvious and otherwise well-masked beneath smiles and images of perfection. It knows no specific age, gender, or social status. Hosts themselves can be afflicted for years before even recognizing the problem.

An agony we’d dare not wish upon our enemies – that is what depression is.

Symptoms of depression

Depression is often characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Feeling of worthlessness or guilt over an extended period of time
  • Lack of enthusiasm or enjoyment in previous hobbies or pleasurable activities
  • Contemplation of suicide and self-harm
  • Feelings of instability and lethargy
  • Abrupt changes in weight
  • Inability to concentrate

How to remove Depression by Yoga?

Yoga, on the other hand, is described as a combination of both exercise and meditation. By engaging both the mind and the body, the dilapidating effects of depression can be visibly soothed, weakening the grasp depression has over its host. A yoga routine focused on this will surely ripple into the following effects:

  • Reduces stress (yoga to relieve stress)
  • Aids with anxiety and depressive episodes
  • Improves energy, mood, and relaxation
  • Manages mental and emotional distress
  • Clears the mind

Depression is not incurable and yoga is a natural way for the treatment of depression.

5 Tips to keep in mind

1. Practice the exercises once or twice daily.

The aim is a long-term improvement, not a temporary band-aid over a fatal wound. This is a routine, not a one-time thing. If you have the time and capacity to keep practicing, the process will become increasingly easier for you. When it does, feel free to add new poses or lengthen their time to keep things exciting.

2. Do these exercises on an empty or light stomach.

Nothing kills a good exercise session quicker than a stomach cramp, and you’ll find these occur often after a heavy meal. Make sure to keep a glass of water nearby and take light sips if you’re feeling thirsty though.

3. Breathe in through your nose.

Nose hair exists to filter out dust and dirt in the air, ensuring that whatever you inhale is clean. On the other hand, breathing in (breathing exercises) through your mouth not only exposes your lungs to unfiltered air but also irritates your throat. Always, always inhale through the nose.

4. Wear warm, loose-fitting clothing.

Yoga is a time for deep relaxation, and constricting your body with tight clothes is one way to ruin that. Make sure to wear clothes in which you can breathe comfortably.

5. Have a wide, comfortable space.

If you can lie down and sit up straight on the floor, then you should be good. Keep in mind that one of the exercises require a wall.

The 7-step Yoga routine to fight against depression

1. Fire log

Cross your dominant leg in front of you, then place your other leg on top, parallel to it. Clasp your hands together. Lean forward and rest your arms on your legs. Breathe in, and take note of how your chest rises. Breathe out, and feel it fall. Hold the pose for 60 seconds, then switch your legs. Repeat for another 60 seconds.
The fire log is perfect for letting go of stress and unpleasant thoughts – both of which are symptoms of depression. Make sure to focus on how your body inhales and exhales.

2. Corpse Pose

Lie down on your back and relax your muscles. Spread your legs slightly, and rest your hands on your side. Close your eyes, and breathe. Maintain the calm for 3 minutes, then move on to the next exercise.
As you feel your thoughts linger, let them pass. Try to count how many times you breathe.

3. Bridge Pose 

From the corpse position, thrust your hips up and keep your legs vertically straight. Cross your hands underneath your back. Do not strain your neck, keep your eyes directly above. Keep it up for 30 to 60 seconds.

4. Bound ankle

Sit up straight. Bend your knees, and hold your feet in front of your pelvis. Relax your lower body and feel your knees fall. Maintain the pose for 60 to 180 seconds. Breathe normally.
It stimulates the abdomen and the heart, improving the circulation in the upper torso. In doing so, it calms the mind and clears fatigue.

5. Legs up the wall

Find a nearby wall and put up your legs to the wall. Spread them slightly apart. Place your hands on a 45-degree angle towards the wall. Look straight up. Hold for 120 seconds. Breathe normally.
This pose relieves the legs and the torso but mainly aids against depression by calming the mind.

6. Seated forward bend

Sit up straight and stretch your legs forward. Grasp your feet in your hands by bending forward. Keep the post for 60 to 120 seconds.
The seated forward bend calms the brain and relieves stress, making it ideal for those with mild depression.

7. Extended puppy

Go on all fours. Now kneel and rest your feet gently on the floor. Keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor as you stretch your hands forward. Look down and hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds.
As you stretch your spine and shoulders, make sure to focus on your breathing.

The takeaway

As heavy a crutch as depression might be, dedicating a little bit of mindfulness every day is sure to aid with the anxiety and depressive episodes that come with it. Therapy and professional help are still the crux of the battle against depression but how you choose to take care of your body and mind will surely have rippling effects on your mental and emotional health.

For as long as you recognize that your depression is a real problem with very real effects, you’ll have passed a hurdle most people trip over. You’re not alone in this fight and many more are struggling with you. There is nothing to be ashamed about and in this increasingly progressive society, you’ll find supportive people left and right.

Keep fighting. Staying alive is a victory in and of itself.

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