7 Yoga Poses to Fight Depression
Most of us know people around us including our own family, friends, and colleagues who have or are suffering from depression. The life-threatening disease of depression draws the patients into an inescapable world of sadness where the bad mood takes a permanent seat. Depression can cause a suffocating feeling that affects the patient physically as well as mentally. For most people depression involves physical symptoms like restlessness, indigestion, muscle fatigue, and so much more. The physical symptoms coupled with the mental afflictions severely affect the life pattern of a patient. The good news is that depression is curable and there are ways to break through this deadly condition.
Yoga, the mind-body practice, is effective in treating depression. Several studies have found meditation and breathing exercises to be a potent treatment for depression and anxiety. The science of yoga comprises various styles: Hatha, Iyengar, etc., that emphasize the correct alignment and controlled breathing that helps cure the disease of depression in a wholesome manner. The diverse gentle and rigorous yoga practices depending upon the physical abilities and personal preferences combining the three elements of postures and breathe followed by a period of meditation and other relaxation techniques are helpful for both anxiety and depression.
Safely manage the condition of depression with these excellent yoga poses for depression:
Child Pose (Balasana): Embrace calmness and deep self-love as you sink in Child Pose.
Steps: Sit on a yoga mat with bent knees and hips resting on the heels. The top of the feet should touch the ground. Come forward to bend the torso between the thighs. Fold until the forehead and nose touch the ground. Stretch the arms backward, palms up. Take 5-10 deep breaths in this pose.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): A strengthening pose effective in elevating the mood and boosting energy levels.
Steps:While in a child pose, extend the legs backward and come into a prone position. Keep the hands on the floor with elbows tucked to the side of the body. Press the hands into the floor to lift the upper body. Tilt the head backward allowing the pose to act as a mild backbend. Stay in this pose for 20-30 seconds.
Cat Pose ( Marjaryasana): The position of the head of the cat pose fosters relaxation and calmness.
Steps: Come onto your knees and hands. Widen the palms shoulder width-apart and knees hip-distance apart. Gaze directly towards the floor. Take slow breaths. While exhaling, draw the stomach backward, contract the hips, and arch the back towards the ceiling. Notice the roundness of the spine. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds.
Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani): The pose re-routes the circulation to the brain treating anxiety and depression.
Steps: Start this pose against a wall. Either sit on the right or left side of the wall. Exhale, and smoothly swing the legs up the wall. Gently, lower the shoulders and back on the floor. Drift the shoulders away from the ground and release the hands to the side on the floor. Hold the legs firmly and vertically in place. Stay in this posture for 20-30 seconds.
Headstand (Sirsasana): An intensive yoga asana but worth all the efforts as it alleviates depression through enhanced blood circulation to the brain.
Steps: Kneel on a yoga mat with forearms on the floor. Interlock the fingers to form a closed area. Rest the top of the head against the enclosed area and breathe. Start with raising the knees and slowly lift the legs upward. Find your balance to avoid falls. Ensure the spine and thighs are in a straight line. Relax in this pose for 20 seconds.
Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana): Upward dog for easing the physical symptoms of depression.
Steps: Lie on the ground with the face facing downwards. Keep the palms close to the ribs of the body. Straighten the arms and elevate the chest and head above the ground. Also, lift the legs 2-3 inches above a yoga mat. Keep the head slightly facing upwards. Hold this pose for 30 seconds or more.
Reverse Corpse Pose (Advasana): Advasana for relaxing the physical and mental body of the practitioners.
Steps: Lie on your stomach. Spread the legs a few inches apart and rest the feet on top of the mat. Stretch both the hands and join them together in Anjali mudra beyond the head. Close the eyes and breathe. Feel the rejuvenating vibrations and remain in this pose for 1-5 minutes.
Depression is an all-encompassing feeling of helplessness. However, yoga can help the sufferers smile and feel loved.