Yoga can be your gateway to your inner soul and effectively heal and rejuvenate it. Yoga is a unique discipline which has been practiced in India since ancient periods.
It cannot be regarded as a simple form of physical exercise as it has a spiritual aspect too. Yoga not only makes way for a healthy body but a healthy mind too. Read on to find out how yoga can help you combat depression and anxiety.
1. Breathing Exercises
Yoga has a wide range of breathing exercises which combine body positions as well as meditation. Padmasana or Lotus pose is one of the practices in yoga which can be very beneficial to people suffering from depression. This asana involves sitting in a cross-legged position with your hands resting on the knees and your palms facing upward. You can begin with meditating by closing your eyes and concentrating on your breath. Take deep breaths and try to maintain a regular rhythm of breathing. Your chest should rise and stomach should compress when you breathe in and the opposite while you breathe out.
This asana is ideal for regulating the thyroid gland which can help to reduce stress as well as anxiety. You can start by lying flat on your back and slowly your knees closer and into your chest. Then straighten out legs in upward direction so that you feel pressure on your chin and chest. Then in a fluid motion, raise your hips off the floor while exhaling. You can support your hips with both of your hands. Your body should be vertical and straight and your chin should dip into your chest. Hold this position for as long as you can and focus on your breathing. After completing the asana, bring back your body to a lying position.
Also known as the cobra pose, this asana can relieve you from stress by regulating your thyroid and para-thyroid glands. Lie on your belly and keep your arms right beside your body. Now, with your arms in front of you and palms on the floor, arch your back and lift your torso. Avoid lifting your pelvis and then look straight out in front. Hold this position for a few seconds and then relax your body back into a resting position. Repeat this asana for a few minutes for as long as you are comfortable.
This is a simple resting position which can be practiced almost any time when you are feeling stressed and even between asanas. Sit down on your knees so that your hips touch your ankles. Then gently lean forward and continue until your forehead is resting on the floor. Your arms should lie right at the side of your body with your palms facing upwards. Hold this position as long as you are comfortable and focus on your breathing while doing so.
5. Viparita Karani
This is one of the asanas which can be executed simply with the help of a wall. Fairly effective in dealing with depression, this yoga position enhances blood flow to the brain. You can start by simply laying flat near a wall. Raise your legs so that they are at a right angle to the body. You can take the help of the wall to support your legs and with practice you can also do this asana without the help of a wall. Try to lift up your lower back and hold this position for as long as you are comfortable.
Also known as the Locust pose, this yoga posture can help you to counter anxiety as well as back pain and digestion problems. Beginners may require a little bit of practice to perfect this pose as this position requires your body to be flexible. Lie flat on your stomach with your hands resting on your sides. Lift up your chest and legs, so that your body is in a curved position like a bow. Raise your head so that you are looking right ahead. Your body weight should not be on your arms and they should also be straight and suspended by your sides.
This is an advanced yoga pose and only recommended once you are well-versed with yoga and have adequate strength and flexibility in your body. Headstand, as this pose is also known, has a relaxing and calming effect on your body and can help you to channel your energy effectively. You can take the help of a wall for support, but it is best to execute this pose without any support. Place your head firmly on a mat with your hands wrapped around it. Start by lifting your knees off the floor and extend them high, so that your body is inverted and vertical.
The easiest of all asanas, this asana should conclude your yoga practice. Lie down and plant your entire body in the floor totally flat. Close your eyes, try to relax and focus on your breathing. This state should be observed for 10 minutes and you should try to go into meditative state. Ease your body out of this asana by rolling on your side and gently coming out of this state.
Yoga is a way of life which involves a conscious thought process and establishing harmony with your inner self. Yoga can not only strengthen your body but also help you to achieve a calm mental state. The unique art of yoga restores balance and bring eternal peace to your soul.