7 Yoga Poses That Will Help You Fight Depression
By: Manmohan Singh, A Passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher & Traveller in India
Summary: Through this article, I wish to update the readers how the practice of yoga can help them fight depression allowing them to live a fulfilling life.
Do you dread getting up in the morning and fear facing the world? On certain days, hopelessness overpowers you and you feel empty. You can’t sleep as the voices in your head get louder and louder. If nervousness, anxiety, worries have made a permanent home in your life then ‘my friend’ you are in trouble — Depression is knocking at your door.
Depression — A deadly killer and the cause of various serious health issues, including mental disorders, a slow monster inside your head that takes a toll on your entire life.
You can kill this disastrous disease with the natural science of yoga.
Daily yoga practice along with deep meditation has proven effective in warding off depression and anxiety. The performance of yoga postures synchronized with breath helps allay depression by calming the nervous system, lowering the blood pressure, and relaxing our muscles. The constant practice of yoga oxygenates the entire body and improves the function of the circulatory system to invigorate the body and mind.
Here are seven yoga poses I highly recommend for fighting depression and eradicating it completely, when practiced with the right treatment.
- Fish Pose (Matsyendrasana): Lie on your back with your legs stretched in front of you and arms resting alongside your body. Press your forearms and elbows into the ground to lift your chest, shoulders, and upper torso off the floor. Tilt your head backward and place the top of the head on the floor. Hold the pose for five relaxed breaths.
Benefit: Regular practice of this yoga pose reduces anxiety and energizes the body and mind.
- Easy Pose (Sukhasana): Sit upright on a yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you. Cross your legs such that each foot is under each knee. Make sure there is enough space between your feet and pelvic region. Place your hands on your knees in Gyan Mudra. Take several deep breaths. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
Benefit: Practice this posture to get relief from stress and fatigue. It also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): Lie on your stomach with your arms at either side of the body. Make sure your legs are extended behind and are 2-3 inches apart. Tuck your elbows into the side of your body. Inhale; lift your chest and head off the mat. Keep your shoulders away from your ears. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
Benefit: This pose is best known to increase the flexibility in the spine and awakens the kundalini within the body.
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana): Lie in a prone position with straight legs and arms by your side. Upon exhalation; bend your knees and raise your legs up toward the hips. Keep your knees hip-width apart. Grab the ankles with your hands. Upon inhalation; lift your thighs upward and simultaneously your head, chest and upper torso will also raise up above the mat. Set your gaze in a forward direction and remain in this pose for 30 seconds.
Benefit: The bow pose strengthens the back, improves posture and is therapeutic for anxiety.
- Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana): Stand tall on a yoga mat with arms by your side. As you inhale, stretch your arms up towards the ceiling. Exhale; bend forward at the hip and bring your arms down to the floor. Hold the back of your ankles with your hands and relax your neck. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds.
Benefit: The practice of this pose calms the brain, reduces stress, anxiety, and strengthens the thighs and knees.
- Upward Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana): Lie flat on your stomach with your legs extended behind and arms alongside your body. Inhale; press your hands to the floor and lift your torso. Slightly tilt your head backward. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
Benefit: An effective yoga pose that relieves mild depression, fatigue, and sciatica.
- Plow Pose (Halasana): Lie on your back on a yoga mat with arms by your side and palms facing down. As you inhale; lift your legs and hips toward the ceiling. Gently, straighten your legs and lower your feet towards the ground. Place your toes behind your head. Keep your torso perpendicular to the floor. Support your back with your hands. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds.
Benefit: This pose massages the digestive system, stimulates the thyroid gland and regulates the breath.
Beat the blues with the regular practice of these seven yoga poses and walk towards inner bliss and contentment.
Author Bio: Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. For more information about him visit his website.