Fighting Depression with Yoga

Yoga is one of today’s most popular disciplines
Fighting Depression with Yoga

Last update: 09 November, 2018

Yoga is one of the most effective activities for fighting depression. It helps you slow down and work on your personal balance.

Believe it or not, yoga can help address the most common mental conditions: anxiety, depression, and stress.

And it’s not just some new fad. Yoga has been providing multiple emotional benefits for millennia.

What is Depression?

Depression is an illness characterised by a deep sadness, lack of interest in people and situations, and the inability to enjoy pleasant experiences.

This illness is suffered over a long period of time and isn’t related to a particular personality or personal weakness. For people who suffer from it, it can drastically affect their daily lives, psychologically, physically, and emotionally.

The Benefits of Yoga Against Depression

Woman doing a yoga pose

The problem with depression is that it becomes worse in the face of other difficulties like stress, anxiety, insomnia, or hypersomnia. As a result, these can send the person into a spiral which is difficult to get out of.

It’s important to maintain an active fight against depression, achieve equilibrium, and overcome it.

Yoga works the body and the mind through poses (asanas), breathing, and meditation (pranayama), and thus modulates energy.

In the discipline of yoga, it’s understood that energy is the cause of many blockages and illnesses. Practicing yoga regularly aims to find an internal balance and bring you closer to general well-being.

By keeping energy in harmony with your body, you achieve well-being.

Furthermore, by practicing yoga you’ll progressively achieve mastery of yourself and your experience of the present, the here and now.

Anyone who manages to achieve a peaceful state is well-equipped to effectively fight depression.

Fighting Depression

Two women fighting depression with yoga

Yoga is a great tool for fighting depression. It also works against:

  • Stress. It reduces cortisol levels, the hormone that the body releases in response to stress and which can cause other illnesses.
  • Furthermore, it improves heart rate, which is a sign of the body’s ability to respond to stressful situations in a more flexible way.
  • Insomnia and low mood. According to medical studies, practicing yoga regulates serotonin, a hormone related to mood and enthusiasm, as well as a regulator of sleep cycles.

Yoga Poses that Help Fight Depression

The many diverse yoga poses regulate and activate the body’s vital energy, improve mind-body balance, and revitalize the nervous system.

Therefore, the poses act as a natural remedy to treat you holistically, as a whole. In fact, there are many yoga poses specifically designed to encourage or help with certain emotions, as well as being a form of relief.

Standing poses and stretches, for example, if combined with the right relaxation and breathing techniques, activate the nervous system, which is responsible for providing energy.

Consequently, it may be useful to discuss your situation with a guide or master who can accompany your practice and make sure that you get truly satisfactory results.

You may be interested in reading this article: The 10 Most Important Yoga Poses for Beginners

Does it really work?

Woman in a yoga meditation pose with a cat

In short, yes. Yoga is really effective in the fight against depression because it encourages the release of toxins and tension at the same time.

Clearing your mind of all those thoughts is fundamental. And the practice of yoga will help you do this. When you practice yoga, the negative thoughts disappear.

By encouraging concentration on poses and breathing, yoga teaches you how to focus your emotions and thoughts. Yoga provides clarity.

Take a Step Further

The benefits of practicing yoga to help treat depression and other mental states are real. Yoga begins with the idea that a human being is a unit.

Healing your energy and establishing a balance allows you to progressively improve your habits and your moods. Yoga will energize you so that you can begin taking steps towards recovery.

One step you can take for a healthier life is to surround yourself with significant relationships and activities that make you feel good. The important thing is make a start.

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  • Uebelacker, L. A., Epstein-Lubow, G., Gaudiano, B. A., Tremont, G., Battle, C. L., & Miller, I. W. (2010). Hatha yoga for depression: Critical review of the evidence for efficacy, plausible mechanisms of action, and directions for future research. Journal of Psychiatric Practice.
  • Field, T., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Medina, L., Delgado, J., & Hernandez, A. (2012). Yoga and massage therapy reduce prenatal depression and prematurity. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.