24 Sep Key aspects of Yoga to fight against depression
The pace of life is fast, the environment around us is constantly changing and we have to keep up with the changing tides. This can sometimes get overwhelming as our body and mind is not equipped enough to deal with so many rapid transitions in our life.
With increasing expectations and responsibilities in personal, professional and social life, one comes across many challenges and setbacks. When one faces failure and downfalls at work or home, they tend to feel sad and sometimes lost.
Dr. Hansa ji says, “Sadness and grief is a natural emotion but if it is not attended, then it continues for long. In depression, the balanced state of mind is disturbed and one needs to educate himself/herself and go above his/her own feelings. Yoga is a strong and powerful anti-depressant.”
Depression is the cause of many diseases – hypertension, diabetes and orthopedic problems. If one doesn’t get a treatment for this illness, then it can lead to many serious health disorders.
If one is depressed, he/she starts to feel low, exhausted, worthless, tired and dull and lack of energy. During depression, healthy hormones like serotonin and dopamine is not secreted. Owing to which, body is in negative state, mood is bad and the mind is disconnected from the real world. One feels sad and sees no reason to smile.
To treat depression, Dr. Hansa ji advises, “When the mind is disturbed, the body has to take over.In depression, mind gets weak and doesn’t think properly. Thus, one must get into physical activity. When one starts practicing Yoga, a person starts using his/her mind in the right direction. A person starts bringing positive hormones into his body. His/her entire lifestyle gets well-organized and the hormones start functioning properly.”
How Yoga helps fight depression?
Yoga has a holistic approach towards health and well-being. The practice of Yoga helps in dealing with day-to-day psychological and physiological stressors. Today, we will find out how Yoga fights depression.
1) Deep Relaxation
The best part about Yoga practice is that all the asanas come with various benefits for physical and mental health. Each asana is designed in a way that anybody can do it. When one starts practicing yoga, the person starts focusing on the body movements and breath.
These asanas helps in releasing the stiffness from the body and mind and puts one in a state of ease. Through pranayama and breathing relaxation techniques, one starts to release negative emotions and thoughts and adapts a positive approach towards life.
Pranayama has a direct effect on neuro-cognitive and psycho physiological functioning. The brain gets into alpha waves state and very calming and energetic state
- Pranayama – (Kapalbhati), Anulom Vilom Pranayama, Yogendra Pranayama – IV or abdominal breathing, Bhramari Pranayama
During depression, the state of mind is such that one can’t see clearly. His/her mind is cluttered; one feels overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions. The person doesn’t have the strength to face the world and feels like crying all the time.
In depression, one is often caught with what happened and what will happen. Mindfulness is one such practice that helps on to be aware of their thoughts, patterns, habits and actions. When one starts practicing deep meditation or breathing exercises and even asanas, one learns to shift the focus from the negative to positive. Dhyan or yoga teaches one to be aware of the present moment and live now to the fullest.
3) Reduces stress and anxiety
There are various reasons for stress and anxiety like loss of job, problems in relationships, business concerns, lack of good health and many more. When these stressors are left untreated for a very long time, it causes depression. During stress, one releases cortisol hormone which is not good for the physical and mental health.
During the practice of yoga asanas and pranayama, the body releases feel-good hormones like endorphins and serotonin which boosts the mood and energy of a person. He/she is in a happy state and better equipped enough to deal with daily stressors.
4) Exercising through asanas
When mind is tired, the body should be put to work. It keeps us busy and unnecessary thoughts do not enter and make home in our minds. Through asanas, our various body parts are put to use. Each asana comes with varied flexibility, balancing, stretching and twisting. While doing these asanas, our entire body is active.
There are many asanas that can be practiced to fight depression.
- Surya Namaskar or salutations to the sun
- Paschimottanasana – A powerful asana that strengthens the spine, improves courage and will power
- Dhanurvakrasana – The navel region which is the main source of energy is activated during this asana. An attitude of will-power is naturally generated in the subconscious while performing this posture.
Yoga has a positive effect on the physical and mental health of a person. When one starts practicing Yoga on a daily basis, one can begin to see the differences. Yoga builds the strength, courage and will-power of a person.
When depressed, move to Yoga to feel refreshed, rejuvenated, balanced and in control of your situations. Through yoga, learn to cultivate a positive mindset.