Depression

Using Yoga To Treat Depression

Yoga May Help Fight Depression

When I got married, I found myself succumbing to low moods and depression whenever my better half criticized me or whenever we got into an argument. I simply couldn’t handle criticism from my better half.

In addition to that, the arguments often made me stress over whether or not our marriage would last. In fact, I often wondered if I could manage to go through a separation/ divorce if it ever got that.

Somehow, I thought that becoming a mother would take my mind off these troubling thoughts. However, I soon discovered that becoming a mother only brought with it, even more, challenges.

My daily chores increased, I had less time for myself and ultimately, less time to take care of myself. To add on that, being a mother brought with it the added dilemma of trying to strike a balance between being a wife and being a mother. Subsequently, I found myself sinking deeper into depression.

A friend of mine, who is also a wife and a mother, suggested that I should try yoga to treat my depression. At first, I was very skeptic about it, but I decided to try it out all the same. This turned out to be the best decision in my life. My self-esteem increased, I felt more calm and more in control. Even my health and fitness are improved significantly within months of starting yoga.

This turned out to be the best decision in my life. My self-esteem increased, I felt more calm and more in control. Even my health and fitness are improved significantly within months of starting yoga.

Depression

Just like me, many women get depressed from their daily chores, their relationships, and their life situations.

Ultimately, untreated depression may result in a feeling of hopelessness, loss of appetite, loss of energy, sleeping problems, loss of concentration as well as many health problems.

Yoga is a wonderful and effective method of depression treatment. Here are some of the ways you can adopt yoga to fight off depression.

1. Adopt The Yoga Philosophy In Your Life (Yamas And Niyamas)

In yoga, the yamas refer to those things that we should avoid doing while the niyamas refer to those things that we ought to try doing. It is these guidelines that ultimately help to promote inner peace as well as outer peace.

In so doing, they create some sort of harmony or balance within you. What’s more, these guidelines promote positive relationships between you and the external environment (which includes other people).

Adopting the yoga philosophy is absolutely critical in depression treatment. The yamas include;

  • Non-harming/ Nonviolence
  • Truthfulness
  • Nonstealing
  • Moderation of energy. This includes avoiding those things that may cause mental or emotional turbulence.
  • Non-possessiveness. This can also be translated to mean avoiding the temptations of a material world and having just enough for your needs.

Depression

The niyamas comprise of the following principles;

  • Being pure both in mind and in physicality. This will help you keep calm.
  • Being content with what you have and accepting life as it is.
  • Being self-disciplined
  • Knowing yourself from within and seeking happiness from within rather than from the outside world. You can call this self-study also.
  • Connecting with a higher/benevolent being i.e. God. One way of doing this is by praying on a regular basis.

2. Practice Yoga Postures (Asanas)

Depression

Simply put, the Asanas are the yoga “dances” and postures that ultimately improve one’s health and fitness.

Yoga poses trigger relaxation, strengthen the nervous system and even help in improving self-esteem and self-perception. Some of the best postures for depression treatment include;

  • The forward fold
  • The head to knee forward bend
  • The Cobra back bend
  • The bridge pose
  • The cat stretch
  • The fish pose
  • The corpse pose
  • The headstand
  • The bow pose

Many other postures can help in depression treatment. All of these poses, as well as detailed instructions on how to do them, can be found by performing a simple search on the internet.

3. Breathing Exercises (Pranayamas)

Depression

Breathing exercises do an amazing job of relaxing the mind and body as well as getting rid of unwanted or unnecessary thoughts.

Yogis consider the breath to be an important force in life and as such, one of the most important pillars of yoga. Controlling the breath can, therefore, have a profound effect on depression treatment.

There are numerous breathing practices in yoga. Personally, I like the following;

  • Breath retention
  • Lion pose
  • Single Nostril Breath
  • Yoga of Sound breath
  • Conqueror breath

4. Meditation

Depression

Depression treatment would be incomplete without meditation. Meditation has the effect of instilling a sense of inner calmness and tranquility.

Meditating at least once a day helps get rid of worrisome thoughts as well as avoid feelings of insecurity and uncertainty.

In addition to that, research has shown that meditation helps relax tense muscles and also helps in eliminating stress hormones from the body.

Remember, a relaxed mind is a stress-free mind.