Yoga for Depression

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Practicing yoga is a great way to maintain a healthy mind-body balance, using constructive physical practices to manifest favourable positive mindsets. Despite the well-known mental and physical benefits of yoga, it is only fairly recently that research has begun into using yoga as a prevention and treatment mechanism for depression and anxiety. I am not simply referring to the physical practice of the asanas, which make up only one of the eight limbs of yoga. The use of breathing and meditation techniques cultivates mental awareness and a greater sense of presence. For many suffering from depression or anxiety, worries and negative thoughts often arise when dwelling on the past or worrying about future. You can break your mind’s connection with these time-related concerns by bringing your attention back to the present moment, through meditation or Pranayama. The physical practice of yoga is traditionally seen as a means to better the body as a vehicle for the soul. Whilst asana practice is a fun and rewarding form of exercise, it is the emotional progression that accompanies it that is key. Anyone questioning the ability of yoga to alleviate the difficulties of living with depression should compare a list of common symptoms of depression with the apparent benefits experienced through the regular practice of yoga. By improving sleep, increasing mental clarity and reducing stress levels through your practice, you are directly targeting some of depression’s most widespread side effects. If not curing the illness, you can at least ease your symptoms enough to give yourself the strength to deal with depression other ways. Exercise has long been known to release feel-good endorphins and yoga does this and more.

What You'll Need

  • Yoga mat

What You'll Do

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