How does yoga help fight depression?

Yoga is a wonderful tool for fitness, it’s a wonderful tool for flexibility and longevity but, it is also becoming known that it is a relevant form of therapy for people struggling with mental health issues. What can it do for us?

·       reduce the impact of stress

·       be a self-soothing technique similar to meditation, relaxation, and exercise

·       improve energy

Yoga can help ease the symptoms. We know that depression depletes energy, makes concentration difficult, even making decisions is hard in a depressed state.  

How yoga works in a therapeutic manner

The combination of meditation and physical movement provide two important elements for relieving depression. Meditation brings a person into the present moment and allows them to clear their minds. Controlled, focused movements also help strengthen the body-mind connection.

Yoga is all about breathing, and when it comes to the disconnect between body, soul, and mind. Your breath is your anchor. Breath only disappears when you are gone, it is always there and it can bring you back to a place of contentment. Yoga teaches you to connect your body and movements to your breath, your safe space.

Mood and relaxation by using yoga

We’re always busy now, always, all the time. Yoga is a natural way to increase serotonin production, serotonin is our happy chemical and when it floods the body, you’ll find yourself in a better, lighter place.

Each pose is flexible, so people of all levels can practice. Your instructor will talk you through breathing, concentration, and smooth movement.

To reduce stress and anxiety

Yoga also increases your heart rate. A high heart rate means that your body is better at self-monitoring or adapting, particularly to stress.

People who are stressed also have a lower pain tolerance. So niggles, back issues or muscle pain will only contribute to the cycle of anxiety and depression. Endorphins (also released during exercise) are our body’s natural painkillers. More endorphins less pain, more serotonin, less sadness.

What are the pros and cons of yoga therapy?

I have always reiterated that Yoga is a tool in a depressed/anxious person's toolbox. Always remember that it has to be used with other treatments.

Yoga is

·       safe when practiced properly

·       Beneficial for people who want to improve concentration

·       available in many styles for all levels

Yoga can be

·       challenging for beginners and people with limited flexibility

·       uncomfortable, depending on the pose

·       expensive, depending on the studio

Despite the cons, like anything, you do it enough you’ll get better. You do it enough it will get comfortable. Studios aren’t your only option. There are so many to choose from online you can do it at home, whenever you feel a little lost, anxiety, depressed or not connected to your true self.  Here are some of the best:

Strala at Home

Yoga Journal

PsycheTruth

Yoga Online

Yoga with Adriene

Fightmaster Yoga

Angela NicolYes Yes Yoga