Depression Relieving Yoga Exercises
Introduction: Yoga can prove helpful in the treatment of many physical and mental problems. Recent studies show that yoga can reduce the effects of stress. It can also help reduce anxiety and depression. “Our mind is a living, breathing organism that needs regular care to thrive, just like a plant. A plant needs sunlight, water, nutritious soil and fertilizer.”
Himalayan Siddha Akshar, founder of Akshar Yoga Institutes, has told about this in an Instagram post. He wrote that spiritual practices like yoga, meditation and mindfulness training have a positive impact on life. Similarly, speaking on the importance of yoga in reducing depression, Sarvesh Shashi, founder of Sarva Yoga Studio, wrote on Instagram that depression is more than just feeling sad. It is a real condition that affects millions of people. He wrote that yoga can be used to reduce depression.
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‘Setu Bandha’ is derived from the Sanskrit word “setu”, meaning bridge, and “bandha” meaning lock or to tie. It strengthens the back muscles, relieves tension in the back, chest, and neck. And it also stretches the spine and calms the brain. However, it is advised that you should avoid it if you have a neck injury or back problem. Pregnant women should do this asana only after the doctor’s permission in the third trimester.
How to Do:
- Lie on back
- Bend your knees and keep your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your arms beside your body, and with your palms facing down, inhale and slowly lift your lower, middle and upper back off the floor. Now hold this posture for about a minute, and exhale as you release the posture.
In Balasana, the body resembles the position of a fetus in the womb. This is known as a relaxation posture and helps in relieving back pain. It also helps relieve stress and anxiety by relieving tension of the chest, waist and shoulders. It helps you breathe better and has a calming effect on the body and mind. It is advised that pregnant women, people suffering from joint pain, high blood pressure, knee injuries or diarrhea should avoid practicing this asana (posture).
How to Do Balasana:
- Sit on the ground with your heels.
- Keep your knees and feet on the floor.
- Slowly bend forward so that your forehead touches the ground.
- Exhale and place both your hands to the sides, your palm should be touching the floor.
- Slowly pull your chest inward.
- Stay in this posture for 45 seconds to one minute and keep breathing.
Also known as Downward Dog Pose because it resembles a dog stretching its body, this asana is practiced while doing Surya Namaskar. It improves blood circulation between the shoulder blades and spine. It is beneficial for the respiratory system as it strengthens the lungs, improves digestion, energizes the body,
relaxes and relieves fatigue by calming the mind. It is recommended that people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, diarrhea, pregnant women in their last trimester, people suffering from injuries in the arms, hips, wrists or back, high blood pressure, headaches, a detached retina or a weak eye should not practice this asana.
How to Do:
- Stand straight with your feet together.
- Kneel on the floor and place your hands on the floor.
- Keep the thighs and arms straight from the floor.
- You will feel a stretch in the back muscles of your legs.
- Take deep breaths.
- Stay in this position for a minute or two and then come up.