Practising yoga for anxiety and depression can help you correct the energetic imbalance at the root of these diseases. In this article, we list the 10 best yoga postures for managing anxiety and depression in women.
Working women do a great job every day. Each day we fulfil, with utmost finesse, the roles of being a loving mother, a doting wife, a diligent homemaker while being a true professional.
Between domestic duties and work life, it’s natural for a woman to feel stressed. As you continue to work around the clock neglecting your mind and body, fleeting episodes of stress can soon transform into wrecking depression.
The symptoms of depression and anxiety can drain you of hope and vitality, leaving you with a feeling of void, sadness, and helplessness.
Depression impacts every aspect of your life, including physical, social, relationship, career, sense of self-worth. It’s important to know that you don’t have to live with anxiety and depression.
Take charge of your mental health and peace. Embrace self-care, you deserve every bit of it. Yoga for anxiety and depression is an avowed practice for creating a calm mind. It benefits practitioners of all gender and age.
Start with the following yoga practices. Invest your time in performing yoga poses and reap the pleasures of good sleep, healthy weight, and long-lasting happiness.
While committing to your yoga practice on a daily basis, if you develop a perpetual love for it and wish to elevate your practice, then you can enrol in yoga teacher training in India.
Practising yoga for stress helps counteract anxiety-driven depression because it lowers the production and level of stress hormones in the brain, inducing a relaxation response.
When relaxation kicks in, you’re liberated from heavy feelings caused by symptoms of depression and anxiety. The invigorating practice of Sun Salutations gives your mind the time and space to focus.
The Ashtanga Yoga series starts with Surya Namaskar, which is incorporated in the curriculum of the 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh.
Restorative and relaxing yoga asanas practised with breathing uplifts the spirits and provides anxiety relief without overstimulation of the brain. Backbends open the chest, which is important for relieving anxious emotions.
In Pranayama, the focus on exhalation promotes a calm, serene mind. End the practice in Savasana (Corpse Pose) to intensify the relaxation response.
During meditation, you try to focus on an object while letting go of the thoughts that make your mind weak and stressful.
Slowly, add a moment of awareness in your yoga practice. Notice the way your breath moves, the sensations felt through manoeuvring and on the thoughts that occur during the practice.
Take this mindfulness off the mat into your daily life. When you pay attention, you identify with your feelings, and that’s when you can resolve them.
10 Yoga Poses To Manage Anxiety And Depression
Practising yoga for anxiety and depression can help you correct the energetic imbalance at the root of these diseases. In this article, we list 10 best yoga postures for managing anxiety and depression in women.
1. Warrior Pose II (Virabhadrasana II)
Stand in Tadasana. Exhale and keep your feet 3-4 inches apart. Spread your arms wide out and parallel to the floor, shoulder blades wide, palms down.
Turn your right foot in and left foot out. Align the heels together. With an exhalation, bend your left knee over the left ankle. Turn the head to the left and look over the fingers. Retain the position for 30 seconds to one minute.
Benefit: The warrior pose builds courage and resilience. It will help you, become fierce as a warrior and overcome depression bravely.
2. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Start on your fours. Bring your knees directly under your hips and hands forward of your shoulders. Spread the fingers of the palm, parallel to the ground. Tuck the toes under.
Upon exhalation, lift the knees off the floor. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of the pelvis. Now, extend the legs behind. Keep the head between the upper arms. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
Benefit: In the upside-down position, your brain gets more oxygenated blood that alleviates symptoms of mild depression and energizes the body.
3. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana):
Perform Badhha Konasana (feet together with hands around, knees wide open to the sides, and back straight).
Exhale, lower your back towards the floor, lean over your forearms, and slowly lay your back on the ground.
Keep the legs in baddha konasan position. Spread the arms to the sides, palms facing upward.
Benefit: A restorative yoga posture for calming the body and senses. This pose can be modified with props. Learn the correct usage of props in poses during yoga teacher training in India.
4. Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)
Sit on the earth in an Easy Pose (Sukhasana). Keep the palms on the floor near to your hips. Inhale keeping the front torso long; hoist the arms in an upward direction.
Upon exhalation, bend forward from the hip joints and not the waist. Keep the spine long while folding forward. Reach for your toes with your hands, but do not push yourself beyond the limits.
Benefit: As you fold forward, you relieve your mind from anxiety and vitalize your body, which makes you feel alive.
4. Wide-Angle Standing Forward Bend Pose (Prasarita Padottanasana)
Start in Mountain Pose. Separate your feet 4 inches apart. As you breathe out, bend forward from your hips. Bring the arms down and place the palms on the floor in between your feet.
Elevate your hips towards the ceiling and broaden your shoulder blades. You can support your head on a folded blanket.
Benefit: The pose calms the jittery nerves and reduces physical fatigue.
5. Upward Facing Bow Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
Lie on the floor in a supine position. Bend your knees and keep the hip-width apart, your heels close to your hips. Fold your elbows, take your arms backwards with fingers pointing at the feet.
Raise your hips and chest up from the ground. Straighten your arms as much as you can. Lift your tailbone up.
Benefit: This pose enhances the blood circulation in the body, including the brain thus fostering a feeling of wellness.
8. Plow Pose (Halasana)
Lie on a yoga mat with arms by your side. Inhale and lift your feet to 90-degrees. Support your lower back with your hands.
Lift them off the floor. Continue to lift up as you hinge your hip and rest the feet above your head. Keep breathing in the pose.
Benefit: A quieting yoga pose for a tense brain.
9. Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana)
Stand straight on a yoga mat with feet slightly apart from each other. Upon exhalation fold forward on your legs, keep the back straight. Try to touch the ground with the fingers. Take deep breaths in the pose.
Benefit: A beneficial pose for stress and mild depression.
10. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
End your practice in this pose. Lie on the ground on your back. Spread your arms and legs. Close your eyes and start breathing. Stay in the position until you feel physically and mentally relaxed.
These 10 yoga poses will help you deal with anxiety and depression and beat the blues with the science of yoga. Practice them regularly and you will definitely see the benefits.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this web site is presented for the purpose of educating people. Nothing contained on this web site should be construed nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Should you have any healthcare-related questions, please call or see your physician or other qualified health care provider promptly. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet, or fitness program.
Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He organises 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh and conducts Yoga Teacher Training in India in different cities. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.
Images @ Rishikul Yogshala