By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
A person, suffering with depression, might feel hopeless, sad, anxious, and irritated on a regular basis. There are many forms of therapy for depression, and seeking professional counseling (psychotherapy) is a wise step forward. Support groups, social support, lifestyle changes, and many prescription medications are available to help people cope with depression. Sadly, there are cases when the side effects of prescriptions can be difficult to bear. Medication can be a viable solution or it can become a short-term answer for symptoms.
Anyone who has been in a depressed state of mind, wants a permanent remedy. Depression recovery takes time. Many people, with depression, have turned to Yoga, exercise, and other holistic alternatives to help relieve the symptoms. Yoga has been proven as a gentle, effective way to eliminate many of the symptoms of depression.
Yoga training provides a way to connect with one’s deeper self. It allows participants to go beyond the day-to-day feelings and attitudes about life, and focus on a greater purpose. Through meditation, reflection, proper breathing, stretching, and strengthening, depressed people can begin to connect with an inner sense of peace and calm. Although any Yoga practice can bring about that inner confidence and calm, there are specific poses that will nurture it further.
As the name implies, this pose can bring great comfort and security. As students curl up, almost to a fetal position, and rest their foreheads on the floor, the pose grounds the body and brings contented feelings.
This pose causes much of the blood from the upper body to flow downward, encouraging contemplative thoughts. As students release the pose and bring fresh blood supply back down the body, they often feel renewed and energized.
Legs up the Wall
Legs up the Wall pose brings the blood flow from the toes and legs down toward the center of the body, giving a grounded feeling. It brings students back to the present moment, allowing one to release the past and the future, and revel in the now. Those suffering from anxiety can begin to understand the importance of releasing the anxiety to focus on a calm presence. As the pose is reversed, the circulation to the legs is renewed.
Cat and Cow Pose
This stretch forces students to focus on deep breathing with each movement. It helps students learn to breathe deliberately, which helps release feelings of anxiety, doubt, or restlessness.
Camel and Bridge
The family of back bending postures opens up the entire chest and heart area of the body. Figuratively, an open heart will welcome new, positive experiences and release old, negative energy. By performing the pose physically, it helps depressed students release negative emotions that may have been held in the heart for a long time.
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