Yoga for Depression and Decrease Anxiety Levels
Yoga for depression has been tried and tested and proved beneficial for various health problems. Doctors recommend yoga when a person suffers from back pain and other physical ailments. Yoga is an ancient art that has been used over the years to improve the well-being and mental outlook of people and enable them to lead a healthy life.
Research on the subject, carried out recently in America, indicates that a gentle form of yoga practiced thrice a week helps fight depression. It elevates the levels of a chemical that is found in the brain and relaxes the mind. Studies carried out in 2010 by the scientists of Boston University School of Medicine reveals that people who practice yoga, have significantly high levels of GABA amino acid than others who walk, or carry out strenuous exercise. The brain functions efficiently and the calms the central nervous system in the body when a person regularly practices yoga for depression.
People who have lowered levels of GABA are prone to suffering from certain disorders such as anxiety or depression. People, who practice yoga for depression gain more benefits than other people who work out. They may end up releasing endorphins but do not feel as happy and relaxed as yoga practitioners.
Stress generally takes a toll on a person’s health. It is quite a common occurrence today and results from various problems such as unemployment, family issues, studies, relationships and credit crunches that have proved to be the order of the day. When we suffer from prolonged stress, out bodies as well as minds are unable to handle the same. This manifests itself in various ways such as skin problems, ulcers, hypertension, ulcers, asthma, insomnia and also depression and anxiety.
It is possible to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress by breathing in a focused manner and learning the art of awareness.
Yoga helps people to manage their stress with good results.
- When you learn to stretch and twist your body into various postures it relieves tension and physical stress. “Asanas” help unwind the knots and tightness in the neck and back muscles.
- Endorphins are released along with natural hormones when you work out with these types of physical exercise and a sense of well-being pervades the entire body.
- “Pranayamas’ are different breathing techniques that are taught in yoga to help people take deep breaths. This helps to fill more oxygen to the bloodstream and control one’s blood pressure. It is very essential to learn the art of controlled breathing as it proves to be effective in overcoming stress.
- Yoga helps us learn the ‘language of the body’ with Asanas and Pranayamas. We learn how to control ourselves by mastering the art of controlling our body and finding out more about our inner being. We learn that our body, mind and spirit are inter-connected when we practice yoga and that is essential for maintaining balance as we go about our daily works.
- Yoga works well to unclog our minds and keep it clear. Our minds flit from one problem to another constantly. When we practice various Pranayamas and Asanas in yoga, our brain is diverted from normal daily worries and cares.
- It is possible to become more optimistic as we incorporate the philosophy of yoga. Our attitude and minds are open to understanding other views and we are able to further our goals instead of facing constant failure. This is because we learn to think positively when we perform Pranayamas ad Asanas.
- The ‘Savasana” is the last pose that is adopted when we complete the yoga session. This is the corpse or relaxing pose where our body and mind finds a total release and though it may feel as if this relaxation is enforced at first, you find that you are able to face the world with a refreshed mind and recharged energy.
- Savasana which is the corpse pose, ‘balasana’ or the child pose, ‘makarasana’ or crocodile pose and ‘vrikshasan’ the tree pose are a few asanas or kep postures for yoga that help t o relieve stress. A tremendous difference is felt as the mood gets elevated.
Performing the right type of exercise is the way to get maximum benefits. It may be necessary to perform exercises that are moderately challenging. This helps to incorporate certain elements that work towards strengthening the system such as aerobics. Yoga for depression is practiced by many people today with amazing results.
Research on the subject indicates that yoga helps fight depression and enhances the well-being of a person emotionally. It has been proved that the levels of an important stress hormone, Cortisol is reduced when a person practices yoga regularly. Yoga has the power to improve serotonin levels as well.
In 2009, a study was conducted to evaluate changes of moods in people before and after practicing yoga. Out of 54 people who participated, 64% of the cases reported a decrease in disturbance of moods while 53% found that their symptoms of depression were considerably reduced.
Amy Weintraub, the founder of LifeForce Yoga and author of “Yoga for Depression” is of the opinion that the mind needs focusing on thoughts that remove negative spirals instead of allowing them to be absorbed in the mind. This is the way to cope with depression as you will be rid of fears and anxieties when you focus on positive thinking.
According to Weintraub, any person who practices the yogic style of breathing will find a cure for depression. This is because the vagus nerve is stimulated with these type of breathing exercises. A 73% reversal was noticed with a particular breathing technique when people practiced yoga for depression.
Scientific research and studies on the subject indicate that yoga therapy is the best way to treat people who suffer emotional problems. There is no style that can be particularly attributed to yoga. The teacher should be able to make a person feel a change in their lifestyle when they walk out of the door according to Weintraub. She warns practitioners to continue their medication or anti-depressants till they are able to practice yoga successfully for at least 9 months.
Yoga helps a person reduce their anxiety levels and prevent them from taking drugs sold over the counter that may prove habit forming. Your muscles are strengthened, you regain balance and flexibility and learn to improve concentration levels and respond naturally to relaxation therapies. This will ultimately provide innumerable benefits that help fight medical problems and enable a person to stop taking medication over a period.