Relieving Stress/Depression: 5 Exercises to help you get rid of stress
Depression is a serious but pretty common mental health disorder. About 300 million people of all ages (globally) suffer from depression. It doesn’t allow you to be open-minded, it doesn’t allow you to think the way you used to do, it kills productivity and leads to you not fulfilling your goals, and not fulfilling your goals adds up to the list of reasons of why you are depressed, so you eventually end up being more depressed and the cycle repeats.
In the simplest words, as defined, depression is usually caused by our “over-thinking” about our/others problems that leads to hormonal imbalances which leads to us feeling lost. Naturally, the factors are many, and each case is individual, but in general becoming over-sensitive, feeling “trapped” and helpless is what defines it.
Depression is a condition that makes us feel vulnerable, power-less and completely passive. We stay home, lose our will, motivation to work, even need to eat… We feel overwhelmed by our problems, but at the same time we cannot solve them, as we lost our clarity of judgment, and we feel we lost the sense of life.
Well, the good news is………… depression is curable!
It is often a deep and difficult process, followed by medication and professional medical therapy, but there are plenty of supportive tools, and yoga is definitely one of them!
Since we are an organization that specializes in yoga therapy we would like to introduce a few exercises that you could incorporate into your daily life to step back a bit, and clear your mind which will help you to empower your body and mind, and perhaps to deal with depression. It is always good to support your mental health!
#1 Janu sirsana (head-to-knee Forward bend)
This is a good pose that relaxes the brain and helps to ease depression, stress, fatigue, anxiety and sleeplessness.
While it helps us to “let go” remember to be careful if you suffer from the clinical depression, and you are in the peak of your disease. In such a case please don’t close your body, don’t hide your chest. Make a variation with a straight spine and bring the sternum towards the sky! Yoga for depression should be careful with bringing us more “inwards”, keeping a healthy balance in us staying open and active in the outside world.
Picture Source: www.yogajournal.com
#2 Savasana (corpse pose)
Savasana helps the mind to pause all the usual stressful thoughts. Its the one of the best and simplest pose.
All you have to do is lie down on your back, close your eyes, keep your arms and palms facing up. Relax your ankle outwards. Breath deeply, try to stay in that pose for 5-7 minutes.
If you struggle with closing your eyes, just focus your gaze on one point at the ceiling. Focus on counting your breaths or think about the nice and cosy place that you feel safe at. Think of beautiful forrest or garden, or imagine you are floating on the sea in a sunny day.
Picture Source: www.yogaforhealthyaging.blogspot.in
#3 Uttana Shishosana (Extended Puppy Pose)
This pose helps you to stretch your spine, which helps to release stress and insomnia. It beautifully opens your chest that helps you to feel courage and power. You are in charge of your life. You have the strength, even if you got a bit disconnected!
Picture Source: www.onlinelabels.com
#4 Marjaryasana (Cat Pose)
This pose is very good for your belly and spine. Apart from the fact that it releases stress, it also helps to stimulate the digestive system. Your inner fire is a bit down in depression. We need to make sure to bring it back, to strengthen the belly and back muscles, and empower your body again!
To perform this pose, place your hand under the shoulder and knees under the hips
Picture Source: www.evenmoreaboutyoga.com
Depression is one of the most difficult issues in the contemporary world. As yoga teachers we should stay sensitive and aware that our students might struggle with depression – from mild burn out to a serious life-threatening disorder. There are many tools to help to deal with depression! The newest research confirms the benefits of yoga and mindfulness for patients with depression, anxiety and mental health imbalances.
(Pro tip: Train your brain to know that you are going to feel depressed at some point of time, You can’t be happy always its just human nature. Knowing that you are going to feel depressed could help you divert your mind much easier in the future)