These 5 effective yoga poses can reduce symptoms of depression

When depression strikes, life seems hopeless. But, yoga can help you. Try these yoga poses to improve your mental health.
yoga for depression
Yoga can help you beat your depression blues. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Nikita Bhardwaj Updated: 18 Jun 2020, 06:10 pm IST
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Are you often engulfed by feelings of worthlessness? Is getting out of bed becoming a task for you? Do you feel like you have no future? These are some things that could point towards depression.

If this is how you’ve been feeling, you might find some relief by practising yoga. When it comes to this age-old system, it is so important to remember that yoga isn’t just for physical health but also contributes to improving mental health.

Yoga has shown its efficacy in multiple things like weight loss, cognitive behaviour, physical ailments, and mental health is another thing that yoga can take care of.

There have been multiple studies published in journals like PLOS ONE, International Journal of Preventive Medicine, Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, and more that have noted that yoga has shown promising results when it comes to depression and anxiety.

That’s why, we’ve got in touch with Grand Master Akshar who is a yoga expert, to help us understand why some poses in yoga are paramount when it comes to depression and anxiety.

But before you begin on this yoga journey, please bear in mind that ease poses can ease your depressive symptoms but cannot cure your depression. If you do have depression, please seek professional help.

Here are the five yoga poses that you can do regularly to fight depression:

1. Child’s pose aka balasana
Child’s pose is known to bestow stability and calmness on you. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School and a study published International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology, practising child’s pose daily can help in reducing the symptoms of depression or anxiety.

lower back pain
Child’s pose. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Grand Master Akshar says, “The formation of the Child’s Pose or Balasana itself is extremely calming and restful. One of the most comfortable poses in yoga, it is used as a break in between transitions. It gently stretches your lower back and hips, enabling your body to relax. Placing the forehead on the ground immediately makes one feel rooted and connected to the Earth. This provides a sense of stability and is helpful if your anxiety is impacting your sleep.”

2. Plow pose aka halasana
“Halasana or Plow Pose enhances your posture by reducing the strain on your back. When the back is stretched, it has a soothing effect on your brain and reduces stress. This pose is very helpful for those who suffer from headaches and insomnia. The formation of Halasana is such that the head is placed below the heart” he says.

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He added that, “This is soothing and cooling for the nervous system. The brain receives fresh, oxygenated blood which can help you manage anxiety, depression, and insomnia.”

3. Bridge pose aka sethu bandhasana
Well, this one is not just great for depression and anxiety but it also helps your gut to stay healthy.

Bridge pose. Image courtesy: @theshilpashetty

Grand Master Akshar says, “Bridge Pose is a powerful inversion which is known to open up space around your heart. As a heart opener, it is believed to increase a person’s focus and clarity. Inversion poses generally can be helpful for those with anxiety. Bridge Pose or Sethu Bandhasana can be done to relieve any strain on the back. It strengthens the back muscles and provides relief to a tired spine. It makes you feel light and is ideal for people suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression.”

4. Downward-facing dog aka adho Mukha Svanasana
This is one of the most dynamic poses in yoga and the flow of this pose is known to circulate blood throughout our body.

Downward-facing dog
Downward-facing dog. Image courtesy: Tejinder Kaur

According to Grand Master Akshar, “Inversions are extremely beneficial for nervous system health. Adho Mukha Svanasana allows fresh blood to flow into your body. It provides a good stretch to the neck and cervical spine along with releasing any stress stored within them. This helps in reducing anxiety and calming your being.”

Also read: Downward-facing dog can help you feel energetic and this is how you can do it

5. Corpse pose aka savasana
According to our yoga guru, “Performed at the end of most physical yoga sessions, the corpse pose is a favourite pose for many. It’s easy and also very effective. Anxiety is exhausting, draining you both physically and mentally. When you get into savasana, the posture gives you a chance to relax and recoup. It begins to cool your mind.”

yoga poses for better sleep
Savasana. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Bottom line is that you need to take care of your breathing techniques while doing these poses and take it slow to reap the maximum benefits.

So, try these yoga poses for at least two to three weeks regularly and let the peace prevail in your life.

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About the Author

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content. ...Read More

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