By Manmohan Singh
ADAA, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, reports that about 40 million people affected with anxiety disorders in the USA are adults alone.
Likely to develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality traits, and life events, clinical anxiety disorder is still considered highly treatable while only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment. Besides negligence and taboo regarding the matter of treatment, there is also mass ignorance regarding the kind of help available for treating depression.
Not many treatment-seeking depressed individuals still know the worth of yoga intervention in case of anxiety disorders and depression.
The use of yoga and coherent breathing intervention is supported in mainstream psychological care to balance the side effects of antidepressants. Yoga is also considered self-healing, rather than developing a tedious dependency on depression medicine.
Here is to mitigation of negative thoughts and welcoming all of the light life sends our way with a sequence of five yoga asanas for depression.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
Anxiety and residuals from physical and psychological trauma tend to gather at different zones of our body, one of them being the hips where much of emotional energy concentrates. The Bound Angle Pose or Baddha Konasana should be practiced in order to release the hips and facilitate the unblockage of pent-up energy through and out of the body.
1. Be seated on the mat and bend your knees bringing the soles of the feet together and touching
2. Keeping them on the mat, gently bring apart the soles of the feet, take a deep breath and thus lengthening your spine
3. Exhaling gently, let your knees drop ground-wards
Keep on performing the baddhakonsana for a few good breaths and feel hearty again!
Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Chakra energy dynamics is extremely relevant when we are doing yoga to up our spirits. A quick quiz: With which chakra lies the ability to express, communicate, be creative, and good sense? It’s the fifth, the throat chakra; addressable by poses as the Urdva Mukha Svanasana. When we learn how to express our minds, the acute repressions, and violations, negativity shall be released and transformed into something creative.
Try the pose:
1. Lie down on your stomach with legs extended at the top of the feet dig deep into the ground
2. Keeping the palms beneath your shoulders, push into them and lift your body off the mat, inhaling deeply
3. To avoid compressing the lower spine, lift your sternum as high as possible
4. Stay in the pose for a few breaths
May your expressive spirits explode!
Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana)
Core strengtheners like the Plank Pose too must be featured on this list. When we are feeling strong, we feel good. Confidence and courage to clinch difficult jobs and take risks that are worth it must be backed with essential core strength.
Try this pose to feel your inner strength shoot:
1. Spreading your fingers wide, begin in the table top pose
2. Rotate your shoulders to feel fluid, and fix your gaze between the hands
3. Tucking your toes, step back both feet and lift off with your knees from the mat
4. Draw your heels back and tip the crown of your head to the back
5. Mind your wrists and press strongly down with your fingertip
6. Feel your core enthusing and your spirits lift, hold your hips high
7. Go on for a few breaths
Let thy inner strength beat all negative forces.
Lion Pose (Simhasana)
Spare a thought for the jaw line coming at this point in the anxiety relieving sequence. Tress and negative anticipation can stiffen up your facial expression causing an obstacle in being friendly and presentable. The reflex action of gritting the teeth at points of stress even further intensifies the negative disposition. While the chain of reaction can occur from mental state to physical manifestation, so can it occur from physical relaxation to mental relaxation.
1. Resting your hands upon the knees, keep kneeling
2. Seated up, inhale to the core by nose
3. Next, exhale by opening your mouth wide and touching tongue to chin
4. Look up, your gaze directed between the eyebrows where the ‘third eye’ is
5. Release breath, through the mouth with a strong “haaa” sound but without exercising the vocal cords
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
The last resting principle of anxiety ridding yoga sequence is the Savasana or the Corpse Pose. In the stillness and repose of savasana, you can do some positive introspection and route out the cause of depression.
1. In this yoga for anxiety, recline on the mat with your legs stretched out and arms relaxed
2. Concentrate on areas where tension could have been held up, with each exhale, release from there
3. Prop up your head with blankets or use eye pillows to find comfort
4. Draw relaxing breaths
Ecstasy is overrated, so is the gloom. Work to achieve equilibrium.
Manmohan Singh is a passionate yogi, yoga teacher and a traveler in India. He provides yoga teacher training in Nepal and yoga teacher training in Kerala, India. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. His strong connection with yoga and the Himalayas has made him organize yoga, meditation and Ayurveda tours, and retreats in the Himalayas.
Editor: Alicia Wozniak
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