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Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

Listen to “Yoga for Anxiety and Depression “.

Anxiety disorders, including depression and post-traumatic stress, are the most common mental illnesses. They affect approximately 121 million people worldwide and, if current trends continue, it’s estimated that by the year 2020, depression will be the world’s second leading cause of disability.

Today’s treatments for depression and anxiety leave much to be desired. Pharmaceuticals may help some symptoms, but they can also have negative side effects such as weight gain and decreased sexual desire which can cause people to abandon medication altogether. 

As cases of depression and anxiety increase throughout the world, research is being conducted to find more sustainable and accessible treatments. 

Studies show that yoga therapy can help with stress, anxiety, and depression.

According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, recent studies suggest that yoga can:

  • reduce the impact of stress
  • help with anxiety and depression
  • be a self-soothing technique similar to meditation, relaxation, and exercise
  • boost energy levels

Yoga is a gentle exercise that incorporates both meditation and controlled, physical movements. The focus on deep breathing and stretching is effective for relieving the symptoms of depression, such as sleep troubles, pain, and a loss of energy. Through yoga, you can release the emotional toxicity stored in the body.

Depression and anxiety cause people to become stuck in a cycle of negative self-talk, obsession about the past and anxiety about the future. Physical exercises that increase awareness of sensations arising from within the physical body can help people heal.  

During a yoga practice, each asana allows participants to focus their attention on themselves. Yoga gives you totality and allows you to find space within yourself to unite the body, mind and spirit.

The primary movement of your body and the most powerful force in your life is the quiet cycle of your breath. Yet few know much about this inner resource. Consciously learning how to breath in movement and stillness, in agitation and joy can lower your heart rate, alleviate stress, support sleep, expand your capacity for life-force, promote health and serve as a bridge to your spiritual nature.

The practice of Yoga is believed to have started at the very dawn of civilization. Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science, which focuses on harmonising the mind and body. It is the art and science of healthy living. When your physical, intellectual, and spiritual selves are working in union,  life becomes more balanced and you will become more flexible – both physically and emotionally.

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