The ULU Yoga Blog

Scientists say that there is one form of exercise which could help you improve low mood, anxiety and reduce stress, in some cases even beating depression. – Read on to learn more about yoga for depression

Yoga for depression

Does yoga help for depression? Depression is a serious illness that can affect people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Depression can make everything feel difficult and joyless. To cope with depression, many people use yoga as a form of therapy. Here are some ways that yoga helps you cope with your depression…

Yoga promotes mindfulness by encouraging you to focus on the present moment. Yoga teaches you how to accept your body and mind as they are today. Yoga also promotes a sense of calmness and well-being which counteracts the negative thoughts that often accompany depression. Yoga is something that has been around for thousands of years helping people deal with their emotions and providing relief from stress and anxiety.

What is depression? 

Depression is a type of mental illness that affects the brain and mood. It’s also sometimes called major depressive disorder (MDD). Depression is especially common in the U.S., and it can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender or background.

Depression symptoms vary from person to person and may include:

  • Lack of energy
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Disturbances in sleep such as insomnia or oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite like eating more or less than usual
  • Difficulty concentrating on things
  • Suicidal thoughts

The link between depression and stress

It’s important to note that depression can be linked to an increased likelihood of developing stress-related illnesses. Depression can cause stress on your body, which can lead to illness. A study done by the American Psychological Association found that people with depression are more likely to develop chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, or cancer than people without depression.

How yoga helps with depression 

According to the American Psychiatric Association, about one in five adults deal with depression in their lifetime. And it’s not just adults who are at risk of depression, either. More than 3 million children and adolescents in America suffer from mental illnesses, including depression.

Depression is a serious illness that can affect people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Depression can make everything feel difficult and joyless. Depression can be treated with medication and psychotherapy but there are also other methods of treatment such as yoga that can help with symptoms of depression. Yoga promotes mindfulness by encouraging you to focus on the present moment.

Yoga teaches you how to accept your body and mind as they are today. Yoga also promotes a sense of calmness and well-being which counteracts the negative thoughts that often accompany depression. Yoga is something that has been around for thousands of years helping people deal with their emotions and providing relief from stress and anxiety.

Yoga increases mindfulness

Yoga teaches people how to be present in the moment. For many, this is a more difficult task than it may sound. One of the most common symptoms of depression is rumination, or focusing on negative thoughts about the past and future. Yoga encourages you to focus on the present moment.

Another way that yoga helps people cope with their depression is by building self-acceptance. Yoga teaches us to accept our bodies and minds as they are today. This helps us get rid of negative thoughts about our bodies, weight, age, sexuality, etc., which are often linked with depression. Spending time every day thinking about how yoga has made you feel will increase your own personal well-being while simultaneously decreasing your depression symptoms.

Yoga encourages acceptance of the body and mind

Shame and fear of what others will think if they see us in yoga clothes is an issue for many people when it comes to trying yoga. The truth is there are people from all walks of life practicing yoga, so don’t let the “yoga body” myth stop you from trying it! One of the most surprisingly challenging aspects of yoga for beginners, actually has nothing to do with fitness, but the fact that it requires a person to give up control and trust themselves in a space that feels safe.

Yoga also teaches you how to breathe deeply and focus on your breath. These breathing exercises help a person better manage their emotions. The physical aspect of yoga benefits a person with depression by strengthening their core muscles which can help relieve back pain or improve posture. Yoga also helps release tension from an overworked mind, relieves stress, and promotes relaxation.

Yoga promotes a sense of calmness which counters negative thoughts.

Yoga promotes mindfulness by encouraging you to focus on the present moment. Yoga teaches you how to accept your body and mind as they are today. Yoga also promotes a sense of calmness and well-being which counteracts the negative thoughts that often accompany depression. As with any form of treatment, it’s important to work with your doctor if you’re considering yoga as an option for treating your depression. It’s also important to note that yoga is not a one-size-fits-all solution, so make sure you find a class or instructor that is right for you.

How yoga helps me have greater perspective

Yoga has helps me have greater perspective in life, and thus I enjoy and value the things that I do much more. Yoga has also helped me to become more aware of my body, mind and soul. Through the practice of asanas I have learned that I have to exercise a greater capacity for patience, concentration and in turn I find a lot of energy that I didn’t know I had. You could easily say that my life has changed for the better and that while my battle with depression remains a life long mission, I would be half the person I am today, if I didn’t have yoga. I am less impatient and negative in all areas of my life and I have a much stronger positive outlook on what is around me. Yoga has helped me become aware of everything that is going on in my body, mind and soul.

Conclusion

Depression is a serious condition that affects many people, including our own loved ones. It can be a hard thing to talk about, but it is important that we do because there is a lot of misinformation surrounding this issue. Yoga can be a useful tool to help you cope with depression and see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is important to find what works for you and to be mindful, accepting and calm when practicing yoga.

Mandy Ballard

Mandy Ballard

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