Can Yoga Really Cure Depression In Individuals?

Dec 11, 2019 | yoga&health

You must have heard about depression many times, by now. It is also one of the aftereffects of the pandemic. Youngsters are also succumbing to depression. Suicide cases are on the rise, too. However, earlier the situation was not this bad. Today, people in general have become less tolerant and are living a fast life. If one thing does not occur in their way, they think that the world has come to an end. You may know someone, who is sad, and depressed. However, there is a word of caution here. 

Everybody, who is sad, is not depressed. There is a thin line between the two. You should read this entire article to know more about depression and its cures. 

What Is Depression?

Depression happens to be a major depressive disorder or psychological disorder. It is basically a serious mental illness, which is becoming more common today. Depression points towards continued sadness and loss of interest in life, in general. Moreover, it can also lead to various physical as well as emotional problems. Depression symptoms can be mild or severe. It depends on what the triggers are. The various symptoms, that you may come across are a feeling of sadness, change in eating habits, loss of energy, a feeling of worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide. The above symptoms may last for two weeks or more, and only then can you call it depression. Mostly, teenagers and those in their mid-20s are susceptible to depression. Women of any age can be more prone to depression than men. Additionally, it can be inherited as well. So, you should watch out for the symptoms and age group, or demography, before ascertaining whether it is depression or not. 

Moreover, many people confuse it with general sadness. If you know how to differentiate between the two, it gets easier. When someone close dies, you can be sad. You may grieve for a week to a few weeks. Slowly, most people get on with their work. If you have a break up, you may feel sad. It can linger on for a while. However, you will overcome it. The trickiest bit is, when both occur together. You may not be able to understand the same. The best way forward will be to call for a psychiatrist or a psychologist. The sooner you address the issue, the better it is for you. 

Treatments For Depression and Yoga

There are various treatments for depression, like psychotherapy, medication, and lastly wellness modalities. Yoga is one of them. In this era, people are waking up to the benefits of Yoga. So, why not adopt this holistic practice to treat depressive symptoms?

Many people think that stretching, contorting, meditating, and breathing properly cannot impact your psychological wellbeing. However, a lot of scientific research has proved that it can actually benefit your mental state. You should know some facts and figures before proceeding. Only a few people benefit from psychotherapy and medication. Moreover, one-third of such individuals benefit from antidepressants. 

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Yoga has three main tools – asanas, meditation, and breathing techniques, that can help you to fight depression. 

  • Asanas – You should start with asanas, after speaking with a doctor. 
  • The first asana that comes to mind, when you think about tackling depression is Child’s pose or Balasana. This is a very simple pose that you can try out anywhere. You can simply sit in Vajrasana, and then lift your hands up and slowly go down on the floor, by folding your torso from the waist. The hands also go down with you, in a circular motion. The palms should touch the floor. Moreover, your forehead should touch the floor and the chest should press against the thighs. It is a relaxing pose, which affects the back muscles positively. It also helps to calm down the nervous system.
  • You can also go for the Plough pose or Halasana. It is an easy pose, in which you have to lie down on the back, on the floor. In the meanwhile, you have to slowly raise the legs together and take them to the other side of the head, to touch the floor. You can either keep both hands beside the torso, or use them to support the waist region, when you fold from waist onwards. It is a relaxing pose and can help you to strengthen several muscles. Moreover, it can reduce stress and fatigue, which are precursors to depression. Women also find this very useful after menopause. Moreover, it also affects the mood positively, as the downward flow of blood takes place.
  • Savasana is another yoga pose, which can help you to get rid of depressive symptoms. It is the final state of relaxation after a yoga session. You are expected to lie down on your back, without doing any other activity as such. Breathing in and breathing out in a state of relaxed consciousness is the only activity you are supposed to engage in. You can repair your tissues and cells, by releasing the stress from them. It also allows your yoga session to reach the deeper tissues. It also helps in reducing blood pressure. Insomnia and depression are also cured. You will feel rejuvenated and elated after a session. 
  • Meditation – It is another yogic way to get rid of depression. Mindfulness meditation is the best form of meditation for depression. You will learn to live in the present, and that is why it is so effective. You can let go of all your worries and anxiety, with the help of this meditative activity. Breath awareness meditation is another modality, which you can utilize. In this meditative form, you have to do nothing much, but focus on your breath. It is the single-most activity, which can make a big difference in your life. You can also practice chanting. Using divine and sacred mantras while chanting, will help you to release your sorrows. The universe absorbs the same and you are left with neutral vibes. Then again, you can indulge in prayers, to get all the positivity back.
  • Pranayama – It is the most important yogic activity that can make a huge difference to your psychological health. Nadi Shodhana or alternate nostril breathing is believed to be the best for depressive symptoms. It helps in the reduction of stress and also manages to calm the nervous system. You will also be able to balance your emotions. 

Final Thoughts 

So, now you can address depression through the above ways. Stop taking pills, and try yoga instead. It is a holistic way to heal your life and the people around you. The sooner you adopt a holistic way of life, the better it is for you.