Is it possible to do yoga for depression treatment? Yoga has been an integral part of my life for more than five years. My daily life was marred by low self-esteem, depression, and a day-today existence. Asthma symptoms were often the cause of depression. A rare occurrence, that is until I discovered Yoga’s potential benefits for treating depression.
It’s not surprising that I was not the only one suffering from this condition. Studies have shown that more than 20 million Americans receive some sort of depression treatment medication annually. Side effects of anti-depressants should not be overlooked. Even though they are effective for some time, side effects of anti-depressants include nausea, fatigues, insomnia, and some sexual dysfunctions.
As with almost any human condition, it’s possible to get relief without drugs. Yoga is my favorite treatment for depression.
How could this be possible? Yoga, and all its gentle movements and postures, is the first to explain this.
Theta wave (unconscious memory, dreams, emotions) and Alpha waves are both significantly increased after the exercise. Eric Hoffman, Ph.D. did a Scandinavian experiment that measured brain waves during and after a Yoga class.
As a result you will feel more connected to your subconscious and emotions. Alpha waves are also increased in the right time region of the brain. Previous studies have shown people with depression tend have more alpha activity left-frontal-temporal, while optimistic, extroverted individuals have more right-frontal-temporal activity.
Yoga’s execution results in a noticeable decrease in the hormone cortisol as well as an increase in the hormone hormone prolactin. Many professionals believe this is the key to the anti-depressant action of electroshock treatment.
Yoga, in its ability to exercise the motor centers of your brain, makes it easier for you to think positive thoughts.
You could do this with a variety of Yoga poses. But I’ll limit my options to three simple but highly effective ones: the Sun Salutations, Shoulder Stand, and Relaxation poses.
Yoga Poses that Treat Depression
1. Sun Salutations
Sun exercises balance and stimulate all parts of the body. These include the nervous and endocrine system. They can be done in rounds of 3 and are a mixture of very simple movements, performed in a flowing motion. They can be used as a warm-up to other Yoga poses. However they can also stand alone as a Yoga lesson so that you don’t have to spend too much time trying to find Yoga’s healing benefits for depression.
2. The Shoulder-stand
This pose, despite its name, is not difficult to master. It is also the one that Yoga Instructors and writers consider to be the most effective for all human ailments, including depression. It’s an uncomplicated inversion pose, which I often see kids doing. We all have done it at some point. Everything is inverted and this can change old patterns. You can see for yourself the positive effects of this pose on depression treatment by combining it with its counter postures.
3. The Relaxation Pose
The most loved of them all! It is a motionless, lying down on one’s back, with an emphasis on meditation and deep, even breathing. It can be performed for several seconds to ease tension and stress. Mentally repeating positive affirmations or verses of faith could help you feel better.
My favorite verse while performing this pose, being a Christian myself is Rom 12 : 2- “I’m being transformed by God’s renewing of me thoughts.”
Yoga for Depression Treatment: Closing Thoughts
Yoga POSES is not the solution to all your depression. No. Yoga is not just about the use of poetry. Yoga for depression treatment should include breathing exercises, pranayama and meditation.
These limbs will not be covered in any other articles. However for those who are searching for an alternative to depression, drug-free and without unwanted or oft times harmful side effect, simple Yoga principles and natural techniques may be your best options.
When you have depression and you go to the doctor, it might be a good idea for you to ask for a prescription for Yoga for depression treatment. It is possible to help you greatly and it will not hurt.