Depression is a constant battle within. Sometimes this inner battle spills over into relationships with family and friends, dragging loved ones into the struggle. Loss of appetite, a feeling of hopelessness, anger, irrational behavior and loss of interest in daily activities can be symptoms of depression and these feelings can be alleviated with these simple yoga poses.
One cannot bounce back from depression in a trice. It is a long process that requires patience. Rajesh Sharma, Yoga and Fitness Expert explains, “Mental health depends on the ability of the mind to adjust with various situations in life where Yogic Meditation can play an important role.”
Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anulom Vilom Pranayama):
This is a breathing technique that purges the mind and body, making it beneficial for improving internal conditions and clearing the mind of stress and anxiety.
How To Do Alternate Nostril Breathing: Close your eyes and sit in a relaxed position with your spine erect. Close the left nostril with your left hand and inhale through the right nostril. Exhale after few seconds. Do the same with the right nostril and alternate.
Skull Shining Breathing Technique (Kapal Bhati Pranayama)
This pranayama is actually considered effective in inducing weight loss, helpful for those with diabetes and beneficial for the digestive tract. As for those dealing with depression, kapal bhati is great for boosting the mood by clearing the energy channels and enhancing the nervous system.
How To Do Skull Shining Breathing Technique: Sit with your spinal cord straight, keep your hand on your knees, palms facing upwards. Take a deep breath and as you exhale pull your stomach in. You could place your hand on your stomach to feel the muscles contracting. Relax these muscles as you inhale. Do this 20 times for an effective kapal bhati.
The Bellows Breath (Bhastrika Pranayama)
This breathing technique is all about increasing oxygen levels in the body to keep you upbeat and happy.
How To Do The Bellows Breath: Sit in a relaxed position preferably cross-legged, spine erect and hands on the knees. Inhale with full force so that your lungs are full. And exhale with the same force till you make hissing sound.
Bee Breathing Technique (Bhramari Pranayama)
This breathing exercise is one of the best breathing techniques to relieve anxiety, stress and any feeling of being burdened. Bhramari Pranayama is also effective for lowering high blood pressure and relieving headaches too.
How To Do Bee Breathing Technique: Sit in a comfortable position and place your index finger on the cartilage above the earlobe. Take a deep breath and when you exhale press down the cartilage. Make a humming sound as you exhale.
Passive Observation (Sakshibhavana)
This form of meditation makes you self-aware of what is filtering in and out of your mind. This can be done when you are doing pranayama.
How To Do Passive Observation: Sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Introspect on your thoughts and emotions and allow your breathing to be normal. Let the thoughts flow without judging them. Imagine you are seated in the midst of nature without a care in the world. When you are coming out of this session, slowly open your eyes and instill positive thoughts. It is recommended to practice this every day for five to 10 minutes.
Dead Man’s pose (Shavasana)
You just have to lie flat on the ground and clear your mind to let your stress seep out. Relax and try to wipe out the worries and anxieties. This pose can lower your blood pressure too.
How To Do Dead Man’s Pose: For this asana, lie flat on your back, eyes closed and legs apart. Place your arms by the side of your body with the palms facing upwards. Slowly relax your body and breathe in slowly and gently. Do not fall asleep but completely let go off any urgency and thought.
Then keeping your eyes closed move your body to the right, lie in that position for a minute and with the help of your right hand push yourself up in easy or Sukhasana position. With your eyes closed take few deep breaths and become aware of your environment. When you are completely aware slowly open your eyes.
Dealing with depression and coming out of it depends completely on the person suffering from it. The acceptance to fight it and taking steps to combat it is the beginning of the healing process. Apart from Yoga, counseling and medication are methods that people seek out to deal with depression.
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