Fitness

Does Yoga Really Help With Depression?

Does Yoga Really Help With Depression?

To be depressed is to experience feelings of unending sadness. When we are depressed, not only do we feel hopeless, but we also beat ourselves up over our emotions, feeling shame at our situation. We constantly fill our heads with how we ‘should’ be feeling, and what we ‘should’ be doing to overcome our depression. Motivating yourself to do anything is a struggle – even the natural act of self-care becomes a chore. So how do we bring ourselves back to wanting to care for our bodies and our minds?

Does Yoga Really Help With Depression

Positive Thinking?

We are continuously told that positive thinking has the ability to change our lives. However,  if you are emotionally negative (or depressed), trying to think positively simply hides how you are really feeling. This can be likened to hiding all the mess in your room under your bed. Although you cannot see it, the mess is still there. Over time you keep adding to the mess until eventually, you have to confront it, but at this point, there is so much mess that you’re not sure where to start.

In order to benefit from positive thinking, we first have to feel positive. This can only come through confronting our negative emotions and forming productive relationships with them – making us actually want to clear our rooms, rather than feeling like we ‘should’. The best way to do this is by reconnecting our bodies and our minds.

The Importance of Mind-Body Unity

Recently, there has been a reaction throughout the scientific world to the previously accepted idea of mind-body dualism. This has been coined “embodied cognition” – basically the theory that intelligence and learning are held in the body, and the brain is not the only resource we have to help us solve our problems.

Science is now beginning to realize something that yoga has known for thousands of years – our environment, actions, and perceptions play a vital role in our mental representations of the world around us. Simplified, the mind can influence our bodies, and our bodies can influence our minds. Not only are the two connected, but they are so intertwined that they cannot exist without the other.

Yoga For Depression

So let us understand Does Yoga Really Help With Depression? Yoga is an ancient holistic health system, believed to originate in India around 5000 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a widely recognized mind-body practice, promoting physical and mental wellness. Similar to ‘embodied cognition’, yogic philosophy holds strong roots in ideas of mind-body unity. The physical postures combined with breath work are designed to have a profound influence on the mind.

Our sensory awareness – the ability to understand the internal needs of our body – is a vital part of our intelligence, but often overlooked because we cannot physically see it. Throughout a yoga class, you are taught how to cultivate sensory awareness by focusing on the sensations in the body from moment to moment. Increasing our sensory awareness also increases our capacity to understand and respond to the emotional needs of our bodies, breaking cycles of negative reactivity – the habit of hiding the mess. Through yoga, we can begin our journey to recovery by reconnecting with our bodies and re-learning how to respond to our internal needs.

Here are some ways that mind-body connection through yoga can promote recovery from depression:

Through awareness on the breath and the encouragement to focus on the physical sensations in the body, yoga forces us to connect with the present moment, giving the mind space away from negative thought patterns.

Over time, gaining greater control in the body leads to greater control in the mind, helping to alleviate depression by interrupting the cycle of reactivity.

A greater sense of control over the body also increases self-confidence, vital for overcoming depression.

Focusing on the breath and combining it with meditative movements reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety by promoting a sense of calmness and mental focus.

Through increased sensory awareness, we are able to recognize our emotional needs and respond accordingly.

Connection is also an important part of overcoming depression. A better understanding of our emotions makes it easier to communicate them. By displaying our vulnerability, we encourage connection by allowing others in.

In his book, Yoga and The Quest for the True Self, Stephen Cope claims through yoga we experience a “visceral re-connection with the needs of our bodies” and discover “a brand new capacity to love the self”.

As we explore this new found love for our own selves and connection with our bodies, we find that we intrinsically care more about our emotional needs, our diets, our time management and our energy. Becoming more in touch with our bodies removes the “should” from our self-care routine; we begin to want to tidy the mess in our room, caring for ourselves out of love and compassion, from a place of authenticity.

Author Bio:

This wonderful article about Does Yoga Really Help With Depression was contributed by Kosta Miachin is the creator of VIKASA Yoga method – a unique, challenging and effective approach to yoga. He is also the founder of VIKASA Yoga Academy. You can find him online: http://www.vikasayoga.com

About the author

Praveen Rajarao

Praveen Rajarao is an Entrepreneur and in his spare time blogs on his website –http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com and http://www.pbgeeks.com. His topics range from blogging to technology to affiliate programs and making money online and how-to guides. Daily Morning Coffee is also accepting Guest Posts from Professional Bloggers at this time, take a look at “Write For DMC” page for more details on the same.

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  • Hello Praveen and Kosta,

    Yoga has tremendous health benefits. It helps us to keep our body and mind healthy. Today’s competitive and rush world depression is a common problem. It also comes when we are unsuccessful in our life. Keep ourselves positive we have to think positive and yoga really helps in this. Thanks for sharing these great tips here.

    Have a Great day 🙂
    Vishwajeet
    Vishwajeet Kumar recently posted…15 ways Hackers can steal your Credit/Debit Card Details.My Profile

  • Hey Praveen,

    Excellent post!

    Yoga actually helps in coming out of depression.

    Agree! Depression makes our life hopeless, all negative thoughts come in our mind and nothing motivates us.

    Practicing Yoga in our daily live helps us to overcome depression and provide peace to our mind and body. It also increases self-confidence and we start to love and care ourselves.

    Thanks for sharing the benefits of yoga.

    Thanks,
    – Rekha
    Rekha Barla recently posted…Top 10 Useful Gadgets to Buy for 2018My Profile

  • There has been many benefits from doing yoga, it will help to increase our power of concentration, and also if anybody is suffering from depression, then with yoga exercise he can regain strength of his mind and body, the article is really helpful, thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Praveen,
    Yoga really a best option for all especially for the ones who are in depression. Its gives peace to mind and body. Its a big boon to our lives if we practice regularly.
    Thanks for sharing this post.
    Keep Sharing
    Thanks & Bye

  • Hey Praveen,
    Your article is really good, Applause for it! As we all have an idea about Yoga but We don’t have any idea about the pros of it! As you discussed about all the pros, many reader come to know how its useful and how it reduces Stress. thank you for sharing and keep posting.

  • Hi praveen,

    Thanks for your valuable information…..It’s help to reduce our stress and depression.it gives relax to mind and body.

  • Thanks for providing amazing information on Yoga and meditation and gives valuable information on how to maintain fit and slim our body.

  • Nice and amazing information regarding yoga and meditation, gives fabulous guidance on how to relax our mind and don’t take stress to much on our mind.

  • yoga.. Wonderful information,thanks a lot for sharing kind of information.This is just the kind of information thanks a ton once again.this is very nice one and gives in depth information…We would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post.Thank you…..

  • Yes, I agree with your blog but it is not only for depression. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Among the most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga. The origins of yoga have been speculated…Thanks for the very nice and beautiful blog..

  • Thank you for giving a great with good knowledge information thanks a lot of sharing this information..thanks to giving yoga info…

  • It is generally accepted that physical activity is a great way to relieve stress and exercise such as yoga can be very effective ways of battling stress. This is not a easy fix, but it is part of a long-term plan that pays off in the long run.

  • Yoga makes sense. Any kind of situation depression, anxiety, fat, weight etc it can be helpful. If we feel nature, the beauty of nature like tours and travel, yoga these all activities help to make fresh our mind and body. We offer Luxury Train Tours at very affordable price.

  • Situational anxiety is also termed as a generalized anxiety disorder. Medically, there is no definite term to classify the situational anxiety disorder (SAD) from the other terms of the anxiety such as depression, tension, and anger.

  • Thanks for sharing the benefits of yoga for stress. I have a personal experience that yoga is very helpful for people who suffer from depression and stress.

  • You know what? i knew about some poses of yoga like svastikasana, gate pose etc but not in detailed like it releases stress. today i know about it. Today’s competitive and rush world depression is a common problem. It also comes when we are unsuccessful in our life. Keep ourselves positive we have to think positive and yoga really helps in this. Thanks for sharing these great tips here. Wonderful information, thanks a lot for sharing kind of information. This is just the kind of information thanks a ton once again.this is very nice one and gives in-depth information

  • Being a Yoga practitioner in the form of Pranayam and yogic exercise practitioner I found this post close to my heart, gone through the entire post with some valuable input insight.
    Thanks for sharing with us, God bless you.

  • Indeed, to be able to heal or calm our mind we need a good harmony with our body, and be able to take them both to a positive state.

    It is appreciated that there are initiatives like this that allow us to help others to fight depression without having to resort to drugs and medicines. Thank you very much for researching alternative therapies like this one.
    J.F. Psycho recently posted…Como Ayudar a una Persona con DepresiónMy Profile

  • Good job done. After reading this people will really conclude that yoga gets you out of depression. Explained really well how the benefits of yoga have an impact on human nature. Well done.

  • Thinking too much will stress you more and will affect your health. Yoga could be a really great way to help you control and take out depression. Aside from these, it has many benefits that will maintain our mental health.

  • Yoga maintains a balance mentally and physically. When everything is in balance in your body there is also a balance in the physiology of the brain. The mind is calm and does not react to external triggers.

  • Yoga is one form of exercises where your body relaxes and calms. It requires you to meditate and leave the stress behind. For me it helps me to relieve from anxiety and depression.

  • Yoga has gigantic medical advantages. It causes us to keep our body and psyche solid. The present serious and surge world sorrow is a typical issue. It likewise comes when we are fruitless in our life. Keep ourselves positive we need to think positively and yoga truly helps in this. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing these incredible tips here.

  • Yep, it’s a remedy for depression. My brother was depressed after his breakup and I suggest him to start practicing yoga. Now, he is fresh and okay. He is going loves yoga day by day. Keep up the good work!

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