Postures for depression
The following represents some of the best recommended poses for the alleviation of depression and anxiety:
Picture taken from Namaste Kid
Balasana / Child's Pose
Child's pose is great for relieving depression, anxiety and fatigue. It acts via stretching the muscles of your lower back, buttocks and hips. Here is how it is performed:
- Sit on your bent knees with the back of your feet touching the floor. Rest the palms of your hands on your thighs.
- Bend down slowly lowering your torso, so that your chest and belly rest between your thighs, until your forehead and nose touch the floor.
- Stretch your arms backwards, beside your legs, with your palms facing upwards.
- Now, take 5 to 10 deep long breaths. Relax and try to inhale and exhale as deeply as you can.
Picture taken from The Yoga Way
Bhujangasana / Modified Cobra Pose
The modified cobra pose is very effective in elevating your mood and boosting your energy. It acts through strengthening the muscles of the back. Here is how to perform it:
- While in the Child's Pose, slowly extend your feet backwards to lie stretched with your face facing the floor.
- Press your forehead and toes lightly against the floor, while gently resting your palms on both sides of your rib cage. Bend your elbows and rotate them slightly towards the center of your spines, as if you are attempting to hug your back.
- Breathe in slowly as you lift your rib cage from the floor. Press gently your palms against the floor, so that you mainly use your back muscles to pull your chest and shoulders up.
- Relax your shoulders lifting your palms off the floor. Broaden your hands across your shoulders extending them forwards. Inhale and exhales slowly and deeply twice, while in this position.
- During exhalation, press your palms back against the floor, while gently and slowly lowering your chest back to the floor.
Picture taken from Ayushveda
Marjayasana / Cat Pose
The cat pose is a great relaxation exercise. It increases the flexibility of the back and it is also alleviates depression and anxiety. Here is how to perform it correctly:
- Support your body on your knees and hands. The distance between your hands should be equal to the width of your shoulders and your knees should be at a distance equal to the distance between your hips. Spread your fingers and gaze directly towards the floor.
- Inhale slowly and deeply. Exhale deeply while pulling your stomach backwards and contracting the muscle of your buttock. During exhalation, press your palms against the floor to relax your shoulders.
- Elevate your back towards the ceiling, so that your spines are rounded.
- Flex your neck towards your chest, so that you can see the floor between your feet.
Picture taken from Athleta
Viparita Karani, or legs up the wall
This pose is great for insomnia and anxiety. It can also promote relaxation via re-routing of the circulation of the brain.
Picture taken from Merchant Circle
Shirshasana or headstand
Although this pose can be difficult to perform, it has been shown to alleviate depression, insomnia and anxiety via promotion of the blood circulation of the brain.
Picture taken from Pinterest
Virabadrasana or Warrior "I" Pose
It acts through strengthening of the core and muscles of the legs. It is very effective in alleviation of stress and anxiety.
Most Yoga specialists and researchers recommend spending three hours each week doing these Yoga poses in order to fight off depression and anxiety. After 12 weeks of regular Yoga, the levels of GABA in the brain will increase, leading to mood elevation and alleviation of depression and anxiety.
Yoga turns out to have more benefits for the mind as well. We have tried postures for stress on Healing Through Yoga first series from Kaya and we liked it. What about you? Write us your own experiences with yoga or drop us some lines below :)