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Yoga for Depression: Finding Balance and Hope in Your Body and Mind

What is depression?

Let's listen what people who go through it say,

“Depression feels like a heavy weight pressing down on me. I can barely get out of bed in the morning, and it takes so much effort to do the simplest things. I don't enjoy anything anymore, and I feel like I'm just going through the motions of life.”

“I'm constantly exhausted, even when I get enough sleep. I feel like I'm dragging myself through the day, and I can't concentrate on anything. I make careless mistakes at work and in my relationships.”

“I'm irritable and easily frustrated. I snap at people for no reason, and I feel guilty about it later. I'm also very sensitive to criticism, and even small things can set me off.”

“I feel worthless and guilty. I think about all the things I've done wrong in my life, and I can't forgive myself. I feel like I'm a burden to my family and friends, and I don't deserve their love and support.”

What makes people go through such difficult situations:


Depression is a complex disorder, and there is no single thing that causes it. Instead, it is likely that a combination of genetic and social factors, each with a small effect, contributes to the risk of developing the disorder.


The genes that have been linked to depression are involved in the production and regulation of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit signals between nerve cells. Neurotransmitters play a role in many different functions, including mood regulation.

If there is a defect in a gene that is involved in the production or regulation of neurotransmitters, it can lead to an imbalance in neurotransmitter levels. This imbalance can contribute to the development of depression.

Other genes that have been linked to depression are involved in the growth and development of nerve cells. If there is a defect in a gene that is involved in these processes, it can lead to changes in the structure and function of the brain. These changes can also contribute to the development of depression.

It is important to note that genetic factors alone guarantee that someone will develop depression. Along with genetic predisposition if a person is going through poverty it can lead to stress, stigma, and lack of access to healthcare, all of which can contribute to depression. A person who is discriminated against at work or in their personal life may feel isolated and worthless. This can also lead to depression. A person who goes through a major life change, such as the death of a loved one or job loss, may experience depression as a result of the stress and grief. A person who is socially isolated may not have the support system they need to cope with difficult times, which can lead to depression.


Imagine that your body is a garden, and your genes are the seeds. If you plant a seed for a rose bush, you will likely grow a rose bush. However, there are other factors that can affect how the rose bush grows, such as the quality of the soil, the amount of sunlight, and the amount of water.


It is also important to note that even if you have a gene for depression and other social factor are causing you depression, you can still a choice to come out of it and protect your mental health by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and developing healthy coping mechanisms.


Yoga helps in all these things for you and beyond

According to Yoga the main Klesa or reason for suffering is ignorance of false identification.

The individual self identifying itself with its thoughts, emotions, feelings and desires. It says it results in the next four klesas (the reasons for sufferings) namely ego, attachments, aversions and finally the fear of death.

So yoga says when we start to identify ourselves with our thoughts, emotions it will lead to create the false self image of ego. Which then leads to the attachments (the things we like or the things which brings pleasure and feels good) and aversions (the things we don't like or the things which brings pain and feels bad) finally these afflication of the individual being will lead to fear of death. The leaving of this body from its likes and dislikes becomes the greatest misery for the soul.


Patanjali maharishi has given the 8 fold path to help oneself to come out of these misery.

Which will help a individual to have the separation of the soul from his thoughts, emotions and feelings. This separation gives clarity to the individual self to come out the suffering. Even few minutes of separation from the thoughts, emotions and feelings can help a person to get back to a more relaxed and peace state.

Patanjali maharishi not just says to be not to separate the being when we are sad but also when are happy and exicited. As this will create the attachment leading to future suffering.


These three practices of yoga will help anyone to keep themselves away from depression

  • Pranayama (breath control): Pranayama is a powerful way to calm the mind and reduce stress.

  • Asana (yoga postures): Asana can help to improve your mood, boost your energy levels, and reduce stress.

  • Meditation: Meditation can help you to develop awareness of your thoughts and feelings, and to learn to let go of negative thoughts.

Here is a simple asana practice session which help someone in depression:

Do them safely preferably under the guidance of a teacher, injuries should be avoided in any circumstances.

Sukshma vyayama - All joints (5 minutes)

Surya namaskar 5 to 10 sets.

Sarvangasana for 2 to 5 minutes (support of wall in case of beginners or weakness)

Matyasana – 1 minute

Tree pose – 1 to 2 minute each legs

Bhujangasana – 1 minute

Practice of pranayama

Bastrika – 10 times

Or

Kapalabati – 2 minutes

Anuloma villoma pranayama without retention – 6 minutes

Followed by

Meditation – 15 minutes

Or

Chanting the mantra ‘OM’ -15 Minutes


Repeating the practice twice a day will help a person to face the challenges of depression and boost confidence to face the world again.


Lastly try to talk to your friends about what you are going through, try to change your residence for a while. Remember you are not alone its just the momentary thought that makes you go through the hell. With time and effort everything can be changed.


I hope the gurus will guide you towards victory

Om Namah Shivaya


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