Yoga for Depression: Benefits of Yoga
Exercise of any kind is an amazing way to help relieve stress and use your energy in a positive and healthy way. It’s common for those who suffer from depression to feel lethargic and have very little motivation, but once you get into the habit of regular exercise, you should notice a dramatic increase in your mood.
Any type of exercise will release “happy hormones” called endorphins, which help to combat the negative effects of stress.
Yoga is a great exercise to try as it has a myriad of benefits for both your body and your mind. It’s a practice that challenges the body through strength, flexibility, and stillness while also challenging the mind to stay focused and attentive.
Often yoga isn’t just about strength and flexibility but is actually a form of moving meditation. With most yoga practices, the breath is a key component to all of the poses and movements, which brings the mind inward and helps to keep you grounded in the moment. When exercise incorporates both the body and the mind there are a large number of benefits.
Most forms of yoga will challenge the body to varying degrees to help build strength. When finding balance and moving gracefully from pose to pose, your body will adapt and grow stronger. There is a lot of muscle control in properly executing the various poses.
This is one of the more obvious benefits of yoga but it will help in all areas of your body. It’s also one of the more satisfying benefits because it’s so easy to track your progress. With frequent practice, flexibility can be increased greatly and you’d be surprised by what your body is capable of.
Yoga practice forces relaxation of the body and the mind. Your joints will loosen as your muscles relax and lengthen, helping to ease the effects of stress and tension in the body. This feeling of calm often lasts long after your class has ended.
Depression often brings physical and emotional tension into our lives that can be accompanied by feelings of anger and stress. Feeling completely relaxed for an hour or longer offers a great relief from these symptoms and with regular practice can hopefully become part of your daily life.
Next page: learn more about the benefits of yoga for depression, including balancing the body and mind and learning proper breathing.