In the previous posts, we learnt the impact of doing yoga and pranayama on our body overall. Today, we are going to dig deeper and talk about yoga and mental health. Firstly, if you are diagnosed with depression or any other mental illness, make sure to consult a doctor for medicines and therapy as required. Yoga can help in day to day stress and also reduce the effect of the depression.
Following are few asanas that, when done regularly, help to reduce the stress:
- Plow Pose (Halasan):
Lay down on your back, make your body comfortable. Now lift your legs up towards the sky and swing them over your head. Rest your feet at the floor. Use arms to support your back and try to keep it straight as much a possible. Stay in this position for few minutes or as long as it is comfortable for you. In the beginning, do not try this pose for over 15 minutes. Benefits: This pose is good for stress in shoulders, arms, and back. This is also good for thyroid gland which keeps the hormones that causes stress in control.
2. Childs Pose (Balasana):
This is a very simple resting pose. Rest your butt on your heels. Spread the knees wide. Sit up with your back straight and neck long. Exhale and bend forward and rest your forehead on the ground. Place your hands at your side. Now let go of any tension in your shoulders and neck. Breath deeply. Stay in this pose as long as you want.
Benefits: This is a good pose to relax after a hectic day of work. It also charges the pineal gland which helps to reduce stress.
3. Corpse Pose (Savasana):
Place your yoga mat on the ground and lay down on it with your back on the ground. Wiggle your body to adjust on the mat. Feel relaxed and let go of any tension that you hold in any of the body parts. Now lay there, breathing deeply and observing your thoughts, not getting attached to any of the thoughts that pass by the mind.
Benefits: It helps to reduce anxiety and insomnia.
Following are the few pranayama that are beneficial when one is in stress :
Sit in sukhasana. Take a few deep breaths. Then exhale completely and take a long inbreath and forceful outbreath. Repeat the procedure of slow inbreath and forceful exhale in such a way that with every exhale your stomach goes in.
5. Anulon Vilom:
Sit in sukhasana or vajrasana. Put first two fingers of the right hand on left nostril and the last two fingers of the same hand on right nostril. Now close the right nostril with fingers and take a deep inhale through left nostril. Now close the left nostril and exhale through right nostril. Inhale through right nostril and close it. Exhale through left nostril. This is one circle of anulom vilom pranayama. Start with doing with pranayama for 5 minutes. Then slowly increase it upto 15 minutes.
Sit in sukhasana . Put your thumb in the ear and close it so that you can’t hear anything from outside. Put the rest of the fingers on your eyes to close them. Now, Make an OM sound with your mouth closed. Feel the sound in your brain. This is a very useful pranayama to release stress and even depression.
Apart from the techniques mentioned above if you do Om chanting for 15 minutes every day with eyes closed in a quiet and peaceful place, it is said to increase the calm of mind and decrease the stress along with several other benefits.
Hope you will practice all the above-given tips regularly to gain the maximum benefit out of yoga for the stress relief and depression relief.