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Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Here’s How Yoga Helps Combat Depression

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu

Patanjali has enlisted ‘depression’ or ‘depressive states’ as part of the manifestations of the obstacles one faces in the path of life – in Sutra no. 31 lesson 1 calls it ‘daurmanasya’ (negative thinking).

As viewed by Yoga, all forms of ‘dis-ease’ or ‘dis-harmony’ are rooted in the mind, whether deeply or otherwise. The symptoms are a mere reflection of this on the physical body. Hence the treatment that follows directed towards untangling the patterns of the ‘vrittis’ (mind), identifying the ‘hetu’ (root cause); thereafter uprooting it by the practise of Yogic techniques.

Implications of Yoga

While the process is easy to describe in theory, its implications are far reaching and as complex as the human psyche itself, which is dependent on ‘vrittis’ (mind patterns), ‘ahamkara’ (ego) or attachment.

Depression is a state of mental lull which forces the individual to mask it and carry on as usual or ‘act’ out the roles of life, without any underlying sense of purpose or feeling towards it. The burden of this masking or acting has taken many lives and is a battle millions of people fight every single day.

There is hope with Yoga!

Yoga offers hope through scientific and holistic practices, enabling the individual with the strength and positivity to create as well as experience joy, peace and love within as well as around them, in a sustainable way. All Yogic practices cure the mind through the body, where the body is a tool to access the mind, thereby calming and harmonising the flow of thought.

When regular practice of Yogic techniques is made part of one’s life, the benefits are endless. Curious to know what all you need to give your yoga sessions a head start? Cotton bottoms, athletic t-shirt and a good quality yoga mat. That’s all. Do take a look at and get to choose the best varieties of PVC-built cushioned support yoga mat. Not only this, to make your shopping experience a memorable one and save upon your purchase, you must make use of coupons for Kohls. Something that would guarantee you support for a variety of poses while offering you maximum saving!

Yoga helps in maximising overall health

While the ‘Yogasanas’ (postures) provide one’s body with health, strength and flexibility, they also improve brain function, awareness and challenge one’s mind to improve at the postures, learn new postures and reach increasing levels of complexity and concentration.

The release of the feel good hormones on the glandular level, during a Yoga practice brings a feeling of well-being and rejuvenation to one’s body and mind. Gradually, the sense of being overwhelmed, negative and uninspired is replaced by freshness, positivity and energy to deal with life’s challenges. Loosening exercises followed by asanas and rounds of ‘surya namaskara’ (sun salutation) is highly recommended for depression as it has an invigorating, effect on the body.

A lesser known aspect of Yoga is that of internal cleansing of the body. But ask any Yoga practitioner and they will vouch by the healing, purifying and energising benefits of ‘Kriya’ (Yogic cleansing).

Depression is indicative of stagnancy in the mind, before its manifestation in the body. But as sited before, Yoga uses the body as the tool to heal the mind and so in the case of Kriya also, once the toxins are flushed out of the body using simple implements/tools and water, one can instantly perceive a sense of lightness on the body and mind levels. The techniques of Kriya are to be learnt under the guidance of an experienced Yoga teacher.

Importance of Pranayama (extension of the life force)

Once the effects of asanas and kriya has been incorporated, one can progress towards chanting and ‘pranayama’ (extension of the life force), which are very beneficial to anyone who seeks to redirect the flow of thought patterns and to root them a part of one’s mind-body complex.

Pranayama brings about enhanced health benefits as well as subtle awareness of the body-mind connection through the breath. The synchronization of the breath ensures the synchronization of the mind and body. Once this vital connection to one own inner self is re-established, it becomes easier to let go of past burdens and negativity while being present to enjoy the sweetness of life in the present and embracing the future with open arms.

Bring back the love and care, which you had for yourself once upon a time – all hope is not lost, Yoga can help bring back smiles and happiness too.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

1 Comment

  • I never used to be a fan of yoga but have come across this a couple of years ago and find it great to have a good stretch and some breathing to help eliminate the work stress.

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