Yoga for Depression in Kids

Submitted by Bonnie Sedan on January 15, 2013

According to recent statistics, antidepressants have found a whole new market in children. Research indicates that more and more children are being prescribed antidepressants to treat feelings of depression and reduce the risk of suicide. Treating a complex mental condition such as depression is always a gamble and with children, the risks increase as their brain physiology has still not matured...

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Instead of resorting to medication to treat depression and anxiety, many experts are now turning to the ancient practice of yoga for a safer solution to this growing problem.

Benefits of Yoga for Depression

Yoga asanas teach children to concentrate on the moment and focus both mind and body at once. In this way children learn to control their thoughts and help reduce mood swings and excessive emotions.


Every yoga pose or asana affects the body in different ways. A regular yoga practice can help reduce depression by improving the overall functioning of the body, relaxing the body and building physical and mental strength. Some benefits of various poses are:

  • Child pose improves digestion, helps calms the mind, and reduces insomnia
  • Inverted poses improve blood circulation and mental strength
  • Cat pose can stretch the body and increases awareness of breathing as well as calms the body
  • Headstand activates circulation and the functioning of the brain, induces sleep and reduces nervousness and anxiety
  • Backbends can be invigorating and help reduce lethargy and listlessness

Yoga is a safe and effective way to combat symptoms of depression such as lack of energy, lethargy, a sluggish mind, and emotional tension. Regular exercise also helps improve sleep patterns and eating habits thereby reducing feelings of depression. Obesity in children is another cause of depression and yoga can help with weight loss and increase self-esteem and confidence.

Yoga Poses for Depression

Some of the best yoga poses to help alleviate depression and emotional tension include:

  • Child Pose
  • Inverted Lake Pose
  • Cat Pose
  • Headstand
  • Staff Pose
  • Reclining Bound Angle Pose

Tips and Warnings

Children should always practice under the supervision of a trained yoga instructor. Poses such as headstand and backbends can be tricky and children often require assistance or they may end up performing the pose wrongly. Apart from these precautions, yoga has no side effects and can be performed by children of all ages and physical or mental capabilities.

As the benefits of yoga become evident and the body and mind become fitter and healthier, symptoms of depression tend to dissipate over time.

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