Yoga For Depression And Mental Health

(February 23, 2009)

I have depression plz suggest how can I overcome through yoga ?

Depression is in a way, your body’s and mind’s call to look within and heal yourself. While it is not wrong to seek external help and guidance for solutions to your problem the answers lie within and you can find true peace in your inner self. Yoga helps develop this connection with the inner self. For a start, slow down, reconsider your life and priorities, reconnect with yourself, and try to listen to that voice within.

Yoga therapy includes a package of asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises) to help people cope with their problems and get back into shape – physically, mentally and emotionally. Some of the practices you would have to take up include:

Yoga exercises and poses: As your body goes through a meticulously deigned program of exercises and poses you will learn to handle your body and mind better. Do as much of the asanas (poses) program as you can from the list given below.

Centering yourself with breathing techniques: With the help of specific breathing techniques you will learn to concentrate and live in the moment. You will also become more clear headed and focused.

Reflection and meditation: Think less, reflect and mull over things a little more. There is a difference. To start with do some breath meditation. It will take you within yourself.

We recommend the following program of Yoga:

Yoga Exercises

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), Single and Double Leg Raises

Asanas (poses)


  1. Ardha Chakrasana (Half Moon pose)
  2. Padahastasana (Forehead to knee pose)
  3. Padangusthasana (Toe to hand pose)
  4. Parvatasana (Mountain pose)
  5. Tadasana (Palm Tree pose)
  6. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)


  1. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fish pose)
  2. Gomukhasana (Cow face pose)
  3. Janu Sirshasana ((Forehead to single knee pose)
  4. Marichyasana (Pose dedicated to the sage Marichi)
  5. Paschimottanasana (Forehead to both knees pose)
  6. Simhasana (Lion pose)
  7. Ushtrasana (Camel pose)


  1. Chakrasana (Wheel pose)
  2. Halasana (Plough pose)
  3. Matsyasana (Fish pose)
  4. Navasana (Boat pose)
  5. Pawanmuktasana (Wind relieving pose)
  6. Purvottanasana (Inclined Plane)
  7. Sethu Bandhasana (Bridge formation pose)


  1. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog pose)
  2. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
  3. Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
  4. Shalabhasana (Locust pose)


  1. Viparita Karani (Legs against the wall pose)
  2. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)


  1. Vrikshasana (Tree pose)
  2. Garudasana (Eagle pose)
  3. Kakasana (Crow pose)

All the above practices must be followed by lots of Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Pranayamas (breathing exercises)

Only practise Kapalabhatti (Skull Cleansing), Anuloma-Viloma (Alternate Nostril Breathing) and Brahmari (Bee Breath).

Yoga diet

Above all, insist on a healthy diet. This is a Sattvic (simple and predominantly vegetarian) diet Eat light, have plenty of seasonal fruit, green leafy vegetables, sprouts and salads. Avoid over cooked foods, spicy, fried and fatty foods since heavy and spicy meals also make the mind dull and lethargic. Have lots of butter milk, avoid snacking between meals and say no to fast / junk foods, no matter what the temptation.

Try, at all times, to maintain a positive attitude, do the things you like most, keep the company of happy people, avoid gossip mongers and people who crib, cry and complain. They will only add to your burdens. Take long walks in the open air, listen to soothing music and maintain a regular routine – early to bed and early to rise is the best, time proven method.

Submitted by A on February 23, 2009 at 04:06

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