How Yoga Can Help Relieve Anxiety And Depression

No matter what, if you experience depression, healthy eating and regular exercise helps. For those who are new to regular exercise routines it might be difficult to keep yourself going. Traditionally, the first rule of thumb is to find a workout you enjoy. If you do that you are most likely to be consistent and reap the benefits of steady exercise. And, for those who suffer from anxiety and/or depression, yoga is worth giving a try.

Yoga, as a workout, has a unique blend of calorie burning, muscle building powers along with soothing and relaxation benefits.

For example, those with anxiety tend to be on constant high alert. Yoga introduces poses that may be uncomfortable and difficult to stand. They require steady breathing in order to get through the stress and discomfort – a practice that will correlate to calming anxious feelings.

Studies have shown proof that yoga yields positive results when it comes to treating depression. A study published by the Neuropsychiatry Journal, proved that yoga can increase GABA – a neurotransmitter that blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain and may play a role in depression.

Below are some of the primary reasons yoga is great for easing, or healing, symptoms caused by depression:

  • Yoga is low-impact and can be adapted to suit individual needs and can be structured around your limitations and skill level. There is no need to be nervous! Everyone was/is a beginner at one point of time or another.
  • Yoga is a "mindful" activity. Its essence is predicated on living in the moment and being fully self-aware. There is an explicit link between the brain and the nervous system. Therefore, if the brain is calmed, nervousness and anxiety are calmed.
  • Yoga is meditative and relaxing. Conscious breathing is at the heart of yoga. Deep breathing is known to reduce blood pressure, reduce cortisol levels and eases muscle tension.

What may be a high consideration for some is that yoga, or any kind of physical activity, may also cut down or eliminate the need for heavy prescription pain medications. Yoga is a fantastic holistic approach to your overall well-being. Maybe it won't be for you, but it couldn't hurt to give it a try and find out.

Some medical experts may argue that yoga is not a replacement for other forms of treatment, but there is enough evidence to show that yoga will only have benefits. Logistically, the need for either or both is up to you, your needs and your comfort level. At any rate, it's a start, especially if you find it's something you enjoy doing.