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Does Yoga help you like this?

Posted by on Feb. 6, 2016 at 1:54 PM
  • 13 Replies

How Yoga Can Help with Depression, Anxiety, Anger, and Grief


Senior woman doing yoga on green grassAs a holistic psychotherapist who has had a daily yoga practice for almost 15 years, I am very well acquainted with the many ways yoga can support one’s emotional journey. Whether you are dealing with anxietyangergrief,depression, or feeling overwhelmed, yoga can cheer you up or soothe your soul.

In addition to hatha yoga, the most commonly practiced form in the West, there is also yin, restorative, ashtanga, vinyasa, kundalini, and many other styles of this ancient spiritual art.

The following mini-primer describes some of the more mainstream types ofyoga:

  • Yin holds seated or prone poses to open the hips, pelvis, and lower spine. Poses are held for between three and five minutes. Yin targets connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body that normally are not exercised much in a more active style of asana practice. It is ameditative practice that allows you to go deeply into your body and breath.


  • Restorative uses a variety of props to calm, rest, and soothe the body-mind. By feeling physically supported, tense muscles let go, and you can breathe more deeply and engage the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
  • Ashtanga is a rigorous, choreographed style that wonderfully allows your mind to both focus and be free, especially if it is practiced regularly to the point of memorizing the sequence.
  • Vinyasa is a hatha flow that goes seamlessly from one pose to the next.
  • Kundalini uses Sanskrit mantras, breath work, and repetitive motions to energize the body and calm the nervous system.

All yoga focuses on the breath while building endurance, strength, and flexibility. Different styles can be used on different days, depending on how you feel.

The following are some ways yoga can support you:

Anxiety

Forward folds, inversions, alternate nostril breathing, and restorative yoga all can allay anxiety and calm the nervous system. The practice of yoga nidra (yogic sleep) is incredibly relaxing, even though the entire practice is done in corpse pose, lying on your back. Surprisingly, vigorous practices, such as kundalini and ashtanga, can also be helpful as they wring out excess energy. However, since they can ratchet up anxiety in some people, it is best to experiment and see what works for you.

Depression

Backbends, heart-opening poses, inversions, hatha vinyasa, kundalini, and ashtanga energize you and combat the fatigue that often accompanies depression. For depression with agitation, yin and restorative yoga work to both balance and revitalize your body-mind.

Grief

Grief is such a shape-shifter, cycling from depression to anger to anxiety to guilt, that all kinds of yoga can be beneficial, depending on the emotion of the moment. A standing and seated hatha vinyasa practice can be both enlivening and grounding, while alternate nostril breathing balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

Anger

Anger can feel both physically empowering and exhausting; so, depending on the way your anger is manifesting in your body, you may want to choose an energizing practice such as ashtanga, kundalini, or hatha vinyasa, or a relaxing, slower one such as yin or restorative. With slower yoga, there is more of an opportunity to tune in to what is fueling your anger and learn to sit with it while it moves through you.

Rumination

Inversions such as headstands and shoulder stands literally and figuratively turn your world upside down, which can be helpful in changing one’s view of any situation, especially one that has worn a rut in your brain. Twists beautifully wring out various emotional states and old ways of looking at things.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Generally speaking, a restorative or yin style is best to calm the adrenal glands and activate your parasympathetic nervous system. A 4-4-4 breath practice will also slow your heartbeat and can be done anywhere. (Breathe in to a count of four, retain your breath for a count of four, and exhale to a count of four. Five cycles of this is usually enough to have a noticeable effect.) Child’s pose and corpse pose both allow the nervous system to recover to some extent from life’s stresses, especially if they are held for five minutes or more.

All yoga can help you ride the waves of your emotions. By familiarizing yourself with a variety of yoga styles, you can tailor your practice to the challenge du jour.

Join us at  Time Out for You

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If interested send me a PM :)

by on Feb. 6, 2016 at 1:54 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MistyMoo
by on Feb. 6, 2016 at 2:29 PM
I enjoy doing yoga. It makes me feel good. I do feel less anxious and it allows me a little bit of time to just forget about things that are bothering me, you know those little things that just nag at you constantly.. I found this 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube that I really enjoy, Yoga with Adriene.
captainjack
by Silver Member on Feb. 6, 2016 at 2:45 PM
1 mom liked this

sounds interesting thanks I will have to check it out.

Quoting MistyMoo: I enjoy doing yoga. It makes me feel good. I do feel less anxious and it allows me a little bit of time to just forget about things that are bothering me, you know those little things that just nag at you constantly.. I found this 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube that I really enjoy, Yoga with Adriene.


Seashell77
by Gold Member on Feb. 6, 2016 at 4:13 PM

Thanks for posting this article with yoga helping with Depression. I have never tried yoga and it's something on my bucket list. I'm inspired knowing it helps with depression. Thanks

Seashell77
by Gold Member on Feb. 6, 2016 at 4:14 PM

That 30 day yoga challenge sounds good. It's great how it helps you. I'm going to look into this. Could you please put a clicky here for the You Tube ? 

Quoting MistyMoo: I enjoy doing yoga. It makes me feel good. I do feel less anxious and it allows me a little bit of time to just forget about things that are bothering me, you know those little things that just nag at you constantly.. I found this 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube that I really enjoy, Yoga with Adriene.


captainjack
by Silver Member on Feb. 6, 2016 at 5:14 PM

Yes I love yoga it makes you feel great.  Are you going to try it?

Quoting Seashell77:

Thanks for posting this article with yoga helping with Depression. I have never tried yoga and it's something on my bucket list. I'm inspired knowing it helps with depression. Thanks


Join us at  Time Out for You

**We're wanting more admin for our Time Out for You group,
If interested send me a PM :)

MistyMoo
by on Feb. 6, 2016 at 8:30 PM
I'm mobile, so I got this from my mobile YouTube app.I hope it works for you ladies.

YOGA CAMP - 30 Day Home Practice:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLui6Eyny-Uzx5BRNB2_Kvycrn5h9OsaHC

This is the most recent one.

And then there's this one:

30 Days of Yoga:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLui6Eyny-UzwxbWCWDbTzEwsZnnROBTIL


Quoting Seashell77:

That 30 day yoga challenge sounds good. It's great how it helps you. I'm going to look into this. Could you please put a clicky here for the You Tube ? 

Quoting MistyMoo: I enjoy doing yoga. It makes me feel good. I do feel less anxious and it allows me a little bit of time to just forget about things that are bothering me, you know those little things that just nag at you constantly.. I found this 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube that I really enjoy, Yoga with Adriene.

Seashell77
by Gold Member on Feb. 6, 2016 at 9:51 PM
1 mom liked this

I feel more inspired now since looking at the article you've posted. I am sort of shy and nervous and going to a yoga class will be a big step for me. I know of a few in my area, so now I need to take the next step and join. 

Quoting captainjack:

Yes I love yoga it makes you feel great.  Are you going to try it?

Quoting Seashell77:

Thanks for posting this article with yoga helping with Depression. I have never tried yoga and it's something on my bucket list. I'm inspired knowing it helps with depression. Thanks


Seashell77
by Gold Member on Feb. 6, 2016 at 9:52 PM

I appreciate you providing these links. This is a good thing to do from home when you don't want to go to a class for yoga, or if you do go to classes and can't make it for some reason. I am looking forward to trying these out. Thanks again.

Quoting MistyMoo: I'm mobile, so I got this from my mobile YouTube app.I hope it works for you ladies. YOGA CAMP - 30 Day Home Practice: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLui6Eyny-Uzx5BRNB2_Kvycrn5h9OsaHC This is the most recent one. And then there's this one: 30 Days of Yoga: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLui6Eyny-UzwxbWCWDbTzEwsZnnROBTIL
Quoting Seashell77:

That 30 day yoga challenge sounds good. It's great how it helps you. I'm going to look into this. Could you please put a clicky here for the You Tube ? 

Quoting MistyMoo: I enjoy doing yoga. It makes me feel good. I do feel less anxious and it allows me a little bit of time to just forget about things that are bothering me, you know those little things that just nag at you constantly.. I found this 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube that I really enjoy, Yoga with Adriene.


lucy164
by Peggy on Feb. 7, 2016 at 9:32 AM

Thank you for this information about yoga.

captainjack
by Silver Member on Feb. 7, 2016 at 3:44 PM

You're welcome you like yoga?

Quoting lucy164:

Thank you for this information about yoga.


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