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Yoga for Depression and Anxiety

Yoga has been a part of many cultures for decades. It is a well-known fact that practicing yoga regularly can have significant long-term effects on the physical and psychological conditions in the body. Yoga helps flex the muscles and joints and helps achieve a state of calm and relaxation. This article will look at how yoga can work for psychological conditions like anxiety and depression. We will also look at some of the most common poses.

How does yoga help with depression and anxiety?

There are plenty of studies that describe the relationship between yoga and depression and yoga and anxiety. More recently, researchers have started using randomized controlled trials to verify the results coming from these studies. It is said that randomized controlled trials are the best way to verify and prove the study results.

According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, yoga can be helpful for the following things:

  • Reduce the impact of stress
  • Treat anxiety and depression
  • Be an alternative for self-soothing techniques like meditation and exercise
  • Boost energy levels

Yoga, in itself, is a form of physical exercise that involves several poses, breathing techniques, and meditation. Yoga therapy may help with depression and other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating or frequent loss of energy.

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Practitioners often use yoga therapy to treat and manage the following conditions:

  • Emotional and mental problems like stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Manage short-term conditions and disorders. For example, lower back pain
  • Manage chronic or long-term pain
  • Improve overall health and well-being

Yoga can be a beneficial supplementary treatment for clinical depression or major depressive disorder, according to a 2019 research published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice. Participants’ sleep quality improved considerably after just one month of practicing yoga. Physical fatigue, as well as anxiety and depression symptoms, reduced, while tranquility and optimism rose.

Mindfulness-based yoga was compared to walking as an alternative therapy for depression in a 2016 study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Many studies have found that physical activities such as walking might help to alleviate the symptoms of depression. However, when researchers looked at two groups of women with depression, one who walked and the other who practiced mindfulness-based yoga, they discovered that the yoga group had superior benefits after 12 weeks.

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Unlocking the benefits of yoga therapy:

Dr. Mason Turner from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group once said that yoga therapy “can be very effective in treating depression.” Even if someone has never practiced yoga, the combination of meditation and physical movement provides the essential elements for relieving stress and anxiety. Meditation helps the person focus on the present and allows them to clear their minds while controlling body movements to help strengthen the body-mind connection. According to this study, breathing exercises are highly effective in reducing depressive symptoms.

Yoga is a natural way to increase serotonin levels in the body. According to the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, serotonin production plays a vital role in treating anxiety and depression. Several other studies also suggest that people with depression have lower serotonin levels, and serotonin is believed to play a significant role in feeling happy.

Another great benefit of practicing yoga regularly is that it increases Heart Rate Variability (HRV). It also helps change the time between two heartbeats. A high HRV means that the body is better at self-monitoring symptoms of stress and anxiety. Yoga can also reduce resting heart rate, lower blood pressure, ease breathing, and increase pain tolerance in the practitioner.

What are the different styles and poses of yoga?

We all know some of the most common yoga poses, such as the standing forward bend. However, we fail to recognize that yoga consists of many different styles that vary in speed and approach.

Mentioned below are the different styles of yoga that you can study and choose from:

Hatha: Hatha is the best style of yoga, especially for beginners. It incorporates gentle and slower-paced movements so that even amateurs can perform them efficiently.

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Vinyasa: Vinyasa yoga links breathing and movement together, where the person flows from one pose to another without stopping. The pacing usually starts slow and gradually gets faster.

Bikram: Bikram takes place in a hot room where the practitioner will perform a set series of moves to help with blood flow in the body.

Ashtanga: This style of yoga focuses on quick, sequenced poses. It is more physically demanding and is usually recommended for people who have been regularly practicing yoga for at least six months-2 years.
Hot: Hot yoga is performed in a heated room. Here there are no set poses, so the practitioner performs whatever the instructor guides them with.
Iyengar: Iyengar yoga uses props such as blocks, chairs, and straps to help the practitioner find the perfect body alignment.
Kundalini: This style of yoga combines repetitive exercises with intense breathing for a more physically demanding exercise.
Restorative: Restorative yoga moves slowly through five or six poses for about an hour to help the practitioner relax and achieve a calm and stress-free state of mind.
Yin: Yin aims to restore length and elasticity to the muscles, usually through seated and back poses.

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CBD and yoga:

CBD for Inflammation & Allergies

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating extract of the hemp or cannabis plants that has been well-known for its medicinal properties. CBD is beneficial for treating many physical and psychological conditions like inflammation, joint and muscle pain, stress, anxiety, and much more. And what else helps with similar conditions? That’s right – Yoga! This makes CBD a natural fit for people who practice meditation and yoga. Experts believe that CBD use while practicing yoga can increase its effect on the body and make the practice relatively easier.

Practicing yoga can be very effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and when combined with CBD, the effect it has on the human body can be pleasant!

Every person’s physique is unique, as are their skills. Depending on your skills, you may need to alter yoga poses. Modified postures may be suggested by your teacher. To practice yoga safely and successfully, find a teacher who is knowledgeable and knows your requirements.

You don’t have to execute every posture, regardless of the style of yoga you practice. Don’t do a position if it makes you uncomfortable or if you can’t hold it for the time the instructor specifies. Yoga helps in getting rid of anxiety and depression by providing mental clarity.

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