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Yoga and Depression

Everyone feels "blue" from time to time, but when depression deepens or persists for a long time, it can suppress your energy for living and make you more vulnerable to disease by dampening the immune system. Depression is sometimes a warning that may help you to protect your mental and physical health. It can be viewed as a signpost, signaling "It’s time for a change."

The first thing a depressed person stops doing is moving. Regular exercise becomes intolerable. But Yoga exercise, starting with as few as three poses a day in just a few minutes’ time, coupled with correct breath patterns, can become so pleasant to you that soon you will want to do more and more. The heavy, unmoving feeling of depression will be on the run!

Yoga exercises put pressure on glands and organs, helping them to produce the soothing, healing chemical balance that is needed to feel well and be well. Yoga exercises improve circulation, sending invigorating oxygen to your brain and all your muscles. The stretching and strengthening movements flush toxins from the body as well.

Often depression sneaks in slowly, as breathing patterns change from too much sitting at a desk, stress, age, or illness. The deep, invigorating breath techniques of Yoga bring large amounts of fresh oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body. Like a spring wind, it blows through the system bringing new light and strength to the unused parts of the body and mind where depression hides.

Complete relaxation and meditation practice show you how to access the strength and power of your inner self for a support system that keeps you going through all the ups and downs of your life.

Regular practice of Yoga will protect you from depression and help you stay bright-minded, while recognizing the signals that depression is giving you. To begin with, choose three exercises that appeal to you, and do them every day. Then, as you get more comfortable, expand your routine to give yourself more of a challenge and increase the beneficial effects.

Do you suffer from depression?  Take our depression assessment test and learn more.

Courtesy of the American Yoga Association

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