Yoga for Depression

Most of us come to a point in our lives asking ourselves, “Why do I even exist?” or “What am I even doing with my life?” Moreover, we do not have any clue what the possible answers could be. We lose our way. We lose ourselves. We lose track of our purpose. This can be caused by certain factors that negatively affect our emotions in very significant ways such as the death of a loved one or rejection. Hormonal changes can also play a role especially to teenagers who often times suffer from an existential crisis. It could also be triggered by skyrocketing stress levels.

The brain is mainly affected when depression hits an individual. It is best to tackle heavy emotions before they manifest in a negative way and get out of hand. Opening up to a family, friends, or councilors can help release the heavyweight of negative emotions. Anti-depressants are given to patients to counter the condition. But once the effect has worn off, emotions go heavier than before. Another way to naturally and effectively fight depression is through Yoga.

Inhale Good Thoughts!
The brain can be stimulated with good thoughts and composure through awareness of breathing. Our mind and breathing are codependent. A change in one will directly affect the other. The mind is a complex paradox and intangible, but our breathing can be easily accessible.

Conscious breathing relaxes our fight or flight reflex. It allows the mind to ease out and the body will follow. Combining this with Yoga postures, which allows better blood circulation to the body and the brain, will surely kill those infesting thoughts and feelings. Here are some Yoga poses that can effectively boost your mood with positive energies!

Downward-Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana. This pose stretches the cervical spine and neck, releasing tensions both on your back and mind. It also stretches the back of the legs and develops core strength. Down-Dog is also very effective in boosting metabolism. This is the easiest form of inversion. Therefore, it sends freshly oxygenated blood to the brain.

How: Start with your hands and knees planted on the ground. Hands are shoulder-width apart, and knees are hip-width apart. Inhale as you lift your hips up by straightening your legs, forming an inverted V. Imagine that your hips are tied to a loop and being pulled up. Push through the shoulders while keeping your gaze at your toes or navel. Stay in this position for 3-5 breaths. Exhale as you bring your knees back to the ground to release.

Upward-Facing Dog/Urdhva Mukha Savansana. This pose is a very good chest opener. It stretches the whole front of the body, from head to toe. It decompresses tensed muscles and allows your back to relax.
How: Lie on your stomach and plant your hands beside your ribcage. Keep in mind that your toes should face against the floor. Slide your body forward and up by pushing against the floor and straightening your arms as you inhale. Remember to push your shoulders away from your ears and keep your gaze up or forward. Hold this position for 3-5 breaths and lay down on your stomach as you exhale to release.

Child Pose/ Balasana. This is the most calming and comforting pose in Yoga. It stretches the lower back, arms and quads.
How: Start by sitting on your heels and spreading your knees hip-width apart. Place your hands on the ground and inhale as you reach forward, allowing your torso to rest between your thighs. Rest your forehead on the ground and stay in this position as much as you desire.


Allow this simple practice to aid you in your healing process. There is no harm in trying these poses along with conscious and deep breathing. Yoga’s magnificent benefits are given to those who practice with good intentions and an open heart. Let composure wash your worries away. Create your own sacred space of healing and growth!

The General Do’s and Don’ts to Consider When Attending a Yoga Class

There are numerous benefits that all those who practice yoga stand to gain whenever they attend a class. Getting the most out of a yoga class should be the goal of every yogi. To achieve this, there are general regulations that one should consider. These are some general rules that one should learn along the way as you become a yogi. Everyone in the yoga class is expected to abide by them to ensure harmony in class.

The Do’s

Time Management – It is true that yoga can be done anywhere and at any time. However, there is an old adage that all yoga students are encouraged to follow. This is ‘early to bed, early to rise makes a man wealthy and wise’. The goal of this adage is to help in time management for yoga within your busy schedule.

One of the best times to practice yoga is in the morning after waking up and getting refreshed. However, it is preferable to do yoga before taking a bath, 1 hour after consuming a drink, 3 hours after taking refreshments, and 5 hours after meals.

Taking Breaks – While the goal of being in a class is to follow the teacher’s instructions and keep up with others, take a break whenever you feel it’s necessary. It is not a crime to rest when the practice becomes strenuous. It is important to listen to your body and move at your own pace.

Aeration – If you are practicing yoga in a room alone or with friends, make sure the room is properly aerated. Keep the doors and windows open to allow fresh air to flow in.

Dressing – There are numerous guidelines out there about what is the proper way to dress to a yoga class. That notwithstanding, people are not there to judge you. If you feel like you need to have a few more layers of clothing due to the weather conditions, you should feel free to do so. You can also shed these layers whenever you feel the need to. As long as common rules of decency are observed, feel free to be yourself.

Location – Whether you hold your yoga practice indoors or outdoors, ensure that you use a flat surface; on cement, flat ground, or a mortar floor. Then spread your yoga mat, a carpet, blanket, or cloth on the floor and start your practice.

The Don’ts

Health Precautions for Women – It is advisable that women avoid doing yoga while menstruating or during pregnancy. There are however, specific poses that can help them feel relaxed without straining their bodies.

Avoid Interference – In the modern smart phone and electronic age that we live in, the temptation to wear earphones, headphones, or to take photos during yoga practice is high. However, doing so will cause distractions to others and keep you from concentrating. Avoid texting, answering calls, or doing anything with your electronic gadget that may distract others.

Talking in Class – There are no strict rules that no one should talk to one another in class. However, regular chatting during a class is disrespectful. Do it before the class begins or wait until the class is over.

General Hygiene – If you borrow or use any material from the studio, it would be wrong to leave them unkempt or disorganized after class. If you use a mat, towel, straps, or blocks, leave them in their proper storage places for the sake of those who will use them later.

These are simple regulations that help yogis run their practice properly and accommodate everyone.

Yoga to Elevate Your Mood

Everybody has some days that they just aren’t feeling their best. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when you don’t know what to do to get yourself feeling normal and happy again. One of the best things you can do is create a sort of defense system for yourself against prolonged negative and disheartening feelings. Some people like to meditate, some like to hit the gym, but today we’re talking about how you can use yoga to elevate your mood.

Yoga is an incredible mood booster for multiple reasons and some of them may surprise you. It is a mixture of both meditation/mindfulness and exercise which are two of the most common methods of emotional and mental control. Mixing the two methods together can have an incredible affect and sometimes even an instant affect. So, let’s get started.

As you probably already know exercise makes you feel good. It makes you feel good for a few reasons but the main one is because it makes your brain release feel good chemicals such as endorphins. Yoga does this as well. If you partake in more rigorous styles such as a flow or ashtanga vinyasa or even a hot yoga class, you can easily get the benefits of exercise.

In addition to the exercise related benefits of yoga on your mood, there is also the benefits of meditation as well. There really is something incredible about letting go of your worries and repetitive thinking that will soothe your soul on a dramatic level. If you’re stuck in a low mood you really should try using yoga as a way of focusing on the present moment and just your breathing. Next time you are feeling low, try doing a sun salutation and listening carefully to your breath. It will slow down your rapid thinking and help you break out of your repetitive though processes. It’s so easy to get caught up with over thinking and negative thinking; focusing on just one thing really can solve that issue.

There are also specific poses that are great for lifting your mood. Generally speaking, most “heart openers” are a great option for elevating your emotions. It’s a simple and easy way to hack your brain into thinking you feel the way that your body is positioned. Body language is so important for that reason. Testosterone levels even lift when you stand confidently with your arms/legs up or open. Heart openers are considered any pose that creates an opening in your chest. Backbends of any kind are great but even laying in savasana (corpse pose) is incredible. Avoid poses that are closed such as child’s pose or forward fold.

If those reasons aren’t enough for you, there is always the benefit of just doing something that you love. Like shopping for for a pair of athletic leggings… if you need to. There are already so many things in life that are draining and are taking up your valuable time but don’t make you happy. Taking a break in your day to do something that you love really can be just what you need.