In today’s culture of pharmaceutical relief, antidepressants are the standard for easing depression and for many they can be a lifesaver. A lifestyle change can also work wonders and this should include the practice of yoga. Many yoga students have found relief from depression by consistently and patiently practicing Hatha yoga, pranayama (breathing) and meditation. Studies have also shown that by following a yoga practice you can significantly reduce stress and help to alleviate both anxiety and depression.
Perhaps you’ve experienced feelings of sadness and melancholy when life offers up challenges you are ill equipped to handle. Suddenly an invisible weight settles onto your shoulders and darkness depresses the vitality of your mind. One day you wake up, attempt to get up out of bed and realize that all the joy in living has gone, leaving you isolated on a barren island with no escape. Little by little you draw deeper into yourself, neglecting friends and family, food and exercise, seeking to stop the unbearable pain of living.
This type of tamasic condition (feelings of inertia) responds well to physical movement and deep breathing exercises. A Vinyasa flow style yoga class would be beneficial by opening the heart in backbends, lengthening the spine in forward bends, massaging organs and glands as the body revolves and twists, grounding the feet and challenging the mind to focus in balancing postures, then relaxing the mind in the final resting pose, Savasana (corpse pose).