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 Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

Working Towards a Brighter Future

Yoga for Anxiety & Depression By Anxiety Gone 

You have to do yoga to overcome anxiety.

Yoga is great for helping treat depression.

For years, we’ve these two statements repeated time and time again. From medical staff to professional yoga teachers, to family and friends, everyone recommends yoga for mental health. So, we decided to finally try out the best types of yoga for anxiety and depression, and all we have to say is, we wish we didn’t wait so long.

What is yoga?

In order to understand the importance and value of yoga for treating anxiety and depression, you need to know what it is. While there are various types of yoga, each with a definition of its own, this type of exercise can be generalized as an exercise for your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation for a thorough, head-to-toe, internal and external workout.

How does yoga help with anxiety and depression?

Yoga helps treat anxiety and depression in various ways. So, we’ll be dedicating an entire Anxiety Gone article to answer this question. However, here’s a shorter version.

Regular yoga practice teaches you how to remain calm and relaxed in daily life. Each type of yoga is infused with breathing techniques and body movements that help you control feelings of discomfort. It’s a type of exercise designed to strengthen your mind, emotions, body, and spirit. As such, when you feel anxiety or depression seeping in, you have the strength, breathing techniques and tools to calm yourself down naturally.

Just think about it for a second. When you feel anxious and depressed, your breathing becomes shallow, constricted, and rapid. This makes your nervous system spike even more. Now, with yoga, you learn how to maintain a calm, steady breath no matter what gets thrown into your day. So, your anxiety and depression plateaus; you’re keeping it maintained and at bay.

You’re simply in a better place all around. So, anxiety and depression is naturally decreased.

Benefits of yoga for anxiety and depression

More specifically, you receive the following benefits from the self-soothing techniques involved in yoga:

  1. Tame the body’s stress response

  2. Improve mood and functioning

  3. Calm the nervous system

  4. Lower tension

  5. Promote (and learn) relaxation

  6. Help with PTSD

  7. Learn how to control your breathing (the key to coming out of an attack or episode)

  8. Interrupt worry cycles

  9. Strengthen your self-awareness

  10. Manage stress better

… And that’s just to name a few.

Best types of yoga for anxiety and depression

There are many types of yoga for anxiety and depression specifically. Of course, there are several other benefits – such as a sexy, toned body – but let’s try not to get off topic here. Instead, let’s find out how you can use this powerful form of exercise that combines physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation, to improve your mental health.

Types of yoga for anxiety and depression

  • Ananda

    • Focuses on meditation and you’ll learn how to direct energy to different parts of your body to further alleviate symptoms of depression

  • Vinyasa

    • Focuses on relaxation techniques and endurance with faster-paced movement sequences

  • Iyengar

    • Eliminates tension in your mind, body, and spirit

  • Kripalu

    • Emphasizes flowing movement, centered breathing, and meditation

    • Teaches you how to know, accept, and learn from your body

  • Kundalini

    • Uses mantras, meditated and guided relaxation to soothe the mind and body

    • Spikes your energy (which is definitely needed after an exhausting episode of depression or anxiety)

  • Anusara

    • Focuses on heartfelt movements, self-acceptance, and self-expression

  • Restorative

    • Focuses more on mindfulness than intense exercise

    • Teaches you how to sink into deep relaxation

  • Sivananda

    • Focuses on proper breathing, diet, exercise, relaxation and positive thinking

  • Bikram 

    • Focuses on reducing the stress hormones and cleansing the mind and body

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