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Be Happy: How to Use Your Yoga Practice to Fight Depression

benefits of yoga for depression

Many factors contribute to depression. There could be issues with your relationship, financial problems, trouble at work or the loss of a loved one--but most of the time it has to do with things we can’t control.

More often than not though, there is more than one cause contributing to you feeling depressed--and in many cases, sufferers of depression can’t identify any reason at all that they feel down.  Your depression may stem from your diet, from biology, from genetics, medications, an illness or you sleep patterns.  Regardless of the cause though, you don’t need to continue to suffer and you may not need prescription medication in order to feel better again.

Are you Suffering from Depression?

Even people who are excelling at work and who have fulfilling family lives can suffer from depression.  There isn’t necessarily a prototypical lifestyle or personality that is indicative of depressive feelings, so it is important to be able to identify some of the common symptoms of depression.

  • Regular fatigue or lethargy
  • Pessimism
  • Loss of interest in activity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Digestive issues
  • Unexplained aches and pains

Any of the symptoms above could be indicators that you are suffering from depression and that steps should be taken to help relieve stress and improve help.

Improved Bodies Improve Confidence

Regular participation in yoga can help you build a strong lean body.  Yoga poses will strengthen your core, upper and lower body and will help you lose weight.  You’ll also improve flexibility and be able to move with less pain.  Being stronger and leaner helps boost your confidence, which naturally boosts your mood.

Improved Focus

Practicing yoga requires you to clear your mind of clutter and focus on your breathing and balance while executing poses.  Spending 30-60 minutes every day learning how to be “in the moment” during your yoga sessions will translate to other areas of your life, giving you the ability to focus on the critical task at hand and follow through until it is time to address the next task.  Navigating your day with direction and purpose helps eliminate the stress associated with multi-tasking and helps you stay in a positive state of mind.

benefits of yoga for depression

Improved Circulation

In order for you to be happy and healthy, your body needs to be functioning at the highest level.  If you spend your entire day seated, with very limited bouts of movement, your body becomes stiff and tight and your posture, mobility and circulation all suffer.

Many yoga poses put your body in positions that not only stimulate gains in strength and weight loss, but that work to improve blood flow and circulation.  Good blood flow to your organs and extremities is key to a body that feels good and functions properly.

Improved Digestion

Digestive stress plays a huge role in how you feel.  Heartburn, indigestion, bloating, cramps, constipation and diarrhea can be painful, embarrassing and stress inducing and can contribute to depression. Physical symptoms aside, poor digestion can rob your body of vital nutrients which can impact your physical and mental health.

Many yoga routines feature twisting and bending movements that help the digestive system fire properly.  This helps eliminate many of the physical symptoms of digestive issues and helps ensure that your body is processing foods properly and that you are reaping the benefits of the nutrients you are consuming.

Better health and a better mood are within your reach, possibly without prescriptions and doctor’s appointments.  Find a local yoga studio or purchase a mat and some gear to practice at home--just start practicing yoga today so you can begin to reap the physical and mental benefits.

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