Yoga exercises against depression and stress

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Yoga has long ceased to be a purely Indian practice and has spread throughout the world. Let us consider in this article why this teaching is so carried away by people of the opposite social status, and how people using asanas (yoga exercises) try to get rid of the negative in the soul that causes depression and provokes stressful situations.

Causes of depression
Depression can occur both spontaneously and upon the accumulation of various causes. This state is difficult to change, a person closes in himself. The causes of depression are divided into psychological and physical.

Psychological factors can be very diverse, but each of them can prove to be a powerful incentive for the onset of depression.

These may be problems of a personal plan:

  • parting with a loved one;
  • death of loved ones;
  • trouble at work;
  • dissatisfaction in intimate life.

Depression against negative memories also has its reasons:

  • lack or absence of parental care;
  • cruel methods of education;
  • significant changes in the environment – relocation, the difficulty of pouring into a new society;
  • an event from the past that caused serious psychological trauma.

Well done with depression are wise for the fingers.

Depression does not occur anywhere, features of a character type also influence its appearance:

  • lack of expected attention from loved ones;
  • excessive self-criticism and complexes;
  • pessimistic attitude to the surrounding reality;
  • inability to deal with stress.


In addition to mental problems, depression can also be caused by features of a person’s physical condition.

Here are the main causes of depressive conditions for biological factors:

  • injuries leading to impaired brain activity;
  • changes in the hormonal background;
  • sleep disturbances;
  • chronic stress;
  • weather factor;
  • the burden of hereditary depression;
  • the side effects of certain groups of drugs.

Yoga Features for Depression

Yoga classes are great for depression, stressful situations, and mental disorders. In such cases, the performance of simple asanas (with appropriate psychological training) can improve mood.


Yoga is an excellent tool for controlling your body, which is capable of much if a person can achieve certain conditions. All diseases of the body and soul affect the psyche, which leads to depression.

Performing yoga exercises can bring such benefits:

  • smoothing stress state – the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol is reduced; 
  • the fight against inflammatory processes – the body is actively fighting pathogens;
  • reduction of pain in some bone diseases (for example, with osteoarthritis);
  •  improved breathing and lung function;
  • assistance in overcoming various diseases in combination with traditional medicines; 
  • increased nutritional awareness – healthy eating habits are inculcated.

 Scientific studies on the impact of yoga on the human body have repeatedly confirmed the beneficial properties of learning for both the body and the soul.

Important! Do not take the physical part of yoga as a kind of sport – where you do not need perfect fulfillment of the rules and the pursuit of records. The sensation of receiving energy through the open channels of the body is enough. 

Possible harm 

With all the benefits of yoga in some cases, negative results from doing it are also possible. Some asanas, breathing techniques, and meditation are not shown for everyone. 

The negative effects may be the following: 

  • possible injury when performing asanas without adequate physical preparation and concentration; 
  • psychological factor – it can affect both positively (up to the placebo effect) and negatively when a person does not see rapid changes and is disappointed in the methodology; 
  • chronic diseases of the musculoskeletal system or respiratory tract, which may worsen during exercise.

 Recommendations for practicing yoga 

Practicing yoga is not so difficult even for beginners, as this teaching has its own levels of difficulty, which are comprehended gradually.

Important! Yoga classes bring success only with regularity and diligence. At an early stage, it is better to ask for help from an experienced mentor who will correctly set up the process and verify that the exercises are completed.

Here are some suggestions to help you get involved in your classes faster:

  • time for classes is chosen independently, but early morning or late evening are preferred;
  • light and loose clothing will not constrain movements;
  • do not eat 2-3 hours before exercise;
  • the situation should maximize distraction from everything – a spacious room, the absence of sunlight;
  •  all foreign objects in this process are removed (glasses, lenses, bracelets);
  • accessories that may be needed should be at hand – a rug, a meditation plaid in the cold, a towel to remove sweat, a small pad for lying asanas;
  • all asanas are practiced in a concentrated manner, as their complexity increases;
  • during classes, it is necessary to leave all worldly irritants outside of consciousness;
  • breathing should be normal nasal, without restraint or acceleration;
  • in most exercises, unless otherwise indicated, the mouth should be closed and the eyes open;
  • the pose is maintained as long as possible, but without physical harm to the body;
  • after class, it is necessary to take savasana – the so-called corpse pose;
  • 15-20 minutes after passing the set of exercises, a warm shower is taken;
  • during the menstrual cycle, women can perform only small inclinations or sitting asanas;
  • pregnant women and people with chronic diseases should consult a doctor before starting classes.

Action Against Depression and Stress

You can make a whole range of movements that involve a variety of help to the body and spirit, but you can use only some group for the benefit in certain cases. Consider exercises designed to help with stressful and depressive conditions.


Asanas are called various poses in which the body is fixed. Etymologically, the word comes from the root “as,” meaning “to sit,” and additional words determine how to sit.


The “tree pose” (vrikshasana) has many positive effects on the human body. Here and strengthening the joints of the legs, and help with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, and stabilization of the menstrual cycle. But most of all, this asana helps with various disorders of the nervous system.

Vrikshasana will calm fears, smooth out memory lapses, strengthen attention, and help with depressive states. Regular use of this pose will relieve irritability, sleep disturbances, temper, return the joy of life.

 Asana is done as follows:

  1. Take a few breaths.
  2. Relax and leave all the vain thoughts.
  3. Bend the left leg and put your heel in the crotch, placing the foot along the inner side of the thigh of the right leg.
  4. Take your knee as far as possible, opening your pelvis wider.
  5. For balance, spread your arms to the sides or make your palms “boat” over your head.
  6. The shoulders are freely parted, the head tends to go up.
  7. It is necessary to balance in such a position as long as possible.
  8. Change leg and repeat the exercise.

At the initial stage, you need to hold the body in the “tree pose” for several seconds, then gradually increase the exercise time. You should also pay attention to the toes (they do not need to be pressed), and the lower back should be even. The way out of vrikshasana is lowering the legs after exhalation.


“Mountain pose” (vertical pose, tadasana, or samasthiti) is a simple exercise that allows a person to focus on his performance. In addition to a positive effect on the musculoskeletal system, this asana makes it possible to work with the energy of your body, discarding all unnecessary.

Did you know? The distribution of body weight in the feet, studied during the performance of tadasana, will help to wear shoes longer. In everyday life, we pay little attention to our walk, so the soles of shoes wear out unevenly.

The procedure for performing tadasana is as follows: 

  1. Restore breathing in several breath-exhale cycles.
  2. Stand on the mat so that the outer parts of the feet are parallel.
  3. Bodyweight should be evenly distributed in the feet.
  4.  Strain the knee joints so that the cups rise.
  5.  Retract the abdomen by lifting the spine and straightening the neck.
  6. Hands can be lowered along the body or perform a prayer movement by them, joining hands in front of the chest.
  7.  Stay in this position for up to a minute, controlling calm breathing.


Breathing exercises to clean the canal system and the “thin” body is called pranayama.

Classes can affect the body in different ways:

  • change the concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body;
  • affect the brain through reflexes (smell, touch);
  •  develop respiratory muscles;
  • include internal organs (compression or relaxation due to different breathing techniques);
  • affect the nervous system (auto-suggestion).

 Pranayama is performed in the following order:

  1. Inhalation of air (puraka) is done through both nostrils in the absence of sound accompaniment.
  2. Holding the breath near the navel (kumbhaka) is a volitional effort to the threshold of patience.
  3. Equalization – drawing in the air in short portions while alternately clamping the nostrils.
  4. Exhalation (rechaka) – slow release of air from the lungs when it is no longer possible to hold it there.
  5.  Shunyaka – the so-called air retention on the exhale.

 Breathing exercises are done daily and are accompanied by positive thinking. Before pranayama, it is recommended to drink milk or eat a piece of butter – in this case, spiritual cleansing will be more effective.

Pranayama is also possible when performing Shavasana – “postures of the dead.” This asana is absolutely static, as yoga people try to achieve a complete stop of thought and relaxation of the body.

The preparation for Shavasana is as follows:

  1. Lying on your back arms stretch along the body, legs straight.
  2. With a deep breath, tighten all the muscles and exhale.
  3.  Continuing to strain the muscles, take a few breaths.
  4. Relax, close your eyes, put your hand`s palms up and spread your legs a little more than the width of the shoulders.
  5. Check the relaxation of the muscles of the legs – from fingers to buttocks, hands – from fingers to shoulders, body – from groin to neck, head – from neck to crown.

Complete relaxation also implies a rejection of breath control – thus, pranayama is no longer performed. But you don’t need to think about it, since the main point of Shavasana is the need to “let go” of the brain. This condition should not last longer than 15 minutes.


Bhakti is the highest form of religious practice that characterizes the mutual love of man and God; this is the main path to spiritual perfection. Under the caste system of India, bhakti is not always perceived by orthodox Hindus, because such love for God does not distinguish between social status. Thus, a high-ranking person and a commoner are on the same level.

 Did you know? Ancient yogis thought that the number of breaths is limited. They tried to breathe slower in order to extend their age.

This type of yoga is not a “cure” for depression – it simply distracts from the situation that caused the trouble. Love for God replaces all life’s difficulties, and a man surrenders to expressing love for a higher being. At the same time, one cannot speak of any fanaticism inherent in other religions – everything passes calmly and without emotion here.

 In bhakti, there are no special exercises that must be performed. People can dance, sing, draw, write music or sculpt in honor of Krishna or Shiva. Even the poor can carry gifts, flowers treat without any sacrifice, but only out of love. It brings people happiness, and all problems and stresses are forgotten.


 Meditation is an effective method for various life troubles. This type of self-care to bring thoughts and body in order has been practiced for a long time and successfully.

In yoga practice, it is also often used. Here is one common method:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
  2. Extend your breath and imagine that the sun is shining. It doesn’t matter what time of day is, it’s important to know that the sun is shining.
  3. Meditate for at least 10 minutes, accompanying thoughts of a sunny day with some parallel images – the sea coast, good mood, pleasant occupation.

Yoga for more than one millennium proves that the resources of the human body are truly huge. Self-knowledge and the development of abilities can make a person absolutely happy. And the surrounding situation only applies to a vibrant life that everyone can control for himself.


14 thoughts on “Yoga exercises against depression and stress”

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  2. Perfect description. These exercises are beautiful for mental health. Relaxation for 15-20 minutes with deep calm breathing is powerful way to be in good mood

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