Stress, fear, anxiety – if we start counting all those instances in life when we experienced these emotions, we may just lose track of it. Anxiety about the result of a board exam or the reaction of our parents over the academic report card; nervousness about the first date or a job interview – we all have lived through these moments. The problem starts when this fear becomes persistent and so intimidating when it starts interfering with our everyday life. Then it becomes an anxiety disorder, a state of excessive uneasiness, worry, or fear of the unknown, which needs to be treated, and this is where Yoga can provide a huge relief. Kunjan Paul,
an expert on Yoga, Pranayama and prenatal Yoga discusses how Yoga can help to cope with stress, anxiety and depression.
Yoga is a good technique to relax the mind. It helps to redirect the thoughts in a positive direction. When we practice Yoga, it has many psychological effects and helps improve the nervous and muscular system. Yoga helps to pump proper blood flow and oxygen in the entire body especially in the brain.
Yoga inspires us to change our lifestyle
Until you don’t change your way of living, you cannot cope with stress, anxiety or depression. The way of living includes your diet, sleep, water intake, your relationship with yourself, relationship with your family, colleagues, social relationships etc. Yoga helps to transform an unhealthy lifestyle into a holistic one.
One of Paul’s clients was suffering from depression. She also had high blood pressure and used to take medication for depression, in consultation with a psychiatrist. A few months after she started practising Yoga, the negative thinking reduced considerably. Earlier, she used to constantly live in future and overthink every little thing. She learnt to let go of things in a peaceful way. Thanks to Yoga, her psychiatrist found remarkable changes in her and he reduced the dosage of medication.
Yoga poses to cope with stress, anxiety and depression
The Hero pose, a seated posture, can help you find your center. Focusing on your breath may help you find ease in the stillness of this pose. The Tree Pose, a standing pose, may help you focus inward and quiet your racing thoughts. The Standing Forward bend helps you to relax your mind while releasing tension in your body. The Child Pose helps you to relax, ease stress and fatigue. The Head-to-Knee Forward bend helps to soothe your nervous system. This pose calms the mind and relieves anxiety. The Seated Forward bend also helps to calm the mind while relieving anxiety. If you feel that your thoughts may have been scattered throughout the day, this pose helps you to focus inward.
Depression is often treated with antidepressants, therapy, or a combination of the two. Along with Yoga, working closely with a mental health expert is critical for those suffering from depression. Counselling is highly recommended, in order to detect the root cause of stress, anxiety and depression. Counselling helps to heal faster, with the support of a mental health professional.