Using Yoga to Relieve Anxiety and Depression
by Anandi Guruom

Many of the illnesses and imbalances in our systems are direct reflections of our
fast-paced society. It's a fact that we get less vacation time than most countries,
and the drive for success very strong. What we really need is to slow down, but
how? When you've gotten so wound up in this rat-race it seems very challenging to
step off the track and reassess. Anxiety and depression usually go hand in hand and
when you address one you end up addressing the other automatically. Here's how
Yoga can help.

If you've never taken a yoga class before, then you should know that there are
many different styles and each style will resonate with a different type of person. For
our purposes here, the type of yoga that would be recommended for the anxious
person would be a style with a lot of pranayama (breathing practices), gentle asanas
(poses) and meditation. This will help you slow down on many levels. Physically,
mentally and emotionally. With a knowledgeable teacher, they can help you learn to
breathe properly, or just learn to breathe! So much of anxiety and depression come
from breathing shallowly, holding the breath when under stress and sucking it up. We
can get off the rollercoaster just by the simple practice of observing our breathing
patterns and then observing how this affects the mind. The breath is one of the most
powerful tools to control and relax the mind and body, which in turn promotes
healing on all levels.

Meditation is also a must to keep the mind calm and clear so you can more
effectively manage your life.* I have to say here that anyone can suffer from anxiety
and depression, even those who aren't so scheduled and the wisdom still applies.
Having a regular meditation practice helps to control the never ending bombardment
of thoughts,scattering the mind, obsessing the mind and disturbing the mind. As with
Yoga, there are also many different practices of meditation. For the beginner, I would
recommend tratak, which is gazing at a candle flame or a picture of something
spiritually meaningful, like a deity or something in nature. Tratak is for the person
who just isn't ready to close the eyes. Too many disturbing thoughts come, making
it impossible to focus or concentrate. Another practice is to observe the breathing
without trying to alter it in any way. For the more experienced or so inclined,
repeating a mantra (spiritually imbued sound) is very beneficial.

The practice is to sit comfortably on a pillow on the floor or the front of a chair with
feet flat on the floor. If you're gazing,gaze at the object for about a minute, close
the eyes and try and maintain the image. Repeat this for about 5 min. and work up
to 10-15.. For the breath, simply observe the inhale and exhale for 5 min. and work
up to 15. Repeat the mantra inwardly for the same durations. Whichever practice
you do, the main point is to return the mind to the one point you've chosen each
time it gets distracted. Blessings and Peace on your journey.


About The Author

Anandi Guruom

For more about how yoga can change your life please visit
.
What anxious times we live in! Crazy
schedules, crazy media toys, and
everything needs to be scheduled!
Playdates for us, playdates for our
kids, and playdates with our partners.
There is so much more sensory input
these days that there's no wonder
the rate of anxiety and depression is
on the rise. Our world is changing
faster than we can keep up with and
it's creating havoc on our systems
and our minds.. We say to ourselves
that we need to slow down, but how
can we when there's this underlying
pressure to schedule more and more
because we need to.
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