International Yoga Day: Here's how yoga and THESE asanas can help you to tackle depression

Paloma Gangopadhyay, Celebrity Yoga Instructor and Meditation Expert to revealed how Yoga is one of the most important tools for tackling mental health issues including depression.

Updated on Jun 21, 2020   |  11:31 AM IST  |  415.7K
International Yoga Day: Here's how yoga and THESE asanas can help you to tackle depression
International Yoga Day: Here's how yoga and THESE asanas can help you to tackle depression

Yoga and mental health both have been buzzwords of late and thankfully the awareness of both is only increasing. Mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, panic attacks and depression were always there but it is haunting us more than ever during this stressful Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown situation. After the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the topic of depression is again in being discussed, hopefully, the stigma ends now and people start paying attention to signs and consider treatment and not shun it. 

Speaking of yoga, we can go on and on about the physical and mental health benefits. Yoga has been in India for several years but now its practice and awareness are more which is like better late than never. It is really helpful when it comes to mental health issues as it calms our mind, improves our focus, mood, builds confidence and patience among others. We asked Paloma Gangopadhyay, Celebrity Yoga Instructor and Meditation Expert to share more in-depth on Yoga and mental health.

Yoga and depression

Ask her about how can yoga help to tackle depression and other mental health issues, Paloma revealed, "Mental health is a serious term but probably today we want to listen to terms which sounds so grave and sad, rather than something which is joyful and happy. Mental health is simply the state of being or the state of mind and consciousness. Freud, in the interpretation of dreams spoke about ‘ dreams’ and state of mind, which we call today as ‘ mental health.  

In the yoga language ‘the conscious and the unconscious' forms mental health. It’s deep-rooted and the causes can vary to different reasons from the present or long-forgotten past. Some childhood memories torment our subconscious and it surfaces into anxiety, depression, obsession, stress and panic attacks. A human mind is a dark crevice. It has many hidden secrets, facts and happenings which we ourselves sometimes are not aware of. 

The human mind is sensitive and darkly analytical. Happenings of distant past and long-forgotten memories often haunts us unconsciously and the multilayered consciousness reacts to such thoughts in many different ways. And that’s the ‘mental health ‘ we all actually should understand as."

She added, "Yoga is definitely one of the most important tools for tackling mental health issues. It brings about self-realization of the mind and regular yoga practice is deeply instrumental in bringing about positive changes in the body and mind. The way we look, the confidence and behavioral patterns play a major role in determining the way society looks at us and more importantly, we look at ourselves.

Regular practice of yoga builds in self-confidence in us and we garner self-esteem, self-knowledge and self-confidence. Our ability to accept deeper and harsher reality increases manifold. We are no longer scared of accepting the flaws in us."


Yoga Asanas for mental health

When asked to share some best poses one should do to prevent depression, she shared," With regular yoga practice like sun salutations (suryanamaskar) we can a acknowledgement our mistakes, rectify them easily with a clear mind and move on.

The suryanamaskar and the spinal series like cobra posture (bhujang asana), camel posture (ustra asana) as deeply emotional as it touches the cerebrum. Our spine is deeply connected to the brain and so the spinal series is extremely helpful to calm the nerves and settle issues of depression, anxiety, and anger."

She added, "Some issues not necessarily require emotional outlook, but probably pragmatic clearheaded thought and regular practice of triangle posture (trikanasana) helps us to see things clearly. 

Savasana, the dead body pose calms us, gives us poise, the stillness of mind and body. Often during the yoga practice, we have deeper realizations of ourselves and of people around us and that’s the time when the yoga heals 'you' and it connects you to your soul and that’s the true ‘karma yog’.

Meditation for mental health

She shared, "Often during the yoga practice, tears roll down the eyes as yoga is cathartic. Yoga is the best cathartic process that can happen to the human mind and meditation is the key to bring about this change. Human beings are great but with greatness comes the fallibility, but yoga makes us humble and helps us to come to terms with our own self. Sitting quietly in a place and meditate is the best thing one should do to retrospect. It gives one a better and clearer perspective."


ALSO READ: International Yoga Day 2020: Here's how yoga can beat the COVID 19 stress

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