Did you know that yoga can be amazing for your mental health?
Your mind can gain so much from time spent focusing on your breath and body. I have been learning to follow my breath into tense spots in my body and it has been doing a lot to help me feel more relaxed. In yoga, the way forward is through. You can learn to cope with your stress and anxiety by learning to manage the tension you feel in your body using your breath and mindful movement. Here are three simple postures meant to indicate the journey from a depressed posture to an uplifted one.
1. CHILD’S POSE (Balasana): A phrase we often use in the yoga world is: “Start where you are.” This could not be any more true than in the case of depression. Jumping into new and different things can be uncomfortable and sometimes even do more harm than good. Child’s Pose is a gentle place to start by honouring “what is” in your life and allowing yourself to harness the power of your nervousness as an actual starting point for healing.
2. STAFF POSE (Dandasana): I refer to this posture as the “magic wand” of yoga poses. A lot of the grounding and alignment associated with standing poses can be accomplished here without the added challenge of balance. You can use the wall as a support for your back. Bent knees are welcomed and encouraged. Using the sitting bones, hand and heels as anchors to the ground, you can imagine your spine straightening andyour heart being lifted. I normally start this pose by saying to myself to: “I sit tall with strength and courage.”
3. RECLINING BOUND ANGLE POSE (Supta Badha Konasana): Backbends can be exhilarating, sometime too much if you are dealing with issues of insecurity and depression. This back bending pose is a gentle way forward to an open heart with lots of support. Lie down comfortably on your back, with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms face up toward the ceiling. Bend your knees to bring the bottoms of your feet together to touch. The outer (pinky toe) edges of your feet should be resting on the mat. Let the legs fall open and allow gravity to support the weight of the legs. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and allow your back body to sink more deeply into the mat. Stay in the pose anywhere from one to five minutes, depending on your level of comfort.