Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

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We all experience situations that make us fearful and depress. However, there are some people who feel anxious even when there is no discernible cause. When human body reacts to most stressful situations it floods itself with stress hormones. These hormones make the heart pump faster, the breathing rate increase, and the muscles tense up. In these cases, the anxiety usually becomes overwhelming and may interfere with day to day functioning.


Yoga, pranayama and meditation are all powerful tools in the reduction and prevention of excess states of anxiety. One can control emotions which plays a large role in anxiety disorders with yogic techniques. Excessive feeling of fear, worry, irritability, anger and depression can raise the level of anxiety. Yoga harmonizes endocrine system which regulates our emotional health. Pranayama are controlled breathing techniques which teach us how to consciously maintain a slow deep breath at all times to prevent and minimize excess states of anxiety. Continual focus and obsession with thoughts of worry will only create additional levels of anxiety. So regular practice of meditation teaches us to have control over our thoughts through mental detachment and the ability to focus the mind on the present experience.


Powerful Yoga Techniques to Reduce the Excess States of Anxiety.


Perception of Breathing

Another technique to control your anger is ‘Pran Dharna’ also known as belly breathing. Start by regulating your breathing technique. Make it slow, deep and rhythmic. Let the vibration of each breath reach the naval. Now allow the abdominal muscles to expand during inhalation. Concentrate your mind fully on your naval. Start perceiving each inhalation and exhalation through the expansion and contraction of the abdominal muscles accompanying each inhalation and exhalation respectively. You must continuously practice slow, deep and rhythmic breathing and perceive it. Use deep concentration and remain alert.

Continuing the slow, deep and rhythmic breathing, now shift your attention from the naval and focus it inside the nostrils. Perceive each incoming and outgoing breath. Continuously practice slow, long and rhythmic breathing. Inhale and exhale each breath while remaining fully aware of it, fully occupy your mind in perception of breathing.


These techniques not only help us to control anger and depression but also excitement, anxiety, headache. It is equally beneficial for blood pressure, heart and migraine patients. Besides all this, they can be done anytime and anywhere.


Anulom Vilom Pranayama
To start with, sit in any comfortable balanced meditative pose as the Sukhasana or the Vajrasana. Those who are unable to sit down can sit on a chair and do the breathing exercises. However sitting down in a proper yogic posture is most beneficial.

Left hand is to be kept on the left knee now hold your right nasal of your nose with your thumb of your right hand, breathe in from left. Now close left nasal with middle and ring finger opening your right nasal and breathe out from the right nasal. Now breathe in from the right nasal. Now close the right nasal and open left and breathe out and in from left nasal and keep continuing the same procedure again and again. You can practice this pranayama for 10 to 20 minutes.


Brahmari Pranayama
To start with, sit in a suitable relaxed posture where in your spine is straight, like Padmasana or Vajrasana etc. Cover both the ears by pressing the thumbs of both your hands. Place your index fingers on the forehead and let the remaining 3 fingers close your eyes. Inhale through both the nostrils, taking a real slow deep breath. Keep your mouth closed and begin slowly exhaling, making humming sound of a bee like “hmmmm” while reciting AUM mentally. This completes on cycle of Bhramari pranayama now inhale again and repeat the process. One should start by practicing it 10-12 times which can be gradually increased to 25-30 times. Do take break whenever you feel like taking it. After you finish the desired number of rounds sit quietly while hands are placed on your knees. You will experience that the vibrations lasts for minutes after the pranayama is completed and you can feel the bliss.

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