In What Ways Can Yoga Benefit Someone With Depression and Anxiety?

Depression and anxiety are two competing entities – one works hard to bring us down, while the other keeps our mind racing and muscles tense, ready to defend ourselves for a brutal attack (most often from ourselves!). Both can leave us debilitated if treatment is not sought after, which is why it’s so important for you to speak with someone about your experiences and get the help you need. Yoga is a form of holistic therapy that has become extremely popular in the United States; approximately 20.4 million Americans practice yoga, which is comprised of breath control, meditation, specific body postures, and more.

As emphasized in a 2016 review published in the journal Integrative Medicine, yoga can aid us in many ways, such as:

  • Alleviate physical pain
  • Modify underactivity in the autonomic nervous system
  • Increase GABA levels, which lead to good mood
  • Decrease stress and inflammation
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Can help individuals trying to quit smoking

Yoga is considered a mindfulness-based therapy that helps people connect and restore balance in their mind, body, and spirit. According to Harvard Medical School, yoga practices increase heart rate variability, which indicates the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly – for many with depression and anxiety, stress can be just the tipping point to send someone into a downward spiral. Mental and physical health are interconnected – even with stress, the body can hold that through back or neck pain, headaches, muscle tension, and more. Yoga helps to address and integrate mental and physical health to optimize one’s ability to function in daily life.

Much of our quality of life depends on our ability to handle adverse experiences – depression and anxiety tend to magnify daily occurrences, which cause us to become riddled with a weight incomparable to anything else. As it was once stated, “Yoga means addition – addition of energy, strength, and beauty to the body, mind, and soul.”

With so many benefits that yoga can bring, depression and anxiety may certainly be eased with this holistic practice. Yoga can also increase our chances of building a burgeoning support system with others who wish to enhance their mental, physical, and spiritual wellness as well.

Avalon Integrative Wellness offers an innovative approach to wellness and the exciting brand shift of our program emphasizes the importance of integrative wellness through experiential frameworks. Clients at Avalon Integrative Wellness learn, act, experience, grow, heal, and evolve, concurrently. If you’re ready to optimize your health and well-being, call us today at 888-266-9048.

References

http://rimed.org/rimedicaljournal/2016/03/2016-03-20-intmed-uebelacker.pdf

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression

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