(NaturalNews) When the mind is bogged down by depression, it makes it difficult to muster the energy to accomplish even simple tasks. Many are in search of alternative remedies for treating depression, since medications are rarely a permanent solution - and can even make symptoms worse over time. Yoga provides a simple solution for reawakening vitality lost to depression by energizing you from the inside out.
Modern studies verify what faithful yogis have always known: yoga improves the state of the mind and body. A study from the University of Toronto showed that patients using stress reduction and relaxation therapy in addition to medication were less likely to relapse into depression compared to those who only received medication. Various studies from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience in India have shown great results in depression patients who consistently practice deep breathing exercises.
Deep breathing techniques are a foundational principle of yoga. Learning to take slow, deep breaths maximizes the amount of oxygen your muscles and organs receive. Deep exhalation promotes purity in the body by ridding it of toxins which can accumulate during bouts of depression. Concentrating on proper breathing also helps focus the mind, a quality that can prove very useful in dealing with depression.
Combined with breathing techniques, yoga also involves positions that promote circulation in every part of the body. This improves the body's health in many ways, including better function in the immune and nervous systems. Digestion and joint movement are also improved with regular yoga practice. These benefits are vital if you are chronically depressed, because depression inhibits the proper function of many systems in the body. By reviving the body with yoga, you can start to undo some of the damage caused by depression. When the body starts to heal physically, mental obstacles are easier to overcome.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of yoga is how easily results can be achieved. Depression is marked by a patient's difficulty in participating in normal activities. Even just a few minutes of yoga each day can have a positive effect, sparking the motivation to make it a regular practice. As mental clarity and physical energy improve, it becomes easier to include longer sessions of yoga.
Depression makes it difficult for a person to come out of the downward spiral that feels unconquerable. Yoga provides a way to strengthen the body and mind; it shines a light at the end of a dark tunnel.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welcome.html
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