As an alternative health practitioner, I am always on the hunt for methods to help my clients with stress, anxiety, injury prevention and pain relief. I know from my own practice that regular massage is helpful for each of these things, and can even prevent injuries and release stress points and triggers. A walk on the beach and meditating by the ocean is another way to fill our minds and bodies with good, clearing energy. I have also taught people Tai Chi and Yoga with the aim of helping my friends, family and clients with these issues and I have witnessed first hand that it does indeed help.
Once again, here is a post by my guest writer, Holly Garrett. Today she shares her thoughts about how Yoga can help relieve Anxiety and Depression. See what you think:
Yoga For Anxiety and Depression
By Holly Garrett
“Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental disorders among Americans, affecting more than 50 million US adults combined. As someone who has personally experienced anxiety and depression first-hand, and as a practitioner of yoga, I can firmly attest to the healing power of yoga in regards to my personal mental health journey.
Through my practice over the years and through my yoga teacher training, I have collected a number of tools in my mental health toolbox to use whenever necessary, some of which I would like to share with you. Please consult your doctor before trying any of these as I am not a physician, but merely a yogi. J
Legs Up the Wall*
What It Does: Soothes the nervous system, promotes deep relaxation of the mind and body
How To Do It:
- Lie on the ground near a wall.
- Bend your legs and carefully position your body so that your bottom is against the wall and your heels are resting on the wall above you. Your body should be in a 90-degree angle.
- Let your arms relax by your side. Close your eyes.
- Inhale as deeply and slowly as you can, while visualizing your anxiety melting away with each exhale. Do this for as long as is comfortable.
- To come out of the pose, slowly bend your knees into your chest, place your feet on the floor, and slowly ease yourself up to a seated position.
Ardha Sarvangasana (Half Shoulderstand)**
What It Does: Strengthens the abdomen, hips and legs and provides pelvic stability; regulates blood pressure; massages the thymus and thyroid (which is sometimes linked to depression).
How To Do It:
- Lie on your back with your legs stretched out in front and your arms to your sides.
- Bring your knees into your chest and then, one at a time straighten each leg, pointing your feet upward.
- Take a deep inhale and on the exhale kick backwards with both feet so that your hips lift off the mat. Bend your elbows and place your hands on the lower back to support the hips.
- Maintain this posture as long as possible as you breathe deeply and slowly.
- To come out of the posture, place your hands down on the mat and slowly lower your torso and hips onto the mat.
- Bend your knees, release the legs out straight and relax.
Tip: This pose can also be done against a wall with the feet flat on the wall for added support.
*This pose is not recommended if you have recently had blood clots formed in your veins. Please consult your doctor.
**This pose is not recommended for women during their menstrual cycle, or for anyone experiencing an ear or eye disorder, high blood pressure, heart disease or cardiovascular disorder. Please consult your doctor.”
Thank you Holly…