By Alex Ivetic, Elixr Yoga Teacher
Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide.
According to Beyondblue, 45 per cent of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around one million Aussie adults experience depression, while over 2 million have anxiety. Yoga, in particular, has proven to alleviate symptoms in people who have experienced depression or anxiety for both long and short-term periods.
Here is a 10-15 minute personal home practice to assist people in lifting their mood.
Before you begin, get settled. Your 10-15 minute yoga practice is a sacred routine that will help bring you into wholeness. You can begin your transition into relaxation simply by creating a sacred space for your practice that is free from everyday stressors and triggers. If space is an issue, try a symbolic gesture that can be useful to subconsciously tell your senses that your yoga practice is beginning and that now is the time for your mind and body to unwind. This could involve playing specific music, lighting a candle or burning incense.
These postures have been chosen in this sequence to open the body, energise it and bring new blood flow to the sluggish and stagnant areas. To find out more about yoga for depression contact Alex on +614 1463 8680 or sign up for her course ‘Yoga for Anxiety and Depression‘.
- Woodchopper technique with lion’s tongue and exhale sound
Inhale, clasp hands together, poke tongue out. Exhale (lion’s breath sound) fold forward and sweep hands through thighs. This posture brings fresh energy into the throat area and the respiratory system, and boosts vitality.
2. Spinal rolls
Do six full inhales and exhales up. Chin to chest, curling spine vertebrae by vertebrae, shoulders relaxed, holding opposite elbows. Hold for five to seven full breaths. Allow the head to be soft, mouth and brow relaxed.
Spinal rolls assist in connecting to the parasympathetic part of the body (the non-flight self). You’ll experience a calming effect which prepares the body to rest.
Stand feet width to hips. Allow the knees to be soft and gradually inhale the arms up, lengthen knees and exhale hands down. Bend knees. Squatting brings energy up through the body to feel vibrancy and clarity.
4. Sun Salutation A
Start in Mountain Pose. Inhale, arms up, exhale, hands to floor. Inhale, look up, exhale to plank position then drop knees, chest, chin to floor. Inhale, look up, exhale into Downward Dog. Hold for five long soft breaths,
gazing at the navel. Inhale, bend knees and step forward to standing. Exhale, head to knees. Inhale, come to standing, arms wide. Exhale back to Mountain Pose. Repeat twice more. Sun Salutation brings life to the cells while the body is moved through a sequence generating heat and vitality.
6. Warrior I to Warrior II
Arms wide, holding for four to eight breaths on each side. Repeat. Warrior I and Warrior II improve focus, balance and stability. Encourages good circulation and respiration.
7. Bridge Pose and Shoulderstand
Do three easy backbends, peeling the spine off the floor, holding the posture for 3 to 5 breaths. Repeat three times. Follow with shoulderstand. Allow the posture to be steady and comfortable. Hold 8 to 15 breaths.
Sit cross-legged.Have the thumb/index finger touching with palms facing downwards. Sit quietly with eyes closed and place your attention in your heart space. Create an inner smile to radiate your body. Sit for five minutes. To finish
Do your Savasana with a bolster under knees. It’s important to feel the earth supporting you. Allow the earth to take away all of your negative energy.
For further guided help and a committed health club, contact Elixr Health Clubs.