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Manage your Anxiety, Stress and Depression through yoga


Anxiety, Stress & Depression are mental disorders & quite common now days due to change in lifestyle.

What are Anxiety, Stress and Depression?

Although these are mental disorders, they differ from each other.

Anxiety – Fear of loss of things/person/ chances in life without any particular reason. Worries & negative thinking.

Physical symptoms: Loss of appetite & moderate sleep disturbance. Palpitation & Perspiration, tremors and rapid breathing.

Stress –  Feeling pressurized / struggled in getting fulfilled wish/desire

Unable to cope up with the present situation.

Loss of concentration and accuracy in work.

Sleep & appetite disturbed.

Physical symptoms– Lethargy, Tremors, Sweating, tiredness, weakness.

Depression – Feeling of helplessness & complete loss of hopes in life.

Depression can be a further step of anxiety & distress.

Suicidal thought due to guilt & self blaming. Loss of interest in any activity. Want to stay alone and avoid social meetings etc.

Constant crying. Loss of confidence.

Physical symptoms: Lack of sleep & appetite. Typical flexed posture.

Who really need to manage anxiety stress or depression?

Sportsmen & the general audience spectators watching the play, women, office goers, students, and different professionals like doctors, advocates and engineers do experience these symptoms sometimes in their life. Also people who are highly active people in their fields mostly suffers from above mental disorders.

Why they should manage? If not, what will happen?  How does it affect their performance, work, family life etc.

All of them need to balance maintain their personal mental health because if not taken care on time it may affect their personal & social life.

There will be no harmony & balance in between personal & social life.

If it will not happen on time then there will be Lot of disturbance, mistakes can happen by that person which can lead to huge loss of money, courier and family life.

Why yoga? What are other methods and how they are incompetent in managing stress? How yoga has more effective strategy. 

Yoga is the best remedy to handle manages these mental health disorders because of its holistic approach. However there are many other alternative therapies available like Ayurveda therapy, Diet, Medications, and Naturopathy treatments. However they have limitations and they cannot eradicate these disorders from the root.

Here are a few tips to manage anxiety/stress/depression.

Preparatory steps

It is required to sit in the lotus pose, or easy crossed legged pose on the floor or in a chair by keeping spine & neck straight & facial muscle relaxed. Eyes should be closed.

Shavasana:  easy method of relaxation to start with.

Yoga Practices

  1. Breath Awareness – 10 -20 cycles

Closed your eyes with awareness of eyelashes, eyelids & eyeball Ensure complete closure of eyes & relax. Then concentrate on normal breath and watch it as it is going on, for 5 cycles. Try to feel the flow & the touch of air inside the nostrils. Feel the coolness of air while inhaling & warmness of air while exhaling – for 5 respiratory cycles.

2. Slow & Conscious Deep Breathing-

After breath awareness, progress further with conscious  Deep inhalation & exhalation with awareness of movement of Chest & abdominal part .Try to follow the air entering from the nostril going through the throat then feel the movement of Chest, the way it comes out which is then followed by the abdominal part which also bulges up. Then watch consciously the reverse movements of the abdomen & chest going inside respectively while exhalation.

Please remember, breathe very slowly so that there should be no sound from the nostrils during inhalation and exhalation

One breath cycle may take 10 to 15 seconds approximately.

(Inhale fully up to the collar bones and exhales completely)

  1. Anulom – Vilom-   10-20 rounds.

This is nadi shuddhi technique of Hatha-yoga. Commonly it is also known as Anulom- vilom  pranayama though it is not among 8 types of hathayoga pranayamas.

By doing this one feels calm and quiet. It also increases the focus.

Technique –:

Close the right nostril & inhale deeply from the left nostril

Close the left nostril and exhale slowly from the right nostril.

Now inhale from the right nostril, close it and exhale very slowly from the left nostril. This is one round of Anulom vilom pranayama. Please remember exhalation should be longer (in time) than the inhalation. Beginner may observe ratio 1:2 for inhalation and exhalation.

  1. Bhramari Pranayama – 10 to 20 rounds.

In this type of pranayama inhalation is done with both the nostrils. During the exhalation humming sound is produced with closed mouth.

  1.  Omkar recitation- 10 to 20 rounds.

Loud but low pitch Omkar chanting increases peace & strength of mind.Because of vagus nerve is connected to vocal cords which get toned up. The vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system.

It is largely responsible for the mind-body connection & has far reaching effect for all your

major organs of the body.

How to chant “OM” ?

Inhale deeply & while exhaling initiate chanting by saying ‘O’ (with the lips open) and them ‘Ma’ (by closing lips) with full awareness of body & breath coordination.

Visualize & chant in any of following ways……& try to get involved with its vibrations.

  1. Prayer Gayatri mantra or any mantra chanting which would create great peace and

Calmness in your mind.10 – 20 rounds.

Conclude the session by offering gratitude to the Lord.

Be silent & observe your experience and feeling for 5 to 10 Min.

Open eyes with awareness of eyelashes, eyelid & eyeball

Benefits –

This stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps to calm down.

This enhances your strength & vitality of body & mind.

It connects mind & body through ultimate source of life i.e. breathe.

It strengthens your mind to cope with any stressful situation in the life.

The more slowly you breathe in and out the more serenity and stillness you will feel.

It is said that slower the breathing rate more is the life span. In support of this the following chart is given to show connection between breathing rate & the life span of some of the animals.

AnimalBreathing rate,  breaths/minLife span,  years
Elephant4-5 (lying down)70 -100

– by Nutan Pakhare

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