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Yoga Therapy for Depression: Yoga to Boost Energy

(Tummee Reference Yoga Sequence)

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Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans

Overview

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Yoga Therapy for Depression: Yoga to Boost Energy: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions

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  • Awakening
    A. We begin the 6-day week yoga sequence with the awakening of the blocked energies within the body.

    B. The first two days of the week will be the series of yoga poses which will help increase the heart rate.

    C. Increasing the heart rate is essential to release the tensions within the body and mind before working on the specific areas of the body.

    D. Keep in mind the students /patients level of energy during the first two days.

    E. The important thing here is to open slowly and carefully, without pushing the limits of the patients/ students.
  • Seated Cat Cow Pose (Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana)
    A. Start the sequence seated at the center of the yoga mat, in Sukhasana (Easy Pose).

    B. Begin with closing the eyes and relax the breathing for about 2 minutes.

    C. Then, come to practice Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana (Seated Car Cow Pose). This yoga pose will help with the opening of the entire back. The practice of this yoga pose will ensure smooth flow of prana or even reduce the block around the base of the spine.

    D. Move the shoulders and the hips stretching all the muscles around the spine. Inhale taking the shoulders back and bringing the chest out.

    E. Exhale locking the chin towards your chest, while the shoulders move inwards. Repeat this for about 8 rounds of both inhalation and exhalation.

    NOTE: For senior citizens, this practice can be done seated on a chair.
  • Seated Sun Salutation (Upavistha Surya Namaskar)
    A. After the practice of Seated Cat-Cow Pose, come to sit in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).

    B. From Vajrasana start with the practice of Upavistha Surya Namaskar (Seated Sun Salutation).

    C. This 11 step sequence will help with opening the various muscles around the neck, shoulders, chest, hips, and abdomen. These are muscles or joints that energy gets blocked, and we want to ensure that the flow of energy is active.

    D. The practice of the 11 step variation of Sun Salutation is done with 12 breaths, taking inhalation and exhalation with each yoga pose.

    E. Emphasize on breathing, while also making sure it is slow and smooth.
  • Or

    4. Or

    If the Seated Sun Salutation is difficult for senior citizens, then the same can be done on a chair.
  • Sun Salutation Variation Sitting On Chair (Surya Namaskar Variation Sitting On Chair)
    A. This variation of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) is an option for senior citizens who need therapy for depression.
  • Thread The Needle Pose Flow (Urdhva Mukha Pasasana Flow)
    A. Moving the body from one position to another helps with awareness. And here for students or patients with symptoms related to depression teaching them to be aware of their bodies becomes essential.

    B. Come to Shishoasana (Puppy Dog Pose) taking a breath. Exhale and take the left arm towards the right side, and place it on the floor on your right.

    C. While doing this, twist the shoulders and the neck. Exhale completely.

    D. Inhale and lift the left arm upwards raising the chest and the face off the floor. Stretch the arms above the head at shoulder level upwards.

    NOTE: Senior citizens can practice this twisting to their comfort.

    E. Exhale to come back down twisting the shoulders to go in Urdhva Mukha Pasasana Flow (Thread the Needle Pose Flow).

    F. Repeat this 3 times on either side along with 3 rounds of breathing on each side.
  • Belly Twist Flow (Supta Matsyendrasana Ii Flow)
    A. Release and come to lie down on your back in supine with the legs bent at the knees. Relax resting the spine on the floor completely.

    B. From this position, inhale and stretch the arms out, and bring the knees to rest on the floor towards the right side with complete exhalation.

    C. Then inhale again bring the knees back to the center, using the core muscles. While doing this keep the legs off the floor.

    D. Exhale and bring the knees back on the floor towards the left side on the floor, exhaling completely.

    E. Repeat this 6 times with 6 rounds of both inhalation and exhalation in Supta Matsyendrasana Ii Flow (Belly Twist Flow).

    F. This yoga pose helps to release the blocked prana at the base of the spine and the abdomen. Release and relax.
  • Rocking And Rolling (Jhulana Lurhakanasana)
    A. From the supine position, press the knees towards the chest to come in Pawanamuktasana (Wind Release Pose).

    B. Inhale and push yourself up to sit on your feet in a flow and exhale completely.

    C. Inhale again go back, exhale to come up and sit. Repeat this rocking movement 3 times with 3 rounds of breathing.

    D. From the same position in supine, hold the knees and move left and right (side to side) in a rolling motion in 3 rounds of breathing.

    E. This practice of Jhulana Lurhakanasana (Rocking and Rolling) works with the digestive system. The digestive system becomes dull and weak for those suffering from depression.

    F. Release and relax.

    NOTE: Senior Citizens can avoid the rocking but can continue with the rolling, supporting the lower back with blankets or cushions.
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Note: Above yoga sequence is for educational purposes only. Please consult a medical professional and/or a licensed yoga teacher or yoga therapist before starting any exercise regime, including yoga.

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