Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Yoga Therapy for Depression: Yoga To Boost Energy
Depressions and its crippling symptoms can stop patients from living a normal life. Some of these need a careful understanding of the patient’s body and mind. Given that the symptoms are numerous, a gentle and slow approach is needed while healing them, keeping both their physical and mental state.
Hence, yoga therapy can be considered an additional method of healing the symptoms of depression. Our approach through the given yoga sequence broadly covers the physical and mental aspects. Keeping in mind some of the symptoms like mood swings, fatigue, poor concentration, weight loss/gain, etc., the yoga sequence is divided into sections.
Therapeutic Yoga Sequence For The Week
This yoga sequence may spread across the week (6 days) for the benefit of the patients (client/student). The reason being that; the physical state of the body is easier to bring under control as compared to the mental state. And given the fact that patients will take time to come forward (regarding opening up, adjusting, believing, etc.), this method can bring more progress in the patient’s day-to-day life.
On the 1st and 2nd day: These days involve awakening the energy embedded in the physical state of the body, working towards increasing the heart rate with yoga poses that help in the same. This can be done in two rounds for 30 mins (15 mins for one round).
On the 3rd and 4th day: These two days are reserved for balancing the awakened energy by using yoga poses that help to retain just the positive energy (building prana flow). This can be done in two rounds for 30 mins (15 mins for each round).
On the 5th day: Centering the prana energy through focus on pranayama and meditation is done on the 5th day. Breathing deep and coordinating the breathing always calms and settles the negative energies lingering in the mind. The sequence is done for 30 mins (only once) on this fifth day.
On the 6th day: Focus is oriented towards vitality and retaining energy, stamina, and endurance with the practice of the entire yoga sequence (the last five days sequence). This sequence can be done for about 60 minutes, giving more time to relax in the end.
Yoga practices with both asanas and mindful breathing, are helpful in treating the symptoms of depression. The stretch in every yoga pose help to increase the energy levels, reduce anxiety, build self-confidence, reduce overall body pain, keep the blood sugar levels in control, manage the mental and emotional levels, etc. Pranayama and meditation keep the nerves relaxed, reduce the heart rate, lower the blood pressure, and encourage maximum use of oxygen. Thus, yoga is a holistic way to heal patients with depression.
For a better understanding of some of the other symptoms of depression topics like anxiety and insomnia are covered for use in therapeutic yoga. Please see the references below on the same:
Yoga Therapy for Depression: Yoga to Boost Energy: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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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.
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.