According to yoga experts, backbends not only open up your heart center, they also help improve your posture, ease your breathing, and reduce internal stress. Yoga does this by letting go of tension in lung and chest area tissues. This sequence of backbends can be just the thing to beat back those blue days. Below are five yoga poses that will help with depression in particular.
Arrange yourself so that you're sitting on your heels with your big toes touching each other and your hands are on your thighs. Put your chest and belly between your knees and place your forehead on the floor. Your arms should be beside your shins with your palms facing up. Take five to ten deep, long breaths.
Go onto your hands and knees from the Cobra pose. Set your knees directly below your hips. Set your wrists so they are slightly ahead of your shoulders. Spread your fingers and curl your toes. Exhale, press on your palms, and raise your knees so that your hips are pointing to the ceiling. Your legs should be slightly bent. Keep your legs straight as much you can, but don’t lock your knees. Then position your chest towards your thighs. Your ears should be parallel to your upper arms.
After you get out of downward facing dog, pivot your left heel to the floor so that your toes point to the left. Place your right foot between your hands. Line up your front heel with your back. Inhale, then lift up your arms with your palms facing each other. Exhale and bend your front knee to a 90-degree angle. Rotate your hips in the direction of your right leg. Inhale as you raise your arms a bit higher and arch your back a bit more. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
Lie face-down and press your toes and forehead into the floor. Place your palms on the floor on either side of your chest. Make sure that your fingers are pointing forward and your elbows are bent in toward your ribcage. Inhale and lift your chest from the floor. Use your back strength to hold yourself up in this position. Lift your hands off the floor, reaching your heart up. Take a few deep breaths, then place your palms back on the floor and lower your chest.
Get out of Warrior I by turning your hips to the side. Try and keep your right knee bent. Bring your left hand down to rest on your left leg, then raise the right arm toward the ceiling, spreading your fingers away from each other. Reach to the back without moving your legs. Slide your left hand toward your left ankle. If you can, look upward at the ceiling. Stay in this position for five breaths.
Done together, these poses can give you energy, focus your mind and even reduce fatigue. Exercise has alleviated depression for a lot of people, so get onto that mat for some much needed relief. Visit Inner Engineering for more information about using the energy within to improve your life.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700