09 Aug Yoga for depression
Depression – the ailment of our civilisation – is a disorder that can come for a short time and afterwards keep coming back now and then, or it can attack clinically and need psychiatric care, sometimes hospitalisation.
Predisposition to depressive states can be transferred genetically but our emotional and physical state plays a big role in it.
Excess of information, stimulation, constant running and competition causes our organism to stop being able to handle lasting pressure and to switch off. We become sad, cold, isolated not only from other people but also from ourselves.
The first symptom is often not wanting to get out of bed and avoiding meeting other people. We close ourselves not only in our home under the blanket but also in ourselves. We lack motivation to live or desire getting any help.
Depression can often become an addiction that works like a vicious circle. Excess stress causes our organism to block and switch off. We become dull and impassible. We are lonely, because we lack contact even with ourselves. Depression becomes “a medicine for stress”, because we begin to feel nothing, so subconsciously we do not want to get out of it, thus becoming addicted to this state.
Sometimes, too much stress causes another defensive mechanism that is hard to detect, which as a consequence also causes depression, sometimes called cold depression. A person suffering from cold depression, wanting to “switch him- or herself off”, begins to overstimulate oneself: by excessive work, drugs (which can also include the inconspicuous coffee, energy drinks or sex, for example), extreme sports or other artificial stimulants that cause a rise in energy caused by raising adrenaline levels. Such person falls into deeper and deeper depression, often unseen by themselves and their close ones, hence the name “cold depression”.
From a yoga point of view, depression can be caused by the disruption in the flow of energy in the chakras. For example, a blockage of energy in the first chakra means lack of acceptance for one’s life, in the second chakra it’s the inability to show feelings, in the third one is a low self-esteem, in the fourth chakra, heart chakra, shows as lack of self-love and contact with oneself. In all of these cases, the reason for this state are emotions and depression is a method to suppress them.
Kundalini yoga is an amazing medicine for depression. It is called the yoga of awareness because with practice we become not only aware of our body and breath, but also of ourselves, our feelings and emotions.
By practicing kundalini yoga we stimulate prana (life energy) in our organism that balances our chakra system, endocrine nervous system and hormonal system. Yoga is the best method to begin to love ourselves and accept our life.
Daily practice strengthens the nervous system, cleanses the organism from not only physical, but also emotional toxins. Yoga builds up self-esteem. You’re not sure where to start? Sit on the floor, chair or sofa, close your eyes. Set a times on your phone (for example for 11 minutes) and begin to observe your breathing. Begin to observe your thoughts and everything that is happening in your organism. Maybe you will feel something itch or ache – accept it and observe, prolonging your breath. Begin counting to 4 when you’re inhaling and 4 when exhaling.