You have to do yoga to overcome anxiety. Yoga is great for helping treat depression. For years, I’ve these two statements repeated to me again and again like a broken record. From medical staff to professional yoga teachers, to family and friends, everyone recommends yoga for mental health. So, I decided to finally try out the best types of yoga for anxiety and depression, and all I can say is, I wish I didn’t wait so long.
What is yoga?
In order to understand the importance and value of yoga for treating anxiety and depression, you need to know what it is. While there are various types of yoga, each with a definition of its own, this type of exercise can be generalized as an exercise for your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation for a thorough, head-to-toe, internal and external workout.
How does yoga help with anxiety and depression?
Yoga helps treat anxiety and depression in various ways. So, I’ll be dedicating an entire Anxiety Gone article to answer this question. However, here’s a shorter version.
Regular yoga practice teaches you how to remain calm and relaxed in daily life. Each type of yoga is infused with breathing techniques and body movements that help you control feelings of discomfort. It’s a type of exercise designed to strengthen your mind, emotions, body, and spirit. As such, when you feel anxiety or depression seeping in, you have the strength, breathing techniques and tools to calm yourself down naturally.
Just think about it for a second. When you feel anxious and depressed, your breathing becomes shallow, constricted, and rapid. This makes your nervous system spike even more. Now, with yoga, you learn how to maintain a calm, steady breath no matter what gets thrown into your day. So, your anxiety and depression plateaus; you’re keeping it maintained and at bay.
You’re simply in a better place all around. So, anxiety and depression is naturally decreased.
Benefits of yoga for anxiety and depression
More specifically, you receive the following benefits from the self-soothing techniques involved in yoga:
- Tame the body’s stress response
- Improve mood and functioning
- Calm the nervous system
- Lower tension
- Promote (and learn) relaxation
- Help with PTSD
- Learn how to control your breathing (the key to coming out of an attack or episode)
- Interrupt worry cycles
- Strengthen your self-awareness
- Manage stress better
… And that’s just to name a few.
Best types of yoga for anxiety and depression
There are many types of yoga for anxiety and depression specifically. Of course, there are several other benefits – such as a sexy, toned body – but let’s try not to get off topic here. Instead, let’s find out how you can use this powerful form of exercise that combines physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation, to improve your mental health.
Types of yoga for anxiety and depression
- Focuses on meditation and you’ll learn how to direct energy to different parts of your body to further alleviate symptoms of depression
- Focuses on relaxation techniques and endurance with faster-paced movement sequences
- Eliminates tension in your mind, body, and spirit
- Emphasizes flowing movement, centered breathing, and meditation
- Teaches you how to know, accept, and learn from your body
- Uses mantras, meditated and guided relaxation to soothe the mind and body
- Spikes your energy (which is definitely needed after an exhausting episode of depression or anxiety)
- Focuses on heartfelt movements, self-acceptance, and self-expression
- Focuses more on mindfulness than intense exercise
- Teaches you how to sink into deep relaxation
- Focuses on proper breathing, diet, exercise, relaxation and positive thinking
- Focuses on reducing the stress hormones and cleansing the mind and body
Add the best types of yoga for anxiety and depression into your life
The internet is a powerful place and you can finally every type of yoga with a quick search online. However, I also know this can be insanely frustrating, especially when you can’t find the exact type of yoga you’re looking for. So, here’s a short list of the things I rely on for my newfound love of yoga. I explain them more in this detailed Anxiety Gone article on 7 Ways to Add Yoga for Anxiety and Panic Attacks into your Home.
1. Yoga Burn
This online yoga for anxiety and depression is my go-to. It focuses on Dynamic Sequencing which is flowing forms of movement.
This yoga book can be purchased as an eBook or as a hard copy. Being the writer that I am, I went with the actual book. Plus, having it sit on my coffee table is a huge reminder that I need to get off my arse. I really like the meditations in this one.
As the title reads, this yoga book teaches you the practices that’ll help you attain emotional balance which is key to overcoming anxiety and depression.
An obvious favourite of mine is the Yoga for Healing. It’s one of the best types of yoga for anxiety and depression because it’s an online program that focuses on healing pain in the mind, body and the soul.
Without self love, it’ll be hard to do anything. So, I highly recommend the 30 Day Self Love Program that incorporates yoga and other healing practices to teach you how to get yourself back.
Anxiety and depression can make relaxation seem impossible. As for deep relaxation, it’s simply never heard of for anxiety and depression sufferers. So, it takes a lot of practice because our minds are already all over the place. So, the Yoga Nidra book is good for that, which is why I’ve included it as one of the best types of yoga for anxiety and depression.
And there you have it! You won’t regret getting off your booty and doing some yoga – and that’s coming from a girl who absolutely despises working out.