Monday, April 11, 2011

Yoga Proven Effective to Combat Depression

attribution: Benjamin Thomas

We all know the basic elements towards battling depression: eating right, exercise, and a good night's sleep. According to the article published by the Huffington Post, 121 Million people worldwide suffer from Depression. Author Amy Weintraub wrote about her personal battle against depression, "I suffered from severe depression for years myself, and it really was yoga that helped me overcome depression and get off antidepressants...And the more I wrote about it, the more people became interested, and I discovered that many, many people experienced the same benefits as I did."

But what makes yoga so different from regular exercise? Weintraub says this, " There's the Pranayama breathing. There are the cues to really be attentive to the sensations in your body. When you're running or walking, for example, you're not necessarily paying attention to all the sensations in your body. But if you're paying attention to the sensations in your body when you're moving in yoga, it becomes like a meditation. You're cultivating the witness, the observing mind." Weintraub also goes on to say that in Yoga class, the students usually find themselves quickly changing into different positions without any smooth transitions. She compares this to the struggles and challenges of every day life. She says that in life, there will always be sad moments, we will always be betrayed, and we will always hit rock bottom, but that does not mean that we "lose our balance".

Simple solutions are sometimes the best ways to battle depression. Of course, if the depression is too extreme, then seek help from a medical professional, and accept the medications they prescribe. But if someone finds themselves slowly going down hill, its best to change their lifestyle. This sounds all too strange for Americans, who are used to the everyday battles of work, monetary stress and on-the-go dinners.

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