Sunday, 10 April 2016

Yoga for every body - men - depression


Men can be reluctant to own up to depression and seek help.  They feel they should be strong, in control.  Admitting to depression seems to be viewed by some men as a threat to their masculine image.  Women on the other hand are more likely to seek help.  Men also find it more difficult to talk about their feelings whereas women are much more open.  As a result sadly men are more likely to commit suicide than women.

Symptoms of depression include despondency, loss of interest in work etc, fatigue or with anxiety related depression, panic attacks, OCD, and difficulty sleeping.  Other symptoms include sexual problems and in men depression can also take the form of anger.

We begin our yoga video with Sun Salutations - these are energizing if you have depression with fatigue but also help 'burn off' stress hormones if your depression is characterised by anxiety.

Yoga can help with depression by creating changes in our brain chemistry lowering anxiety which often accompanies depression.  Chest openers, which we practice in our video can invigorate by encouraging deeper breathing which brings more oxygen into the body. Your body needs oxygen to produce energy. Also chest openers can calm anxiety by this effect on breathing which is soothing for the brain.

When we are depressed we tend to have our shoulders forward which tightens the chest muscles impeding breathing.  Yoga improves posture opening up the chest to deeper breathing which both relieves fatigue and calms the mind.

Having opened the chest, forward bends and half inversions and inversions help bring the freshly oxygenated blood to the brain.  We practice these too in the video, 'Yoga for every body - men - depression' on my YouTube Channel-https://youtu.be/_PTjB8F0YwI.

Rest is key to recover from depression.  I would advise you to practice Savasana daily spending 10-15 minutes letting go of any tension in your body and calming your mind.


Savasana

Watching the breath is a form of meditation that is useful to practice as you rest.  Let your whole attention be focused on your breath and if any thoughts pop into your head, gently but firmly let them go, returning your attention to your breath.  

Below are some other yoga videos on my YouTube Channel that you may find helpful
'Yoga for mild depression' playlist-

'Yoga Nidra' (this is 'yogic sleep' a state of complete relaxation)-

I really hope this helps.

Namaste,
Janet x

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