Yoga is one of the best ways to cultivate overall mind/body awareness and alleviate feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress as well as create physical balance to help maintain a healthy weight. It appears that it may also help those with ADD/ADHD find focus and concentration. For those interested in leading a healthy lifestyle, yoga is a great way to start.
Yoga and Depression
Exercise in general helps alleviate symptoms of depression, and yoga is no exception. When combined with meditation and deep breathing, a yoga practice can help the practitioner cultivate a more positive attitude. Depression can cause fatigue and a lack of energy, and yoga can help create a feeling of increased activity and motivation to move forward in other areas. It is also believed that yoga may stimulate the organs in such a way as to induce the release of hormones that affect mood regulation. Two poses that appear to be of special benefit for those with depression are standing forward bend and twisting triangle.
Yoga and Stress
Yoga is well known as a way to alleviate stress and bring about a more positive outlook on life. Research suggests yoga’s ability to neutralize stress. In one study, yoga was shown to reduce the presence of stress hormones in the heart and cardiovascular system, which has a sedating effect that can calm the stress response. Other study reviews concluded that yoga was helpful in alleviating symptoms associated with such stress-related disorders including heart disease and chronic migraines.
Yoga and Anxiety
Often, when people are experiencing anxiety, they have the sense that they have lost control over various situations around them. Yoga can help someone to regain the feeling of control as they practice the disciplined postures and breathing exercises involved in a deep yoga routine. Anxiety can cause muscle tension, headaches, loss of focus, and sleep difficulty, and yoga has the ability to counteract these problems through a combination of physical posturing, controlled deep breathing, and meditation. The use of yogic meditation can especially help someone dealing with anxiety to calm their worried mind and gain new perspective.
Yoga and ADD/ADHD
Making that mind/body connection may be helpful for people with ADD/ADHD. Often times, people with ADD/ADHD have issues with impulsivity and hyperactivity, and they report that they feel a loss of control over their bodies. They may not even be aware of their hyperactive fidgeting and restless behavior. Yoga can help to reconnect the mind and body to give them a better sense of control over their physical faculties. Practicing yoga can also encourage focus and concentration, which they can then carry over into other activities after having performed the disciplined combination of postures, breathing, and meditation.