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Yoga & Pranayama to Manage Stress, Anxiety and Depression

The modern hectic lifestyle is making many victims to stress, anxiety and depression. When constant fear about something persists in the mind, it takes form of anxiety and can often lead to depression. Yoga and Pranayama is considered as effective treatment options for these conditions. When regular practice of yoga helps one stay calm and relaxed, breathing right with Pranayama relieves the mind from unnecessary clutter of thoughts that give rise to anxiety.

Yoga poses to manage anxiety

Yoga stretches the body along with stimulating different hormones. The stretch relaxes the body and calms the mind, while the hormones help heal the nervous system. When stretching the body, Yoga also promotes the release of trapped tension between the muscles.

Here are some yoga asanas recommended for relieving stress and tension while also eliminating negativity from the system.

• Setu Bandhasana – It ensures enhanced blood circulation throughout the body. The asana stretches the back which helps calm the mind and reduces stress. Beneficial for fighting insomnia, the asana is good for managing anxiety issues.

• Paschimottanasana – The seated forward bend help stretch almost every part of the body while also being relaxing. Indulging in the asana, helps calm down and relieve worry from the body.

• Marjariasana – The asana completely flexes the spine and when combined with breathing, it is beneficial for stress release. It also has great healing, calming and relaxing benefits as it makes the body more flexible while also improving the circulation.

• Balasana – The child’s poses is a calming and restorative pose which helps relax the mind and rejuvenate the body. The stretch in the back is beneficial for relaxing the spinal column, while also soothing pain and alleviating pain in the neck, back and shoulders. Resembling a fetal position, the asana is highly recommended for physical, mental and emotional well-being.

• Dhanurasana – The bow pose helps expand and open the shoulders, chest and neck, strengthens the back and abdominal muscles and relieves stress and anxiety.

• Shavasana – It is one of the highly recommended asana for relieving stress and depression as it encourages ultimate relaxation of the mind and body. Shavasana helps the nervous system integrate the neuromuscular information to keep anxiety at bay.

Pranayama for anxiety and depression

Giving attention to the breath promotes purification of both the mind and body, while also raising the energy. This also frees the mind from unnecessary thoughts that promote anxiety.

• Nadi Shodhana – The alternate nostril breathing technique balances the subtle life energy of the body, calms the mind and increases vitality. It is a highly recommended Pranayama for combating depression and emotional imbalance.

• Kapalbhati Pranayama – The skull shining breath is good for calming the mind, decreasing the thoughts, energizing the mind and body and also for depression, especially when anxiety is present.

• Bhastrika Pranayama – The bellow breath technique detoxifies the body and purifies the mind, stimulates metabolism and is beneficial for depression and anxiety.

• Ujjayi Pranayama – It is a recommended Pranayama for depression, anxiety and stress. Ujjayi Pranayama is also beneficial for calming and soothing the nervous system.


Dr. Sandeep Krishna is the fourth generation descendant of the Chingoli family, Beyond his bachelor’s degree in Ayurvedic Medicine (BAMS),he has finished his post-graduation specialized in Panchakarma.

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