Depression

is a common mental disorder. According to WHO an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression globally. In Singapore, an estimated 6,3% of the population are affected by depression during their lifetime according to the 2010 Singapore National Mental Health Survey.

Because I have close family members, who have been affected by anxiety and depression, I find it very important to share the knowledge that yoga is a low-risk, high yield approach to improving overall mental health.

Yoga works in preventing and curing mental health problems, because many yoga poses affects the nervous system and has a direct impact on reducing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

The following is just a few of many yoga poses that help against anxiety and stress:

Suria Namaskar: Promotes good sleep and calms anxiety.

Matsyasana: Stimulates and tones the pituitary and pineal glands and thereby helps regulating moods, emotions and stress.

Bhujangasana: Improves flexibility of the spinal cord for better functioning of the nervous system.

Adho Mukha Svanasana: Removes fatigue and brings energy back to the body.

Balasana: Calms the brain and helps relieve stess and fatigue.

Baddha Konasana; Parivritta Utkatasana; Virabhadrasana 1: All three poses reduce anxiety, depression and stress from daily activities.

Padmasana together with Pranayama exercises or meditation: Helps to turn the mind inwards and calms the mind.

So my hope is that more people will get the opportunity to try out yoga and see the benefits for themselves.

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Kirsten Newbigging

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