How yoga can relieve depression


IBS Publishing Team

“Depression isn’t a real disease”, “Just be happy again”. Depression is widespread in the world and is one of the most underestimated diseases. There are many signs of depression and various ways to alleviate it. In the following, we will show you how yoga specifically alleviates depression and helps one’s self-esteem.

Already some studies have found that yoga helps against depression. The more yoga sessions were done, the better the participants felt. This does not mean that yoga alone can cure the disease, but that it supports the healing process.

Unity and Connectivity

Yoga means unity and connection of body, mind and soul. Through yoga we learn how to understand our body. We learn to listen to it and engage with it more. We reduce our negative thought patterns and crank up our spirit, with so-called happiness hormones that are released during the process, because sport is known to make you happy. Time for oneself is thereby gained, whereby one learns to love oneself more.

Balanced breathing to cope with stress

Each of our emotions is connected with our breathing and thus influences our state of mind. For example, we start breathing faster when we are under enormous stress. Some people run the risk of hyperventilating.


Through targeted yoga exercises, these individuals can find a simple way to calm themselves down as quickly as possible. The interplay of concentrated breathing and relaxation creates a distraction of consciousness to the point of reducing the stress hormone cortisol. In addition to breathing exercises, physical activities such as the downward dog, the shoulder bridge or the swivel seat can also contribute to relaxation.


In combination with breathing exercises, even greater success against depression has already been demonstrated. One example is alternate breathing. The starting position for this is an upright sitting position. In addition, the right index and middle fingers are bent downward into the palm of the hand. The nose finds a place between the ring finger and the thumb. This hand position allows alternating between both nostrils when inhaling and exhaling. With the ring finger, gently pinch the left nostril closed and inhale through the right nostril. Count to four as you do this.

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The next step is to close the right nostril with your thumb so that both nostrils are finally closed. Hold your breath and continue counting to four. Release the ring finger and let all the air escape from the left nostril while counting to four again. Then reverse the pattern by inhaling through the left nostril first, holding both nostrils closed, and exhaling through the right nostril. Breathe in this pattern for three to five minutes.

The more the better

Studies have found out that regular yoga can lead to relief from depression. Depression symptoms became weaker the more frequently participants attended yoga classes. In addition, there were other positive effects on the practitioners’ cognitive and physical performance, optimism and overall quality of life.


Investing time in yourself and your health pays off. However, yoga only takes on a supportive function in our health process, not a curative one.


As you can see, yoga is not only about staying in motion and strengthening your mobility. It helps to find inner peace or as Jigar Gor once said: “Yoga is not about touching your toes. It is what you learn on the way down.”

Source Cover Image: Pexels / cottonbro