Depression free through yoga     


Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.

True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for an extended period of time.

Alternative name:-

Blues; Discouragement; Gloom; Mood changes; Sadness; Melancholy


Depression is generally ranked in terms of severity — mild, moderate, or severe. The degree of your depression, which your doctor can determine, influences how you are treated. Symptoms of depression include:

Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping

A dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss

Fatigue and lack of energy

Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and inappropriate guilt

Extreme difficulty concentrating

Agitation, restlessness, and irritability

Inactivity and withdrawal from usual activities

Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness

Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Low self esteem is common with depression. So are sudden bursts of anger and lack of pleasure from activities that normally make you happy, including sex.

Depressed children may not have the classic symptoms of adult depression. Watch especially for changes in school performance, sleep, and behavior. If you wonder whether your child might be depressed, it’s worth bringing to a doctor’s attention.

The main types of depression include:

Major depression — five or more symptoms listed above must be present for at least 2 weeks, but major depression tends to continue for at least 6 months. (Depression is classified as minor depression if you have fewer than five depression symptoms for at least 2 weeks. In other words, minor depression is similar to major depression except it only has 2 – 4 symptoms.)

Dysthymia– a generally milder form of depression that lasts as long as two years.

Atypical depression — depression accompanied by unusual symptoms, such as hallucinations (for example, hearing voices that are not really there) or delusions (irrational thoughts).

Other common forms of depression include:

Postpartum depression — many women feel somewhat down after having a baby, but true postpartum depression is rare.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) — depressive symptoms occur one week prior to menstruation and disappear after you menstruate.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — occurs during the fall-winter season and disappears during the spring-summer season. Likely to be due to lack of sunlight.

Depression may also occur with mania (known as manic-depression or bipolar disorder). In this condition, moods cycle between mania and depression.

Depression is more common in women than men and is especially common during the teen years. Men seem to seek help for feelings of depression less often than women. Therefore, women may only have more documented cases of depression.

Comman  causes:-

Depression often runs in families. This may due to your genes (inherited), learned behavior, or both. Even if your genes make you more likely to develop depression, a stressful or unhappy life event usually triggers the onset of a depressive episode.

Depression may be brought on by:

Alcohol or drug abuse

Childhood events like abuse or neglect

Chronic stress

Death of a friend or relative

Disappointment at home, work, or school (in teens, this may be breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, failing a class, or parents divorcing)

Drugs such as sedatives and high blood pressure medications

Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), cancer, or hepatitis.

Nutritional deficiencies (such as a lack of folate and omega-3 fatty acids)

Overly negative thoughts about one’s self and life, self blame, and ineffective social problem solving skills

Prolonged pain or having a major illness

Sleeping problems

Social isolation (common in the elderly)

Yogic cure:-

         [1]Shatkarma                                                {Purificatory techniques}

{a}Kunjal                                             {Volitional stomach wash}

{b}Sutra neti                                         {Nose wash by string}

{c}Jalaneti                                            {Nose wash by water}

{d}Kapalbhati                                       {Lungs & brain wash by breathing}

[2]Yogasanas                                                   {Posture}

{a} Sarvangasana                                    { Shoulder stand}

{b} Vipritkarni mudra                             {Inverted pose }

{c} Halasana                                            { Plough}

{d} Pawan muktasana                              {Wind release}

{e} Matsyasana                                         {Fish}

{f} Supta vajrasana                                   {Lying adamantine}

{g} Salabhasana                                        {Locust}

{h} Bujangasana                                       {Cobra}

{i} Vakrasana

{j} Savasana                                              {Corpse}

[3] Pranayama                                {Body-mind energising breathing practices}             

{a} Bhastrika                                      {Bellow pranayama}

{b} Anulome-vilome                         {Alternate nostrilar pranayama}

[4]Bandhas:-                                                {Bands}

{a} Jalandhar bandha                      {Chin lock}

{b}Uddiyana bandha                       {Abdominal lock}

{c}Moola bandha

                [5] Mudras:-                                                   {Finger –posture}

{a}Pashini mudra

{b}Aakashi mudra

 [6]Dhayan                                                        {Meditation}


   {7} Yogic Diet:- 

 Depressive symptoms are exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies

nutritional deficiencies may include:

  • The frequent consumption of caffeine
  • Consumption of sucrose (sugar)
  • Deficiencies of biotin, folic acid and vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium or potassium.
  • Excesses of magnesium or vanadium
  • Imbalances in amino acids

Complete blood test

As part of the evaluation of your condition, your doctor will order the following tests:

  1. Thyroid Function Test-T(3)-T(4), TSH
  2. Urine analysis
  3. Cytotoxic blood test
  4. Hair and nail analysis

This is done so as to find out if there is an allergic reaction of the body or a mineral imbalance that can cause or aggravate the mental symptoms or any other physical problems that may cause these mental symptoms.


Avoid coffee, sugar, alcohol, dairy products.

Depression has been associated with a high intake of caffeine. If you drink four or more cups of caffeine in a given day, try substituting decaffeinated coffee and soft drinks.

Several studies have looked at caffeine intake and depression. In a study of healthy college students, moderate and high coffee drinkers scored higher on a depression scale than did low users. Other studies have shown that depression patients tend to consume fairly high amounts of caffeine (more than 700 mg per day). In addition, the intake of caffeine has been linked with the degree of mental illness in psychiatric patients: the higher the intake, the more severe the depression.

Excess intake of refined sugar via sweet foods and/or from junk food can aggravate depression.

The combination of caffeine and refined sugar is even worse for depression than either substance consumed alone. Several studies have found an association between this combination and depression. In one study, twenty-one women and two men responded to an advertisement requesting volunteers “who feel depression and don’t know why, often feel tired even though they sleep a lot, are very moody, and generally seem to feel bad most of the time.” The subjects were placed on a caffeine- and sucrose- free diet for one week. The subjects who reported substantial improvement (about sixty percent) were then challenged in a double-blind fashion lasting up to six days. They were given either caffeine and sucrose or Kool Aid and NutraSweet diet. About fifty percent of test subjects became depression during the test period with caffeine and sucrose. In another similar study, seven of sixteen depression patients were found to be depression with the caffeine and sucrose diet, but became symptom-free when given a caffeine- and sucrose-free diet or a diet consisting of cellulose and NutraSweet.

If you are suffering from Depression, stay clear of caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and dairy products if you are lactose-sensitive.


Fresh green vegetables, some fresh fruits, whole cereals and beans well cooked, unroasted seeds, seed sprouts, and soy protein, to supply whole protein to the body. Avoid any processed food, artificial colors, stimulant food, canned foods, smoking, dairy products, meats, eggs, and fish.

Avoid poultry in the beginning of the therapy. Avoid processed food that contains artificial coloring and preservatives.

Special attention should be paid to avoid foods that may cause allergic reaction, tiredness, heaviness, or any other bad feelings.

The amount of protein should be calculated according to the behavior of the patient. In hyperactivity, aggression, violence-yang conditions—-about 0.5 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. In hypoactivity, passive reactions, brain fatigue, depression-yin conditions-about 1.0 gram protein per kilogram of body weight. Include tofu, beans and seafood in the diet for adequate protein.


Suggested Meal Plan

Vegetables: 3-5
Fruit: 2-4 (1 serving = 1/2 cup or 1 piece of fruit)
Bread, cereals, grains: 6-11 (1 serving= 1 slice or 3/4 cup Cereal)
Dairy products: 2-3; 3-4 for teens, pregnant or nursing women (serving= 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1 slice cheese)
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes: 2-3 (serving = 3 ounces lean meat; 2 eggs; 1-1/4 cups legumes)

Limit your total daily fat intake to 30 percent of your total calories. Try not to consume more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day, and limit servings of meat, fish, and fowl to three ounces each.

For breakfast, eat a Swiss muesli made with rolled oats, almonds, fresh grated apples, milk and natural, plain yogurt. nutritional yeast is a good source of B vitamins. Sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes onto muesli and salads or stir into sauces, drinks and soups. If you suspect that your Depression is caused by a deficiency of iodine, take watercress.

Pancakes, oatmeal, pasta, potatoes, and other foods loaded with complex carbohydrates can help a person keep Depression moods under control. Complex carbohydrates elevate brain levels of serotonin. Try eating at least one meal a day that includes pasta primavera or a hearty potato soup that is very high in complex carbohydrates without lots of protein.

Seek out seafood. Eating tuna, salmon, and other fish loaded with omega-3’s, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may help bolster your mood. The scientists postulate that low levels of omega-3’s in your nervous system,may increase your vulnerability to Depression. So regular consumption of fish once or twice a week may prevent the  Depression. Lobster, crab, shrimp, and other shellfish also contain some omega-3’s.

 Scientific appraisal in favour of yoga:-

 Depression A 2004 review of five RCTs that evaluated yoga-based interventions for depression and depressive disorders showed some positive outcomes and no adverse effects on patients’ mild to severe depressive disorders. However, poor study design and incomplete methodologic reporting makes this interpretation preliminary. An RCT studying 7 weeks of yoga training in a group of breast cancer survivors showed positive changes in emotional function, depression, and mood disturbance. “Yoga and stress management” (in the online version of this article) provides more information on this study and others involving the effects of yoga on stress.

 Home remedies:-

  • Try to fast for 2 to 3 days on apple juice. This will act as a very effective nerve tonic and recharge the nerves with new energy and life.
  • Rub some coconut oil or sunflower oil on scalp and soles of your feet at bedtime.
  • Nose drops of warm sesame oil or brahmi ghee (2 to 3 drops in each nostril) is effective for relieving depression.
  • Drink ginger tea (1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ginger powder steeped in hot water) twice a day.
  • Take one or two grams of the powder of the dry root of the asparagus plant daily.

Scientific explanation:-

Stress relief through Yoga Asana- Stretching muscles and ligaments
Stretching has beneficial effects on the body. Stretching muscles and ligaments results to increase in blood supply to the muscles, ligaments and relax them by alleviating tension and stress, pressure in the nerves of that area.

Stress relief through Deep breathing (pranayama)
During retaining the yoga posture breathes is slow and deep. This increases the oxygen and prana supply to the target organ or gland. It reduces stress and anxiety.

Stress relief through Concentration and meditation
During slowly and deeply breathing the attention is focused on the target organ or gland. This brings the mind into play, and greatly increases the circulation and prana supply to the organ or gland.
Regular Yoga practice daily helps to regulate the breath and relax the body by gently releasing tension from the large muscle groups, flushing all parts of the body and brain with fresh blood, oxygen, and other nutrients, and increasing feelings of well-being.

Overall asana, pranayama and meditation clear all depression and rejuvenate the life.


Important Precautions

Risk of Suicide

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required labeling on all antidepressants to include boxed warnings about increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality,  in children, adolescents and young adults during initial treatment (generally the first one to two months). However, it is important to remember that depression and other psychiatric problems are linked to suicide, as well.

Patients who are using antidepressant therapy should be closely monitored by family and healthcare providers for suicidal signs and symptoms. Contact a healthcare provider immediately if changes in depression symptoms or behavior occur, or if signs of a possible suicide emerge. Observe the patient closely within the first few months of treatment and when there is a dose change.6

Clinical trial evidence is not sufficient to determine if any one antidepressant is more or less likely to result in suicidal thoughts or action.5

Abrupt Discontinuation

It is important to speak with a physician prior to stopping an antidepressant medication. Abruptly stopping an antidepressant can lead to a host of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms. Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR) and venlafaxine (Effexor, Effexor XR) are especially prone to cause these symptoms if they are abruptly stopped; fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly) is less likely to cause this problem. A health care provider may recommend that the antidepressant be slowly tapered to help prevent withdrawal side effects, which may include:


Feelings of depression or sadness

Moodiness and irritability


Headaches and dizziness

Nausea and vomiting


If an antidepressant is causing an unpleasant side effect that does not subside, the physician may lower the antidepressant dose or prescribe a different class of antidepressant if the medication should not be discontinued.5

Serotonin Syndrome

Many antidepressants, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, raise the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to facilitate chemical messages in the brain and it is thought this helps with the symptoms of depression. However, too much serotonin can lead to symptoms such as:



Loss of coordination


Fast heart rate

Nausea or vomiting

Further suggestion:-

  • Becoming self-confident is best approach to overcome depression hence always focus on developing and maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Poor nutrition can also cause depression. So you need a well balanced diet as well.
  • Organize your life. Learn to relieve stress and find the joy of relaxation in your daily life.
  • Exercise or physical activity reduces depression and anxiety. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, thus stimulating the mind and also helps to reduce depression and anxiety. Make a point to exercise your brain by reading, playing chess, doing crossword puzzles, etc.
  • Try to do cardiovascular exercise like Pranayama regularly.
  • Talk about your problem with your friends and family members as sharing reduces grief.
  • Try to have simple food, i.e. more fresh green vegetable and fruits, eatable green leaves like palak, leaves of radish etc. in your diet. Better avoid tea and coffee. Add more and more fibrous food in your diet. Drink at least three and half liters of water daily.
  • Constipation is one of the main causes of tiredness. Try to control constipation use issabgol, trifala, bail powder.
  • Drinking plenty of lukewarm water helps remove toxins from the body.
  • Fasting once a week is also very helpful as it tones up the whole digestive system.
  • Take some time for yourself away from your monotonous daily routine. Devote some time to your hobby or favorite activity; give yourself time to enjoy it.
  • Set realistic expectations. Do your best, and remember that nobody is perfect.
  • Learn to love yourself and respect yourself. Respect others. Be with people who accept and respect you.
  • Remember that drugs and alcohol NEVER solve problems. Say no to them always.

By- Yogi Yoganand