A depressed person stands with his chest sunken, shoulders drooping and eyes dull and withdrawn. Even it a normal person were to mimic such a physical stance, he too within a few moments would get that sunken, hopeless feeling.
It is said that failure is stepping stone to success. But, as an individual who has just stumbled on this stone of failure, for him there seems to be no step forward! In this competitive world, there are as many stories of failure as of success.
Failure could be an inability to achieve a goal set by a society, peers or by out own selves either on the professional or emotional front. Failure is naturally accompanied by a feeling of gloom and sadness.
However, this feeling of despair could lead to emotional depression which in turn brings an intense feeling of hopelessness, unhappiness, an unwillingness to do things, sluggishness and a feeling of wanting to be ‘away’ from the world. There have been awful instances albeit rare, where individuals in such an intense state of depression have brought an end to their own lives. Depression is becoming more common in today’s world with young school kids unable to cope with exams, young adults failing n their love lives and in some cases adults unable to withstand financial pressures and falling prey to it.
The key to fighting depression is to improve one’s physical, emotional and mental endurance and tolerance. It is to develop the capability to have faith in one’s own abilities and not be a victim of circumstances. Yoga naturally develops endurance as well as inner confidence and therefore it is uncommon for regular practitioners of yoga to become a victim of depression and even if they do, they manage to get out of it quickly. What ever be the cause of depression, it has its typical physical manifestation. The body, mind and emotions are intricately connected such that state of the emotions and mind are expressed in the body.
Thus instead of working ‘directly’ on the mind and emotions that are already weak, one can work on them through the medium of the body. In most asanas, the chest is well expanded and broadened, in contrast to that of a ‘depressed’ individual and this stimulates the mind and emotions.
Furthermore, asanas where the chest is raised higher than the head uplifts the emotional centre, the heart. These asanas include Purvottanasana, Supta Virasana, Viparita Dandasana, Sirsasana, Sarvangasana, Setu Banda Sarvangasana Viparita Karani.
Youngsters can be made to do a lot of backward bending asanas like Viparita Dandasana, Urdhva Dhanurasana and Viparita Chakrasana where the chest is elevated and the head lowered. These asanas immediately stimulate the brain and the woes are forgotten initially transiently and later for a long time to come. (by Ayurvedictalk.com)