Hi you beautiful lovely yogis, welcome back to my blog! 🙂
In this post, I’ll write more about a topic that needs a lot lot more awareness out there and a topic that I think is still a taboo to talk about too. It’s about our mental health, and how I personally dealt with it before.
I’m not sure whether this applies to everyone, but I do feel that each one of us had been in a depression one way or another, at least once in our lives. Even the people who had told me before that they had never been depressed, sometimes, the vibe that I got from them said otherwise – BUT since I’m not a mind reader, I’ll take everything with a grain of salt.
I am someone who had gone through and lived with depression for quite sometime. For me, it’s not a constant thing, because I will always have different moods and motivations, but when depression came, it came hard. & it can sometimes kill you just ever so slowly. It takes a lot of different energy to actually slowly bring yourself back.
For myself, I think it’s easy for me to get into depression. When something that I’ve put a lot of hope and expectation on didn’t come to fruition, I can get disappointed easily and if I don’t quickly jump back up, depression will kick in without me even realizing it. When my eczema didn’t go away even after so many treatments, when I first found out that I’m living with a 40 degrees scoliosis, it’s hard not to get frustrated and depressed. I realized I was in a depression when I just sort of.. stopped eating, really. I didn’t feel hungry, I simply didn’t have any kind of appetite. I wanted my room to be in total darkness, and I don’t wanna ever leave my bad. Not because I was sleepy, but because I feel like I didn’t know how to mentally stand up again.
Depression can be extremely overwhelming – those moments when you feel very empty inside with no sense of belonging. I think the worst part of going through depression is that no one can actually sense that you’re going through something if they don’t really observe, because depression has so many different layers.
Now, I’m going to write on how yoga did not necessarily cure me out of depression, but it definitely helped me when I needed to stand up and find my ground again. So I’m going to share with you how I usually go through it, and the different yoga poses for depression that you can try too, anytime when you’re feeling a little down.
P/s: To get more different routine, check out my review on Alo Moves here.
Acknowledge Your Depression
The first step for me in dealing with my depression is to simply acknowledge it. Acknowledge that you’re going through something. Most of the time, when I didn’t think I was in a depression, it’s easy to quickly blame myself for feeling the way I’ve been feeling (Is it just me?)
We do need time to realize this. From my experience, being open minded to the possibility that you’re going through something more serious really helps. Instead of just brushing it off, and going back to the same routine the next day.
But how do we acknowledge it exactly?
I found that telling myself – yes, literally telling myself, helps. You can say it out loud or in your head, that you agree with the situation that you’re currently in. It doesn’t really make the depression all the way better, but it’s certainly better than to be in denial.
Secondly, you can tell the people who are closest to you that you’re going through something. You can tell it in your own words, but honestly, I found it best not to be alone when you’re going through this. I know that we sort of repel people during this time, but simply texting and calling people who are closest to you really really helps.
To be honest, I did avoid meeting up with people, because the feeling of just being on my bed, alone was so strong.
If you don’t have anyone you trust to talk to, you can do a call line for you to actually talk to someone. <3
Accepting That You’re Going Through A Phase
Once you acknowledge that you’re in a depression, the next step is to accept it.
I am someone who can be in great denial with what I’m going through. Sometimes even in a relationship. So at times when I’ve told myself that I’m in a depression, I don’t necessarily accept it. I can still think and treat it as if I was just having a bad day. Or month. Or year.
When you start accepting your depression, you’ll be able to be more open, as well as knowing what you should do to slowly stand up again. I know, things are a lot easier said than done.
What I do usually is that I will write about things that make me happy. The things that I’ve done before and the things that are in my bucket list. I will try to focus on the good moments when I’ve done the things that I enjoyed, and imagine the things that I could do in the future. Focusing on the joy.
At times, it can be good (at least for me) to plan on the things that I’m looking forward to doing next in life. It keeps my chin up & not to dwell so much on why my absence won’t affect anyone.
How Yoga Can Help
Yoga, didn’t cure my depression – I just want to put it out there first and foremost.
But, yoga really helped in giving me the balance that my body and mind need during those dark times.
And because yoga practices often make you look back into yourself, within yourself, you’ll become more aware of why you’re feeling a certain way, and how you can actually go through it.
The best thing about yoga during this time is that, it’s there to remind you how worthy, how beautiful, how strong and how lovable you are.
I’m not going to lie that it can sometimes be very deep when telling yourself these beautiful things. But giving ourselves that daily reminder of how worthy and strong we are in this world makes it a lot lot better.
6 Simple Poses That Can Help
1. Easy Sitting Pose
- Sit down on your mat
- Your legs can be crossed or heels lined up together (right heel in front of the left heel, for example)
- Sit straight, heart over pelvis, head over heart
- Keep your neck long
- Give at least 5 deep breaths here
- You can lower your gaze
2. Childs Pose
- From a tabletop position, on an exhale, gently lower your hips to your heels
- Gently lower down your head, for your crown of the head to touch the yoga mat
- Your hands by your side
- You can rest your head on the right side and switch after 5 deep breaths
- To go back up, press your palms against your yoga mat and pull your body upwards back to the tabletop position
3. Camel Pose
- From a kneeling stance, put your legs hip-width apart
- Hands on your lower back, fingers spread pointing to the floor
- Tuck in your toes
- On an exhale, gently bend your head and your upper body
- If you can go deeper, gently trace your fingers to touch your heels
- Your hips are to be 90 degree from the mat
- Engage your core to go back up
- From forward fold pose, gently roll back to mountain pose
- Bend your right knee and grab your right ankle from the back
- Flex your right foot
- Try to get your right knee as close to your left knee as possible
- Take at least 3 breaths here & switch side
5. Legs Up The Wall
- Find a wall
- Put both legs up and flex your toes
- Bum touching the wall
- Arms can be placed by the side
6. Corpse Pose
- Keep your lying down position
- Tuck your shoulder blades in together
- Rest your legs, you can keep them further apart, as comfortable
- Place your hands at your side, palms facing up
- Or you can also place your right hand at your tummy and left hand at your heart
- Stay here for at least 5 minutes..
I mentioned these 6 poses above because there are poses where you need to focus on your body, where you need to trust your body and where you relax your body and mind.
The poses where my arms are free (easy sitting pose, legs up the wall pose and corpse pose), I usually like to hug myself and whisper that I’m worthy, that I’m strong and that I’m beautiful.
It gives the practice a whole lot other meaning 🙂
I hope you’ll give the poses above a try whenever you’re having a bad day.
Share with me your story below and let’s keep each other’s spirit lifted 🙂