There are a variety of relaxation techniques that are recommended for those who suffer from depression. They may not be a cure, but they should help to relax a person, depending on the type of exercises.
Exercise can help to relax a person and so potentially lessen stress, which can then lessen the feeling of depression. Some people like to do meditative exercises because they appear to help some feel more in control of their lives. Meditation helps depressives feel more like they are not being left behind by the world.
Some of the best of these meditative practices are yoga exercises. Yoga teachers will tell you that meditation highly benefits a person's nervous system, while at the same time benefiting your circulation and energizing the body and mind. It is this energy that gives the depressive the feeling that they are finally able to manage the demands in their lives, especially those things that they feel get the better of them all too often.
It is recommended that someone suffering depression spend up to twenty minutes twice a day meditating and at least the same amount of time doing the exercises. The extra energy generated may be the first feeling to get up and go the depressive has had in a long time.
The expectation is that meditation will help to calm and heal the depressive and so allow for the depressed mood to diminish or disappear. If a regular routine of exercise can improve the life of the depressive even to a small degree then perhaps hand in hand with some natural supplement this may be a route worth examining closer.
Like the ancient art of acupuncture and its history with the Chinese, yoga stems from Hindu beliefs that began over five thousand years ago. It is a philosophy that aims to bring the person together within themselves into peace and happiness both on a physical and emotional level.
These ancient forms of repairing yourself seem to be things that in recent years are getting a more serious appraisal from researchers and health care providers. The breathing exercises are said to be some of the best for those suffering from depression, as they are both calming and energizing.
The feeling among those who use these techniques is that the breathing exercises cause the body to take in the oxygen better and to get rid of the carbon monoxide more completely. They believe that this improves the brain's activities including the releasing of natural feel good chemicals. These include oxytocin and endorphins.
The ancient Indian wisdom of Mudras are definitely my new well being energy tool.
Mudras are simple and I love simple. They are gentle and gracious in their actions and can literally be done while you are standing, sitting or in meditation. All you need is five minutes.
The ancient Indian texts explain how they can support the healing of many illnesses along with balancing all your chakras and bringing harmony back into your body, mind and soul. Used as a remedy for disease they are generally practiced for 30 - 45 minutes.
What are mudras?:
Mudras are healing hand postures and are a powerful aspect of yoga. There are Indian texts which explain how mudras are an ancient science that have been used for thousands of years to restore health. Mudras are literally health in your hand. Our thumbs,fingers and the palms of our hands are constantly emitting electromagnetic currents of energy and by creating certain postures with your hands,fingers and thumbs you opening up energy channels to encourage flow and healing.
The most familiar mudra’s:
If you practice yoga or meditation you will definitely be familiar with the Gyan Mudra. This is when the thumb and index finger connect whilst the other three fingers are left open and spread. The benefit of holding this mudra while in meditation is that it increases the flow of energy to your astral self. On a physical level it improves concentration, focus and memory. This mudra I have used for many years to support my meditations
Another mudra which I have used often in certain yoga postures is to hold the hands in prayer pose over the heart chakra. For me personally this is a very nurturing and calming hand posture and tends to bring the energy of peace into my body.
My chosen mudra for this month is the Prana Mudra:
I have chosen just one mudra this month to practice and absorb myself into. The prana mudra or life mudra seemed the obvious choice for me as I can get easily distracted and felt I needed more internal stability.
When doing this pose I sit on my meditation cushion in a peaceful environment (the kids are at school) calm my breathing, focus on my breath and place my subtle awareness on the energy currents being created with this pose. I'll observe the sensations, the blocks and the lightness flowing to different parts of my body. I'll do my best to just let thoughts float by and stay calm and centred. My intention is to repeat this pose twice a day for five minutes at a time. I’ll keep you posted with my progress and share my experiences before I move onto another mudra next month . All mudras will be filed under healing mudras.
The benefits of the prana mudra:
This particular mudra is said to benefit and increase the life force energy within you. Strengthen immunity, muscles, eyes and remove nervousness.
Nervousness or anxiousness can be an indication of weakness and reveals itself by being easily distracted due to lack of internal stability. This mudra strengthens the base chakra which will in turn strengthen and calm your inner core. The finger positions stimulates the nourishing energy in the pelvic flow and gently increases vitality and assists in reducing fatigue.
Keen to learn more about mudra’s:
My research, reading and study of mudra’s is in full swing. I’ll be featuring once a month a specific healing mudra that I am personally working with.
In the meantime I’ve ordered a book, DVD and a card set from amazon which I must say looks absolutely fabulous by Sabrina Mesko. She was taught sacred mudra techniques by a Master of White tantricyoga ; Yogi Bhajan who then gave her the responsibility to share it with the western world. She is also an executive member of the worldyoga council in India so I figured her books and DVD was a great place to start.
I’ve also enquired about her practitioner training program which looks like being held in 2008 in America. Now that is something I would definitely be keen to put on my schedule for 2008.