The Best Yoga Poses for Depression

Feeling down? Yoga can be an effective tool to combat depression. You deserve to feel better and the best yoga poses can help you find relief. Let’s explore how yoga can help restore your mental and emotional balance.

Quick facts: Best Yoga Poses For Depression

  • ✅ Strengthening poses like warrior one, warrior two, and triangle can help alleviate depression symptoms and improve overall feelings of well-being (Source: Everyday Health)
  • ✅ Pranayama (breathing exercises) can reduce stress hormones and increase endorphins that are associated with feeling better (Source: MindBodyGreen)
  • ✅ A study found that practicing yoga and taking medication together can reduce symptoms of mild to moderate depression more effectively than medication alone (Source: American Osteopathic Association)
  • ✅ Restorative yoga poses are beneficial for those suffering from depression, because they help to reduce stress, improve the immune system, and reduce cortisol levels (Source: Healthline)
  • ✅ Balancing poses like tree pose, half moon pose, and eagle pose help to reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and boost self-esteem (Source: Yoga Journal)

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Yoga is an ancient practice that is said to promote physical and mental health by connecting the body and mind while honing focus and concentration. It also has many physiological benefits, such as increasing flexibility, strength, and balance. Additionally, it can be used to help manage mental health disorders like depression.

Yoga for depression can help increase awareness of your body’s sensations as well as calming the mind and improving mood regulation. Studies have found that certain yoga poses stimulate areas of the brain associated with better mood regulation, which may help those with depression feel calmer and more balanced.

For those looking for ways to use yoga for depression relief, there are certain poses that are particularly helpful in boosting your mood:

Benefits of Yoga for Depression

Yoga has been shown to help relieve stress, improve mood and help alleviate symptoms of depression. It combines physical movement, breathing and meditation to help improve mental and physical wellbeing.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of yoga for depression as well as the best yoga poses that can help.

Improved mood

Yoga has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. The physical poses and relaxation techniques involved in yoga can help improve mental clarity, reduce negative self-talk, and improve overall mood.

Some of the best yoga poses for depression include:

  • Bound angle pose
  • Eagle pose
  • Corpse pose (savasana)
  • Seated forward fold (paschimottanasana)
  • Cobra pose (bhujangasana)
  • Cat/Cow pose

Each of these poses targets various parts of the body and brings a feeling of calmness to the mind. Bound angle pose helps alleviate anxiety by calming the mind and releasing energy blockages within the body. Eagle pose helps improve circulation in the legs, while corpse pose is known to induce relaxation by calming the mind and reducing stress levels. Seated forward fold has been known to increase concentration levels while cobra posture improves flexibility in your spine as well as strengthens your abdominal muscles. Cat/Cow Pose serves an effective stretch for your spine while opening up your lungs to take more deep breaths which are beneficial for depression relief.

Reduced stress

Yoga can be especially beneficial for those suffering from depression as it helps to decrease stress levels. Yoga practice can reduce cortisol levels and, in turn, help release a calming effect on the mind and body. Additionally, regular yoga practice can also help to shift one’s perspective in life as it teaches resilience and acceptance, enabling one to better cope with life’s obstacles.

A study conducted by the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that participants who practiced yoga had significantly lowered levels of cortisol. Furthermore, yoga can also boost levels of serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), two neurotransmitters known for their role in improving mood and alleviating feelings of depression. In this way, practicing yoga poses for depression has calming effects on the nervous system and helps to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Improved sleep

Yoga is a mind-body practice that can have positive effects on helping to manage depression. Improved sleep is one of the many potential benefits that can result from incorporating yoga into your daily routine.

When practiced regularly, yoga’s relaxing breathing techniques and gentle movements can help you to relax the mind and body, allowing for more restful sleep. Additionally, specific poses such as Paschakapalasana (Corpse Pose) are especially helpful for calming the body and relieving stress. This pose leads to complete relaxation and improved energy levels during the day which can help manage feelings of depression better.

There are dozens of different poses that you can incorporate into your yoga practice to help improve your sleep cycle and relieve symptoms of depression:

Types of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that can provide numerous physical and mental benefits. Different types of yoga can be used to achieve various goals. Depending on your goals, you may find some kinds of yoga more beneficial than others. For example, if you are looking to reduce stress and improve your mood, certain poses may help more than others.

In this article, let’s discuss the different types of yoga and the poses that may be the most beneficial for depression:

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on the balance between physical postures and breath control. It is designed to bring peace to the body and mind, helping to create a sense of harmony between one’s inner and outer self.

Hatha yoga postures are typically slow and gentle movements designed to help practitioners relax, stretch, and strengthen their bodies. Hatha yoga also promotes inner stillness by focusing on the breath – often in combination with physical poses – which can be used as a tool for calming the mind.

Hatha yoga focuses on bringing awareness to the present moment and clearing out any negative or anxious thoughts. By connecting your body’s movements with your breath you can quickly (and often times almost instantly) reduce stress levels and bring peace to your entire being.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga is a type of yoga practice that focuses on breath-synchronized movement. It combines physical postures with breathing techniques, allowing you to move from one pose to the next with greater mindfulness and intention. This type of yoga practice is designed to help develop balance, flexibility, strength and endurance in both mind and body. As a result, it can help reduce stress levels and provide an overall sense of relaxation.

Vinyasa Yoga can be described as a form of ‘flow’ yoga, as the poses flow together in a continuous sequence that matches your breath. It includes sun salutations (a series of postures done in succession) along with standing poses and balancing postures that work smaller muscle groups. Vinyasa Yoga is highly customizable – meaning it can be tailored to fit each individual’s needs – making it an ideal choice for people who struggle with depression and anxiety.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is a relaxation-based practice that utilizes props, such as bolsters and blankets, to help you hold poses for longer periods of time. This type of yoga helps to reduce stress and tension in the body, allowing you to reach a deeper state of relaxation. It can also help improve your immune system by decreasing the body’s levels of stress hormones. Restorative yoga helps you focus on your breathing and encourages calming thoughts, which can help reduce feelings of depression or anxiety.

Common poses used in restorative yoga include:

  • Child’s Pose
  • Bridge Pose
  • Reclined Bound Angle Pose
  • Legs Up The Wall Pose

Yoga Poses for Depression

Yoga can be an effective tool to help regulate emotions and reduce stress and anxiety. Doing yoga poses can also help improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. In this article, we will discuss some of the best yoga poses for depression and how to incorporate them into an effective practice.

Cat-Cow Pose

The Cat-Cow Pose is a gentle flowing posture that helps to stretch the spine, chest and neck while massaging the internal organs. This pose is often used to release tension from the body created by depression and anxiety. It can also help reduce fatigue, increase energy levels, and promote overall emotional well-being.

To practice Cat-Cow Pose, start with your hands on the ground and knees hip-width apart. Begin in a neutral position with your back flat like a tabletop. As you inhale, arch your spine up towards the sky like an “angry cat”; then exhale as you round your spine down towards the floor like a “happy cow”. Alternate between cat and cow poses for at least 8 repetitions. This pose should be held for 3–5 breaths before it is released. Remember to keep moving slowly and steadily throughout this sequence to experience its full benefits.

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose, also known as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana in Sanskrit, is a reclining backbend yoga pose that helps stimulates the nervous system, relaxes the back muscles and helps to fight fatigue. It can be effective in combating depression by releasing stress from the body and increasing blood flow.

To get into Bridge Pose, lie on your back with feet firmly planted on the ground and knees bent. Raise your hips up towards your chest as you inhale. Your chest should be lifted up towards the ceiling as you press your arms down for support. Hold this pose for five to ten breaths before slowly lowering down onto your mat.

Bridge Pose is beneficial not just for depression, but also can help:

  • Reduce menstrual cramps and headaches
  • Strengthen glutes and thighs
  • Improve digestion
  • Stretch chest muscles and arms
  • Calm the mind

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose, also known as Balasana, is a restorative yoga pose that is often used to reduce stress and promote relaxation. During this pose, you kneel on the floor and bring your forehead to touch the ground as you reach your arms out along the sides of your body. This pose helps create a sense of grounding and can be useful for calming anxiety and depression. It has been found to reduce heart rate and cortisol levels in stressed individuals.

This pose can even help increase feelings of connection and improve self-awareness. Additionally, Child’s Pose can help release tightness in the hips and lower back while improving circulation throughout the body. All these benefits may help ease symptoms of depression such as low energy levels, lack of motivation, or difficulty sleeping.

Warrior I Pose

The Warrior I Pose is a powerful yoga pose often used to help fight depression. It helps to increase strength, open the hips and chest, and bring balance and stability to the mind and body.

To start, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Rotate your right foot 90 degrees out to the side while drawing your left foot in towards the midline of your body. Bend the right knee while keeping the left leg straight and reach both arms up above the head in a “V” shape. Lengthen all 4 sides of the torso as you reach out with energy through both arms. Focus on lengthening as opposed to pressing down for deeper strengthening benefits. Stay here for a few breaths then repeat on other side.

The Warrior I Pose can help relieve stress, anxiety, fatigue, low self-esteem, and mild depression by bringing more energy into the body as well as calming the mind down by focusing more intently on proper breathing techniques during each pose.

Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose (Savasana) is an incredibly therapeutic and restorative yoga pose designed to relax the body, mind, and spirit. It can help ease feelings of stress, tension, anxiety, depression and mental fatigue. It helps you to let go of feelings of exhaustion and fatigue while boosting your energy level.

This pose should be done at the end of any yoga session as it helps your body relax in a natural state while allowing you to achieve inner peace. The Corpse Pose is typically done lying on your back with your arms at your sides and feet slightly apart. You can also close your eyes if it helps you relax even more deeply.

This pose encourages a relaxed breathing pattern that not only calms but also energizes the entire body, allowing greater access to relaxation and healing within the body.


Yoga has the potential to be a powerful tool for managing depression. The combination of physical poses, breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation can help promote relaxation, mental clarity, and emotional balance. Be sure to practice yoga consistently in order to get the maximum benefits from it.

Talk to your healthcare provider before beginning any type of yoga program and make sure you are working with a certified instructor who understands your individual needs. Yoga is not a replacement for medications or therapy; it is complementary therapy that should work together with other treatments for depression. With regular practice, you can find relief from the symptoms of depression and improved overall well-being.

FAQs about: Best Yoga Poses For Depression

Q1: What are the best yoga poses for depression?

A1: The best yoga poses for depression are the Child’s Pose, Seated Forward Fold, Reclining Bound Angle Pose, Bridge Pose, and Supported Fish Pose.

Q2: How often should I practice yoga poses for depression?

A2: It is recommended to practice yoga poses for depression at least 3-4 times a week for best results.

Q3: How will yoga help with depression?

A3: Practicing yoga can help with depression by reducing stress, increasing energy levels, improving concentration, and improving overall mental health.

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