Yoga Meditation Benefits Depression

It’s becoming increasingly more challenging to care for aging family members. As we Boomers get older, more of us will be taking on the responsibility of caring for an aging parent or spouse with a chronic illness. As they continue to get older, the likelihood they will develop some form of dementia will go up dramatically. Alzheimer dementia, which is the most common form of dementia, is actually a disease of the family due to the burdens it places on caregivers, who often get no relief from their responsibilities.

A recent study done at UCLA in which participants practiced Kirtan Kriya yoga meditation showed significant improvements in their mood and cognitive abilities over 8 weeks. Alice Lucette, writing for Hive Health Media, describes just why this form of yoga meditation benefits those family caregivers with depression who participated in the study.

Yoga Meditation Benefits Depression

Why is this particular Yoga exercise so beneficial? Historically Kirtan Kriya was sometimes called the singing exercise that involved chanting while doing repetitive finger positions called mudras. Research into practicing mudras has suggested that the combination of chanting along with finger exercise is increasing blood flow to the motor-sensory area of the brain. The exercise also involves visualizing and a combination of all of these, contributes to the effectiveness of the practice.

yoga meditation benefits depression

Yoga meditation benefits depression in caregivers.

Yoga meditation is described as being a valuable way in which to deal with the struggles and emotions of the day and for family caregivers this is important. Meditation can allow a person to rise above negativity and in doing so, experience an overall more enjoyable day. Conversely when no time is spent on oneself it’s easier to become overwhelmed and slip into a pattern of negativity and depression.

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Yoga meditation benefits caregivers of Alzheimer sufferers who often develop clinical depression over time. The idea that this particular form of yoga meditation improves brain health is very interesting, in that the blood flow and probable brain “wiring” changes that take place are exactly what takes place when people with depression use antidepressant medications. This may not be a substitute for medications if your own doctor recommends them to you for treating depression, but it’s certainly good to know about additional means of getting and keeping well mentally that are totally within our control and cost nothing except a little time each day.

Why not leave a comment and let me know what you think about this. Go ahead and share this with a friend or family member. Do you have someone close to you who suffers from depression or dementia?

The autonomic nervous system is divided into the sympathetic system, which is often identified with the fight-or-flight response, and the parasympathetic, which is identified with what’s been called the relaxation response. When you do yoga – the deep breathing, the stretching, the movements that release muscle tension, the relaxed focus on being present in your body – you initiate a process that turns the fight or flight system off and the relaxation response on. That has a dramatic effect on the body. The heartbeat slows, respiration decreases, blood pressure decreases. The body seizes this chance to turn on the healing mechanisms.                                                                    — Richard Faulds

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