LexiYoga

Water Yoga for Depression

Written by Patricia Sarmiento.

I didn't think it could happen to me. But there I was after the birth of my daughter, feeling overwhelmingly tired and irritable, worrying about every little thing, and finding it difficult to get any joy out of daily life.

water yoga

Finally, I turned to one place I had always been able to find solace—the pool. I went for a long swim, and it was great to be in the water again. As I was leaving that day, I noticed a yoga class underway in one of my gym's classrooms. And it got me thinking.

I knew, firsthand, the restorative powers of swimming. It, alone, as this great resource notes "Depression & Swimming" can help relieve depression symptoms. And while I had never practiced yoga consistently, I knew it, too, had amazing healing powers. What would happen if I combined the two?

Of course, I wasn't the first person to have this bright idea. A quick search when I got home revealed that doing yoga in the pool is quite popular. So, I pieced together a water yoga practice that has worked wonders in helping me fend off the feelings of depression that took over after my daughter was born.

Here's what I do:

Downward Dog and Child's Pose.

I've always found downward facing dog and child's pose to be especially relaxing. This great tutorial shows how to do them both in the water. Use the side of the pool to move through the sequence.

Navasana (Boat Pose).

You'll need two noodles for this one. I followed the easy directions provided with this yoga water workout and loved how this pose engaged my core.

The Stork.

While I love practicing yoga, I'll be the first to admit that I'm a novice at best. So, this pose from WomensHealth.com, which requires that you straighten one leg as you bend and reach for your toes, was a challenge for me. But when I was finally able to do it without losing my balance, I got a big self-confidence boost. This has become one of my favorite poses.

The Bow Pose.

If you're seeking to strengthen your back, grab a pool noodle and follow the instructions provided by the Canadian Aquafitness Leaders Alliance. Use your noodle for support as you reach your arms back and bend your legs up and forward to grasp your ankles.

For me, water yoga and swimming are key components of maintaining positive mental health and my overall wellbeing. If you're struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression, jump in the pool to get some relief.

Patricia Sarmiento loves running and swimming and has been doing both since she was a child. A former high school and college athlete, she has dedicated herself to living a healthy lifestyle. She channels her experience as a nutritional advisor and fitness buff into blogging by writing about health, wellness, and other health-related topics. She, her two kids, and her husband live in Maryland. Visit her website at publichealthcorps.org/blog.

5 Yoga Poses for Depression Video
VIDEO - The physical effort and focus on breathing and relaxation in yoga poses can help with depression symptoms. Here are 5 yoga poses that can improve your mood and beat depression.

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