Anxiety and depression can both take the zest out of your life. If you've been on medication, worked on your nutrition, and tried everything else from mental health diets to pet therapy, you may want to give yoga a try. Yoga has been around for centuries and there are many benefits to doing this activity. Yoga stretches and strengthens the body. It purports to build up your body's “prana” or life force. And yoga also endeavors to get your breathing under control, which can help you with all kinds of mental health issues.

Yoga has a strong focus on breath. It is one of few exercise methods that involves a thorough exploration of breath as part of the routine. There are a number of different styles of yoga to appeal to all tastes, but all of them make use of breathing to produce results. If you're suffering with anxiety or depression, yoga's focus on breathing may be able to help you.

Yogi's claim that every emotion has a particular breathing pattern associated with it. When you're angry, you breathe fast and shallow, when you're sad, slow and shallow. When you have anxiety you may have quick, panting breaths. When you're depressed, you may tend to sigh a lot. Yogi's claim that these breathing patterns are a big part of what makes a particular emotion manifest as a feeling in the body. In other words, when you feel sad, you may have a crushing pain in your chest. When you have anxiety, you may feel a little light headed. Depression can make you feel tired. Anger can actually make your heart hurt. These different emotions each have a manifestation in the body and breathing, apparently plays a role in creating these physical sensations.

Yoga aims at controlling the breath and thus, controlling the emotions. Some yoga experts, like Rodney Yee say that, “If you can control your breath, you can control your life.” If you've ever tried yoga for any length of time, you probably had some experience with this. Breath control does have an incredible, calming effect on the mind and the body. If you're struggling with mental health problems like anger management, depression, or anxiety, yoga may be able to help. Alleviating the physical symptoms associated with mental health issues can really make a big difference toward getting control over your life.

A daily yoga practice in tandem with psychotherapy might be a good place to start if you've tried medication with no success and you're ready to do something different. There is online counseling help available that can help you talk through some of the thoughts that contribute toward anxiety or depression while you use yoga to get on track with the physical aspects of your mental health. Online health advisers can help you find the right yoga program for you and help you better understand how your body responds to different emotions.

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