Yoga for Depression: Pessimism and Perfection


Is Yoga a cure for depression? How can Yoga stop you from feeling hopeless? Let’s look at how Yoga can help you prevent negative thinking and the resulting damage negative thinking can have on your life.

To be honest, Yoga is not a cure fore depression, but Yoga can be an effective solution for some causes of depression. The hard part is to identify the causes of depression.

In order to understand yourself, you will have to engage in mindfulness and self-reflection. These are mental exercises to help you find the sources of negative thought within your mind. Mental health is also an aspect of Yoga practice.

What are your fears? Do you constantly worry about money, losing your job, a family crisis, or something else? Is this a real problem or a self-created situation?

The answers to these questions will enable you to discover real solutions, instead of worrying years off your life. Below are some common negative thoughts and some Yogic solutions for them.

Are you a pessimist? Do you envision your life on the “bottom of the rock pile?” If you envision anything, you can create that image with the power of your mind. Karma Yoga teaches us that any action causes an equal reaction.

Why waste your time on pessimism, when you could create positive thoughts and images? Learn from children: They are full of positive energy and not afraid to dream.

Get to know your “inner child” and create your world of positive thought. If you made mistakes – So, what?; we all do. Life is full of mistakes, but you can turn each one into a positive thought.

Do you always expect perfection? If you expect everything to be perfect, you are “killing yourself,” and those who love you. This is not a perfect world. What is the cause of your search for perfection? Most of the time, a perfectionist is driven by his or her desires.

Consider Aparigraha: This one Yama teaches us not to desire anything more than we need. The true source of perfectionist thought is the desire to have more of something than is realistic.

The desire to have everything perfect, in an imperfect world, is a mindless pursuit. When you desire constant perfection, from yourself and others, you are taxing your own health.

Holding onto the perception of a perfect world will strain relationships with friends, family, and co-workers. Ultimately, the pursuit of perfection will create a lonely and depressed world without any friends.

Pessimism and perfection are just two of many causes that can result in depression. In both cases, the guidance of a competent Yoga teacher could be a form of preventative medicine.

However, if you, or a loved one, is experiencing chronic depression problems, the advice of a competent psychologist, or psychiatrist, should be sought. Yoga is a good alternative form of therapy, but not a cure for depression.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. To receive a Free e-Book: “Yoga in Practice,” and a Free Yoga Newsletter, please visit:

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Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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