Posted by: Lisa | 2007/05/18

The corpse pose/depression

I recently read in a yoga guidebook that people suffering from depression shouln't do the corpse pose. what would the reason be, and what alternative relaxation pose do you suggest?
I have found that yoga has greatly improved my depression, would like to learn more about additional poses etc. to combat it even more.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageYoga

Hi Lisa - I must say that I am surprised by the caution on corpses posture - we have always taught and seen shavasana as the integrative posture of any yoga sequence, irrespective of any physical, mental, emotional or spiritual challenges that a person may have at the time. The only reason I could think of for not doing it (and I am guessing) is because it is a posture where we very often are forced to confront ourselves, which for some people may be disruptive? Some depressed people may think they know themselves, but possibly they are seeing only their depression. Alternatives would be any other restorative postures such as Child’s Pose, Legs up the wall, Reclined bound angle, etc
Recent studies have shown evidence that the practice of yoga—postures, breathing techniques, meditation—has beneficial effects on the emotional well-being and mental acuity of depression sufferers. And, best of all, without the side effects.
One study found that practitioners experienced a significant drop in cortisol levels after a single yoga class. High cortisol levels are characteristic of stress and serious depression. A book that I haven’t read, but has been recommended, that you may want to try and get hold of is: "Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga" by Amy Weintraub.
All the best

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Our users say:
Posted by: Lisa | 2007/05/24

Thank you very much! Will definately have a look for the book.
All the best to you too! :-)
Regards Liezl

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