Broadly speaking Depression can be divided in two sub types Tamasic and Rajasic. In Tamasic depression there will be dominance of Tamas, the guna associated with inertia. These people will have a hard time getting out of bed and may feel lethargic and hopeless. These fellows will have slumped shoulders, collapsed chests, and sunken eyes. It looks as if they are barely breathing.
A more common type of depression is marked by a predominance of rajas, the guna associated with activity and restlessness. These fellows are often angry, have stiff bodies and racing minds, and appear agitated, with hardness around their eyes. Even when practicing Savasana, their eyes will be moving constantly and their fingers won’t stay still. These fellows frequently report difficulty in exhaling fully, which is sign of anxiety.
Beneficial Yoga Asanas for Depression: Fellows with tamasic depression lack interest in any activity; they are too much lethargic clearly saying they are lacking the life force or prana. They should practice vigorous Yoga for depression such asrepeated Surya Namaskar, Sarvangasana, Setu Bandhasana, Ustrasana, Dhanurasana and other challenging poses. These will generate a sense of calmness and enthusiasm. The body and mind are so occupied with the practice that it will be too hard to worry. No doubt you should practice all the Yoga Asanas for depression under supervision of a Yoga expert even than you should not worry too much about proper alignment while practicing Yoga Asanas for depression. As long as you aren’t doing anything that might cause an injury, it’s better to have just doing the practice and focus on the movement of the breath. Backward bending Asanas for depression will be particularly stimulating and help fight Tamas. These range from restorative poses such as Savasana, Setu Bandhasana and Sarvangasana to more active poses such as Ustrasana, Bhujangasana, Sarpasana and Dhanurasana.
When there is dominance of the Rajas Guna slow and conscious Surya Namaskar and backward bending exercises likeBhujangasana, Dhanurasana, and Sarpasana will be more fruitful. Conscious practice of Asanas for depression will create a sense of calmness and will make the mind still and silent. Though the slow movements will be beneficial in a fellow dominated by the Rajas; in certain cases vigorous practices are also found to have the advantage of helping in burning off some nervous energy, and also of being demanding enough to keep their attention from drifting.
If you are feeling that closing the eyes in Savasana, during Pranayama or meditation is increasing the anxiety and restless and it is hard to remain focused; you can practice these with open eyes. So Savasana and other relaxing Asanas for depression should be practiced as guided relaxation practice under supervision on a Yoga expert.
Other useful Asanas for Depression are Simhasana, Balasana, Matsyasana, Virabhadrasana, Padahastasana, Viprit Karni, Halasana, Paschimottanasana and Baddha Konasana.
Pranayama for depression: Along with practicing the above said Yoga Asanas for depression Sitali Pranayama, Ujjayiand Nadi Shodhana Pranayama should also be practiced regularly and religiously. The combined effect of above said Yoga Asanas for depression and these Pranayama will be much more profound and you will find that in few days there will be lesser episodes of agitation, negative thoughts and feeling down.