Don't worry, you don't have to be a yogi expert to reap benefits from this post! I am definitely not. I've never been able to even touch my toes but that doesn't mean I can't do yoga. I don't attend classes but I do use some of the positions to help me relax.
I used them a lot while I was off work and found them relaxing for a gentle stretch and a chance to be still and concentrate on my breathing. The positions I used I found on youtube. You can search 'yoga for depression', 'yoga for anxiety' or 'yoga to help you sleep' and lots of tutorials and demonstrations come up. Please make sure you use the videos made by yoga instructors and know your own limits. If you feel any pain or discomfort stop immediately.
I have poor flexibility to say I used to attend karate for 8 years but these poses are for beginners and an easier level of yoga. The one I found most relaxing was the supported inversion. You can feel the strain with your legs straight on the wall so I used to bend my knees a little. As I don't use yoga for any other purpose than to relax I find as long as the position is comfortable for me and doing it's job to allow me to be calm that I'm doing it "right".
The positions I use are...
- child's pose
- butterfly pose
- supported inversion
You may find other positions work better for you that you find online or in books. Even better if you can attend a class for beginners or have a private session you can really tailor make your routine. I didn't feel comfortable to go when I was first diagnosed but I have considered it since.
I have also found swimming very relaxing and freeing. It feels great for me to be in the water and to lie on my back and float. I find it relieves tension in my body if I swim slowly and doesn't put any strain on my body. Any gentle exercise can help boost your mood and relieve stress as well as giving you a hobby to concentrate on. There are many other benefits and you can improve fitness levels, muscle strength, posture, control your weight and improve sleep patterns.