Yoga & Asanas: Benefits for Mental Health
Yoga has numerous health benefits from eliminating constipation to alleviating neurological disorders. Most are aware that yoga can help you pacify the mind, but did you know that yoga can also develop your mental health? Amazed? Well, you should be! This article will discuss 5 ways yoga is beneficial for your mental well-being and how it can assist you in overcoming anxiety and depression.
5 ways yoga is beneficial for Mental Health:
1. Yoga moves you from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. Typically, you feel less stress and enter a more relaxed state. When start breathing deeply, you slow down and soothe your nervous system.
2. Yoga helps you deal with the family of origin concerns. Naturally, that’s our karma—we can’t control the family we were born into. It’s all about owning who we are can acknowledge our sacred wounds by taking them more seriously. You are the only one who can change yourself by taking control of your actions and your behavior. The Warrior Posture encourages you to be strong both mentally and physically. It encourages you to rise up and do your best.
3. Yoga encourages you to become conscious of your “shadow” properties. The yoking of solar and lunar in yoga makes us identify features in ourselves we were not conscious of, assisting us to be more mindful. The places in our bodies where we hold stress, tightness and where our energy is blocked is typically where we are holding our emotions. Yoga works from the outside in, so asana is absolutely necessary. One suggested posture to help you with releasing these issues are backbends. It will free your heart and release the stiffness between the shoulder blades—at the same time, you will have emotional release, which you may or may not be cognizant of. When you do the inner work to shift or change then you are open to being genuine with your vulnerabilities and inner self.
4. Yoga help develop romantic relationships. For example, when you are centered and more peaceful with yourself, you’ll see and feel the same way with your partner. If you love yourself unconditionally and compassionately then you will love them the same way. Pigeon pose is an excellent way to open your heart to giving and receiving love.
5. Yoga gives you the opportunity to become more in tune with your senses. During yoga, you focus more on yourself, going inward and getting to know the real you. This cultivates a more nonjudgmental relationship with yourself while developing self-trust. You practice more and eat healthier, because your unconscious mind informs you, “I’m deserving of this me time, and the effort I am making for myself.” At the end of the day, everything comes down to your relationship with yourself. When you become more confident and more rooted in your sense of self and your center, you acquire a healthy body and mind. You find you have nothing to prove and nothing to hide…you let go of your ego. You grow courageous with strong willpower. You are not nervous about difficult conversations or situations and you find an inner peace knowing you will be OK at the end of the day.
The following are some of the best Asanas to improve your Mental Health:
1.–Child’s Pose: Also known as Balasana, the child’s pose contributes to many health benefits it improves constipation, boosts digestive processes, decreases bloating, diminishes back pain, assists in overcoming fatigue and stress, improves circulation and develops strong thighs, hips and ankles. Most importantly, Balasana excites your nervous system and re-energizes your body.
Steps to Balasana:
- Go down on your knees and keep your spine straight.
- Then, begin bending forward so that your thighs contact your chest and your forehead touches the ground beyond your knees.
- Place your arms by the sides of the body with your palms facing your body.
- Hold the pose for at least 20-25 seconds or longer if you are using it as a resting pose.
2.–Viparita Karani or Head Stand: Viparita Karani is an excellent pose for increasing blood circulation in your body and reducing inflammation especially in the ankles. It has other benefits like exciting the nervous system, helps relax your mind and keeps your focused, strengthens the body and treats anxiety and insomnia. People who have joint pain problems should perform this asana regularly.
Steps to Viparita Karani:
1. Start by lying on the floor with your face facing the ceiling. Put your hands beneath your body, palms confronting upwards.
2. Hold your hips, and balance your body on your arms and elbows, gently raise your legs and your body.
3. Your legs must be at a right angle to your torso.
4. Take your arms to the side of the body.
5. You can also attach cushions under pressure points like the neck and back.
6. Hold in the pose for as long as you can. Do not exceed 10-15 minutes.
3. Shavasana Or Corpse Pose: This yoga posture is used to end almost all yoga routines and is a great pose for meditation. It aids to boost your mental health by encouraging you to meditate and relaxing your body. Shavasana increases circulation and helps indigestion and constipation. It also is assists with healing energy for diabetes and asthma.
Steps To Shavasana:
- Lay down on your back and keep your body straight.
- Your hands must be at the body’s sides.
- Keep your palms facing upwards and close your eyes.
- Concentrate on your breath.
- Rest in this yoga position for a minimum of 5-minutes.
4. Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend:
This is another amazing pose for enhancing your mental health and healing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Uttanasana is not only therapeutic but if strengthens calves, hamstrings and hips, helps eliminate menopause systoms, supports the nervous system and helps calm the mind, diminishes insomnia, fatigue and headaches, aids in digestion and pushes mucus from the lungs.
Steps to Uttanasana:
- Start by standing straight.
- Put your hands on your hips and inhale.
- Stretch your hands out above you and while you exhale bend your torso forward.
- Keep going until your hands come to rest on the ground next to your feet.
- If you notice this too difficult to do, you can alternatively hold onto the elbows.
- You have to assure that your knees remain straight at all times (unless you have an injury then bend slightly). Hold this posture for around 10-15 seconds and release.
- Use your abs to stand straight.
- Repeat several times.
Practice these poses will increase your mental well-being. Yoga is one of the best tools for enhancing mental health and these poses will help you relax, focus better and overall feel healthier.
If you are a beginner, do some research on yoga such as yoga styles and meditations, studios and workshops in your area, yoga mats, yoga clothes. Educating yourself in these areas will improve your practice.
Dr. Abhishek Ghode is a Mechanical Engineer, freelancer, eager to learn new skills and is always passionate and motivated. He is the Founder of www.mydresskit.com, My Dress Kit provides exclusive information about unknown facts of health and fitness. He also offers personality development books.