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Yoga for mental health
November 18, 2021

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Yoga for Mental Health

We live in uncertain times defined by fast-paced digital lives. Decisions are made in haste & most often than not our minds & hearts are disconnected trying to cope with external pressures & validations.

If you’re experiencing one or more of these emotions & are stuck; you’re certainly not alone.

Do you know this?

  • 970 million people worldwide have mental health or substance abuse disorders.
  • Mental Health issues are the reasons for 14.3 % of deaths worldwide (survey conducted in 2018)
  • Anxiety is the most common mental illness affecting 284 million people worldwide.

Read more about mental health statistics 

Yoga for Mental Health

Take a pause right where you are & find ways to nurture your mental health.

Cultivating a daily practice of yoga is one of the many ways to boost mental health & keep anxiety at bay. 

Did you know? That for the body to relax at its cellular level, a shift is needed to be made to create a state of deep rest and calm.

Only mind-body practices like yoga, where the emphasis is on deep, restful breathing together with physical movements & self-awareness allow for this. 

 

In this blog, we invite you to embrace well being & mental clarity by approaching the third & fourth limb of Ashtanga Yoga namely – Asana &  Pranayama together with Relaxation.

Each of them plays a vital role & contribute towards creating a positive impact on overall mental health & wellbeing.

Asana for Mental Health

Asana –The third limb of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga; asanas are the physical or outward expressions of yoga that involves different poses & repeating them in a sequenced practise to build muscle memory over time.

Yoga poses are a great way to acknowledge & release pent up emotions & toxins. With time, strength and flexibility will be attained effortlessly paving the way to mental strength and agility.

Just oxygenating your body while moving creates an incredible effect & instantly uplifts your mood. The after-effects are refreshing & bring renewed clarity to each life situation off the mat.

The practice will never look like this in the beginning but with dedication & proper guidance, you will notice these subtle changes. Start slow & watch the transformation unfold. 

Pranayama for Mental Health

Pranayama –The fourth limb of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga; Pranayama has more to it than the act of inhalation & exhalation.

Learning how to breathe more deeply and cultivating breath control has a lasting effect on your mental state & is a natural anti-depressant. 

Pranayama begins with simply sitting & observing the breath. It then gradually progresses to train a distracted mind to focus & connect with the rhythmic rise & fall of each breath.

The art of deep, controlled breathing gently allows anchoring the mind & experiencing each & every moment in the now.

Each pranayama technique when practised correctly has a positive influence on ones mental & physical health.

An ultimate mood booster especially for chronic anxiety & stress.

Shavasana for Mental Health

Relaxation – A yoga class always ends with a short & sweet ‘Shavasana or meditation. While you may feel tempted to skip this, it’s the icing on the cake of your yoga practice.

This is where your body processes and absorbs all the effects of your sequence which is great for your Parasympathetic nervous system.

Just lying down and allowing yourself to be guided through a simple full-body relaxation can alter your response to stress significantly.

Summary

Like for everything in life please remember yoga is not an instant fix to completely eliminate stress from life but enhances the ability to deal with it.

It’s a daily committed practice that requires you to create the time to show up & encourage introspection.

Yoga is a personal journey inwards & you will slowly yet surely discover far more than what you set out seeking; including the art of finding comfort in the uncomfortable.

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Author Bio - Yogacharya Rakesh

About Yogacharya Rakesh

One of the leading Yoga Teacher Trainers in India

Over 2000 + Yoga Teachers from 80 + nationalities are trained

‘Yoga Vaidurya’ awardee

Trained some high profile celebrities before founding Samyak Yoga

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