Yoga and its benefits are attracting more and more people. With just a mat and a calm environment, you can practice it anywhere. No need to spend hundreds of bucks every month on the gym. You will be amazed to know that there are currently 36 million Americans practicing yoga.
This number has increased by 50% in the past 4 years. The COVID-induced lockdown has accelerated the number. People began to realize that yoga is an effective way to keep your body and mind at peace especially in turbulent times.
If we look at the recent stat, it is shocking to note that even the youngsters are falling prey to mental issues like depression. Yoga is the solution for all. You just need to invest 15-20 minutes daily and it will keep your body fuelled for the whole day.
We must stress here that you should start doing yoga only under the guidance of a certified yoga practitioner. If you aspire to be a yoga trainer, you can do the online yoga certification course.
How Yoga Manages Your Mental Health?
You must have asked yourself this question multiple times. How does doing an exercise keep your mind fit? Let us throw some light on this aspect:
Yoga brings down the level of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is responsible for keeping you under stress. It brings your mind into a fight or flight mode. You constantly worry about different issues.
When you practice yoga, it brings down your stress level. This in turn has several positive effects. You notice better digestion, a sound sleep, a relaxed mind, and better social bonding.
You get anxious when you can’t keep yourself calm. Yoga requires you to sit still for a few minutes and meditate. Initially, it could be tough for you.
But then, you get used to it. You learn to keep your mind at peace for a few minutes. With time, the anxiety takes a back seat and you enjoy a calm mental state.
Connects you to yourself
We are all drowned in the sea of material gods. This affects who we are and what we want. Yoga is a way of living. It has its spiritual effects as well. People practicing yoga agree that it helps them reconnect with their souls.
A calm mind helps in solving all the internal struggles. You notice your shadow qualities and come at peace with life’s realities.
What Poses Are Best For Mental Health?
Now that you know of the benefits of yoga on mental health, let us see what are the best 7 poses to achieve it are:
You must have heard of pranayam. It is the technique of controlled breathing. It can be done by anyone without any side-effect. It has a positive effect on the nervous system, respiratory system, and cardiovascular system. Here is how you do it:
- Sit in a meditating position.
- Keep your legs crossed, spine straight, and face upright.
- Keep all the lingering thoughts away and focus on your breathing.
- Put your thumb on the right nostril and ring finger on the left nostril.
- Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale deep slowly with your left nostril
- Now remove the thumb and close the left nostril
- Now exhale slowly.
- Alternate this and continue 10 times.
- Focus on your breathing. Keep it slow and inhale-exhale to your fullest.
If you deal with frequent anxiety attacks and palpitations, this yoga pose is best suited for you. The asana releases tension from your back, neck, chest, and shoulders. It also relaxes the glutes and calves.
When you rest your forehead on the floor, it awakens your third eye. This has a therapeutic effect on your otherwise anxious mind. It also increases blood circulation and helps you release fatigue. Let us see how to do it:
- Kneel and bend your heels outwards.
- Bend down your upper torso
- Spread your hands straight in front of your head. You should be lying on the floor with your lower torso raised.
- Stay in this position for a few minutes and then relax. Repeat 5 times.
- Increase the duration and rounds as you get used to it.
Shava means a corpse. This pose allows you to unwind yourself. It is very effective in dealing with anxiety, frustration, and loss of concentration. Here is how you do it:
- Lie down on your back
- Relax your whole body
- Keep your legs apart and hands at least 15cm away from your body
- Loosen up your palm, spine, and sole
- Close your upper eyes and remain in this position for at least 15 minutes.
- During the asana, focus on your rhythmic breathing and keep all the thoughts at bay.
Vrksha in Sanskrit means a tree. This pose is quite helpful in fighting panic attacks, anxiety, mood swings, and lack of concentration. The asana symbolizes that you attain the mental stability of a calm tree. Follow these steps to do this asana:
- Stand straight with your feet 2 inches apart
- Focus on a point n in front of you and inhale deeply.
- Now exhale slowly. While doing so, lift your right leg, bend your knee and place your sole on the inside of your left thigh.
- Again, inhale deeply and lift your arms over your head and join your palm together in a “namaskar”.
- Keep your body straight and stay in this position for a few seconds (10-the 30s).
- Keep your breathing normal and relax.
The world is witnessing a sharp rise in cases of mental illness. A busy lifestyle, work and personal stress, and the changing environment have a major role to play in it. Yoga is the best way to keep your mind and body refreshed. It creates a chakra of balance between the both. Embracing yoga and doing it for just 15-30 minutes will drastically improve your life.