Guest Post by Vivek Roy- Yoga Blogger and Traveller
Yoga has many benefits (health benefits): from removing constipation to treating neurological disorders. Yoga is known to improve strength and flexibility, but it also has immense benefits for mental health ranging from improving mood, sharpening concentration, relieving stress and anxiety, and improving symptoms of depression and insomnia.
Benefits of yoga:
- Calms the Mind
One of the main reasons doctors recommend yoga is because the poses incorporate intricate postures and breathing exercises which are known to calm your body and mind. Doing these poses will help prevent anxiety attacks or panic attacks which is are common mental health problems.
- Helps Focus
Those who have disorders like ADHD are often asked to try yoga because it helps to relax and centre the body while helping the mind focus. ADHD is a disorder that directly affects focus and attention retention, doing poses that incorporate breathing techniques and promote focus can help.
- Improves Your Mood
Physical exercises release healthy brain chemicals like endorphins and dopamine. This helps balance your mood and combat common mental health issues like depression. Therapists recommend yoga for mental peace and concentration and to improve your mood. This is an effective way to help manage bipolar disorder which pushes your mood to extremes.
- Helps Build Confidence
Yoga can help those suffering from self-esteem issues, a loss in confidence or self-esteem is often considered a cause for depression and anxiety. It improves your confidence. The breathing in yoga also helps rid your mind of self-doubt.
- Improves Patience
A common side-effect of disorders like anxiety, depression and bipolar is a lack of patience. This leads to uncontrolled angry outbursts. Yoga incorporates numerous breathing activities known as pranayama which help clear your body and mind. Doing these exercises will improve your patience and sense of inner balance and help prevent angry outbursts.
Here are the best yoga asanas for mental health.
Viparita Karani or legs up the wall pose
Viparita Karani is an excellent pose for improving blood circulation in your body. This is a simple but effective anxiety-alleviating yoga that helps relax and calm the mind and stimulates the nervous system. People with joint pains perform viparita asana quite regularly.
Lie flat on your back with your butt positioned as close to the wall as possible; you can use a cushion to support your back. Inhale slowly and deeply. Walk your feet up the wall and rest them straight against it. Tilt toes towards your body and feel the pressure on your hamstrings. Keep hands stretched on either side of your body. Hold this position for at least five minutes as you focus on breathing slowly and deeply.
- Regulates blood flow.
- Relieves menstrual cramps.
- Reduces swelling in ankles.
- Calms anxiety.
- Rejuvenates the body.
- Treats depression and insomnia.
- Overcomes symptoms of Lupus, Arthritis, and Sciatica.
Uttanasana or standing forward bend pose
This is another pose for improving your mental health and treating symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is an intense forward stretch pose that works on the muscles of the entire back, improving strength and flexibility. This asana improves oxygen-rich blood flow to the brain as the head is positioned below the heart in this pose.
Start by standing straight; keep hands on hips and inhale. Extend hands above you and bend the torso forward as you exhale. Keep bending and bring your hands to rest on the ground next to your feet. If this is difficult, hold onto the ankles. Hold the pose for 10-15 seconds and exit using your abs. Make sure your knees remain straight while performing the uttanasana.
- Stronger calves, hamstrings, and hips.
- Stronger knees and thighs.
- Stimulates digestion by massaging your organs.
- Helps push mucus from the lungs.
- Reduces and relieves stress effectively.
- Also helps reduce insomnia, fatigue, and headache.
- Helps remove menopause symptoms.
- Is therapeutic.
Balasana Or Child’s Pose
Balasana or the child’s pose offers many health benefits; it helps curb constipation, promotes digestive processes and helps lower bloating. Balasana also helps you keep your abs toned. Most importantly, balasana stimulates your nervous system and helps reenergize your body.
Get down on your knees and keep your spine erect, and now, begin bending forward so that your thighs touch your chest and your forehead touches the ground beyond your knees. Straighten the arms by the sides of the body. Your palms should face the floor. Retain the pose for around 20-25 seconds.
- Helps develop strong hips, ankles, and thighs.
- It helps you overcome fatigue and stress.
- Balasana improves your blood circulation.
- It also helps reduce back pain.
Shavasana or corpse pose
This pose is used to end almost all yoga routines and is an excellent pose for meditation. It also helps boost your mental health by helping you meditate and eases your body. Savasana is an excellent way to relax the body.
Lie flat on your back keeping the body straight and hands at the sides with palms facing upwards. Close eyes and hold the position for at least five minutes. Consider counting your breaths as you meditate.
- It helps curb the spread of indigestion, constipation, diabetes, and asthma as well.
- The asana not only improves concentration but also boosts mental well-being, when you are relaxing your body.
- The asana helps stimulate blood circulation.
Vivek Roy is an enthusiastic Yoga blogger and Traveller from India. He has done yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. He loves to travel and share the knowledge of yoga around the world. For more information about him visit his website.