For years, yoga has been believed to provide relief against mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and stress. While regular workout at the gym can help keep your body in perfect shape, yoga can boost your mental health significantly. Yoga helps keep blood pressure in control, which can impact the overall wellbeing of an individual. It reduces stress and fights the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
While yoga can improve mental health, it should not be considered a substitute for counseling or medication without consulting your therapist or medical practitioner. Together with your medication regimen, your doctor may recommend yoga and some other exercises. Stopping other therapies without discussing them with your doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist is not a good idea.
There are many poses and exercises in yoga that are specifically designed to reduce stress and improve mental health. Discussed below are some important benefits of yoga for improving mental health and the overall wellbeing of an individual.
Yoga lifts your mood
Yoga is a healthy method to boost serotonin levels in your body. Serotonin is known to regulate happiness, anxiety, and mood in the brain. Low levels of serotonin can lead to stress and depression, while higher serotonin levels can cause restlessness and headaches. You only feel calm and focused when the serotonin levels are neither high nor low.
Since anxiety and depression are caused when serotonin levels are low, yoga can stimulate serotonin production to make you feel calm and satisfied. All different poses in yoga help maintain serotonin levels in the brain, thus alleviating stress and anxiety.
Pranayama, or breath meditation, is an essential part of any yoga practice that helps reduce stress and anxiety. The practice of breath control focuses on different breathing techniques that stabilize mood and help balance energy levels. While breathing is an uncontrollable process, you can learn to control it by practicing yoga exercises.
Yoga becomes your daily dose of motivation as it encourages you to focus on your mental and physical health. When you are mentally and physically fit, you look at every new day in a different way. You tend to find motivation in simple things as your mind feels relaxed and your body feels energetic. The entire essence of yoga lies in realizing the power of meditation to achieve a healthy body and mind. You would be amazed to experience the incredible benefits of yoga and how it helps alleviate generalized symptoms of anxiety.
When you look smart, act proactively, and argue like a sensible individual, you ought to attract the attention of all and sundry. This is what you can achieve by including yoga in your daily routine. Just a few minutes of yoga will do wonders for your self-confidence, and you will be ready to conquer the world. Yoga makes you feel light from the inside, which helps you look at things with a positive frame of mind. The ability to feel more confident will help you achieve success in both your professional and personal life.
Some Yoga Poses for Coping with Stress and Anxiety
As discussed earlier, there are several yoga poses that can be practiced on a daily basis to achieve better mental health. These poses have different benefits but are fundamentally aimed at making an individual feel calm and relaxed.
Here are a few simple yet effective poses you can do to dust off all the depression and anxiety bothering you constantly:
This traditional standing posture might help you calm your racing thoughts and focus on the job at hand.
To practice the tree pose, follow these steps:
Tree pose starts with balancing your body properly. For this purpose, keep both your feet firmly planted on the ground to have your weight distributed equally.
Bend your right leg at the knee and keep the other foot firmly planted on the ground.
Slowly bend in your right leg against your left inner thigh.
Point the knee of your right leg outwards.
Clasp your hand in a prayer position and hold the pose for as long as you comfortably can.
Repeat the same pose with the other leg to complete one cycle.
Standing forward bend
This relaxing standing posture can calm you down while also relieving stress. Among its physical benefits, the standing forward bend helps stretch calves, hamstrings, and hips.
Practicing this pose is simple; you just need to follow these steps:
Rest your hands on your hips and stand with your feet roughly hip-width apart.
Breathe as you bend forward from the hips, having your knees slightly bent.
Allow your hands to fall to the floor or settle on a slab.
Your chin should be tucked into your neck.
Pressure in your lower back and your hips should be relaxed. Your neck and head should be hung low to the ground.
Hold this position for 1 minute.
This calming posture may aid in the reduction of stress and exhaustion. It is a gentle stretching exercise for thighs, hips, and ankles and can provide relief against back pain.
To practice this pose, follow these steps:
Sink back onto your heels from a kneeling position.
Lean forward and extend your arms in front of you.
Let your waist sink into your thighs, and your head settle on the ground.
Keeping your arms stretched forward or resting beside your torso is a good option.
This position can be held for approximately five minutes.
Seated forward bend
This pose is supposed to relieve tension while also calming the mind. This is an amazing pose that can also help people suffering from digestion problems. It also reduces fatigue and soothes anxiety and headaches.
To practice this pose, follow these steps:
Relax with your legs extended out in front of you on the top of a crumpled blanket or pillow.
You can leave your knees slightly bent.
Raise your arms and breathe.
Gradually reach forward from your hips, placing your hands wherever on your torso or just on the ground.
Hold this position for 5 – 6 minutes.
Many people find it difficult to achieve the perfect balance between personal and professional life in today’s busy world. The lack of quality time spent with your loved ones and ignoring your overall well being can have serious consequences. Yoga helps in calming your mind and puts you in a better space to think about your life in a light, relaxed and positive way. This can significantly affect your mental health and help you achieve the desired balance in your life.