Yoga for Mental Health

Mental Health

Mental illness is an illness that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviour and overall mental health. These conditions range from mild to serve and can affect a person’s ability to perform daily activities.

There are many different types of mental health diseases, each with their own symptoms and causes. Some common mental health diseases include:

  1. Depression: A mood disorder characterized by sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities.

2. Anxiety Disorders: A group of disorders characterized by excessive worry or anxiety, such as: Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, and Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

3. Bipolar affective disorder: A mood disorder characterized by depression and manic episodes (elevated or irritable mood).

4. Schizophrenia: A severe mental disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and abnormal thinking and behavior.

5. Eating disorders: Diseases characterized by abnormal eating behaviors, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, etc.

6. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A disorder that develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event and is characterized by symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidant behaviors.

Here are some yoga poses that can help you in relieving mental health problems :-

1. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)


This asana/pose improves mood and energy, helps in reducing stress and anxiety and promotes relaxation which results in beneficial for mental health.

How to do :-

  1. To start the pose, lie on your belly with your arms by your sides and your forehead resting on the mat.
  2. Bend your knees and bring your heels as close to your hips as possible.
  3. Reach back with your hands and grab your ankles.
  4. Inhale and use your hands to pull your ankles away from your body and lift your chest and thighs off the ground.
  5. Hold the pose for some deep breaths, focusing on the stretch in the chest, thighs, and abdomen.
  6. Exhale and relax the pose, lowering the chest and thighs back to the mat.

2. Eagle Pose (Garudasana)


This asana/pose is very beneficial for mental health as it helps in reducing stress and anxiety, improves focus and concentration and also promotes relaxation.

How to do :-

  1. Start the pose by standing with your feet hip-width and your arms at your sides.
  2. Slightly bend your knees and lift your left foot off the ground, crossing it over your right thigh. Try to hook your left foot behind yoour right calf.
  3. Extend your arms straight out in front of you, parallel to ground.
  4. Cross your right arm over your left arm at the elbows and bring your palms together, or if possible, interlace your arms and press your palms together.
  5. Sink down into your hips, keeping your spine straight, and focus on your breath.
  6. Hold the pose for some deep breaths, then release and switch sides.

3. Lotus Pose (Padmasana)


This asana/pose helps in promoting relaxation, improves focus & concentration and also calms the mind.

How to do :-

  1. Start the pose by sitting on the mat with your legs straight.
  2. Bend your right knee and put your right foot on top of your left thigh, bringing your heel as close to your body as possible.
  3. Bend your left knee and put your left foot on top of your right thigh, bringing your heel as close to your body as possible.
  4. Put your hands on knees, plams facing up or down, and sit up straight, stretching through your spine.
  5. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths, focusing on breath and allow your mind to relax.
  6. Hold the pose for some time, then release and switch the crossing of legs.

4. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama)

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama for mental health

This is a great yoga technique that is used to calm the mind, to promote relaxation and also to reduce stress and anxiety which is very beneficial for mental health.

How to do :-

  1. Start the pose by sitting comfortably with a straight spine and relaxed shoulders.
  2. Put your right hand over your nose and close your right nostril with your thumb.
  3. Take a deep breath through the left nostril to fill your lungs with air.
  4. At the top of inhalation, close the left nostril with your ring finger and hold your breath for a while.
  5. Release the right nostril and exhale slowly.
  6. Inhale through the right nostril to fill the lungs with air.
  7. At the top of inhalation, close the right nostril with your thumb and hold your breath for a while.
  8. Release the left nostril and exhale slowly.
  9. Repeat the steps(3-8) for some rounds, inhale through the left nostril, exhale through the right nostril and inhale through the right nostril, exhale through the left nostril alternately.

5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Savasana for  mental health

This pose promotes deep relaxation and helps reduce stress and anxiety.

How to do :-

  1. Lie down on your back on a mat, with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms facing up.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, allowing yourself to relax and let go of any stress in your body.
  3. Allow your legs and arms to relax heavy on the mat, and soften your shoulders away from your ears.
  4. Relax your jaw and allow your tongue to relax gently on the roof of your mouth.
  5. Bring your focus to your breath, taking slow, deep breaths in and out through your nose.
  6. Scan your body from head to toe, noticing any areas of anxiety or pain and allowing them to release with each exhale.
  7. If your mind begins to wander, gently bring your focus back to your breath and the present moment.
  8. Stay in the pose for several minutes, or as long as you like, and when you’re ready to come out of the pose, take a few deep breaths and slowly begin to wiggle your fingers and toes, then roll onto your side and take a few more breaths before slowly coming up to a seated position.

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