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Yoga for Mental Wellness – A beginners guide

Yoga for Mental Wellness, because Mental health matters the most. A healthy state of mind will always radiant a healthy you outside.

Yoga is a part of rich Indian heritage. Yog, pranayama or asanas all are synonyms to the different forms of a single holistic approach towards wellness- YOGA.The word roots of yoga mean “to join” in Sanskrit. Joining the mind,soul and the body.

Eight fold paths of Yoga

As the mental health concerns are spreading globally and the awareness and treatment is quite insufficient to bring people back to the state of mental wellness. There is a need that we start taking care well in advance.Those who regularly participate in yoga typically interact with the world in calmer and more reasonable ways.

We all are dealing with some or the other kind of stress in our daily life. How about developing a coping mechanism well in advance? Things which are available for free and is the most long lasting way of connecting to your innerself is Yoga and Meditation, this is a long journey but once you head towards this path, it will surely take you towards Mental Wellness.

Yoga for mental wellness 

The most diffcult part in starting this journey towards self is, starting with it actually. We postpone, we procrastinate and we think we have a lot of time. If we are physically fit, we feel we are blessed and we do not need to exert ourselves.

We give lame excuses like, work pressure, family management, studies and what not. But for what? For enriching our own self? I am not saying practising yoga will take you to salavtion but it will surely take you somewhere, a place you have never been.

In yoga, while you breathe during the asanas, you connect with your inner self, the most neglected person, the inner you. You listen to your body, to your inner-self and try to balance your breathes.

Yoga is connecting, yoga is meditation and yoga is the first step towards a healthy you.

I am pointing out five essential asanas which could help you break the ice and start your yoga journey. For your ease you can start with the standing postures of Yoga.

  1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  2. Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) 
  3. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
  4. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose) 
  5. Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose)

Five standing Postures of yoga

Benefit of Standing Postures:

Easy to start, it will strengthen your body posture and requires less strength.

Things to take care before you start

  • Do not start with a vison to lose weight. Set your goals right. Yoga is a slow process, it takes time but it is very effective and everlasitng process
  • Surrender to your breathe and connect to your innerself
  • Explore your body while you perform asanas.
  • Never strain yourself forcefully to complete a asana
  • Eat a well balanced diet, remember your diet is 70% of what your body is.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Start early.

Why Mental Wellness?

Yoga improves physical fitness and encourages self-reliance. Yoga helps to de-stress and hence has the unlimited potential of estabilishing a healthy mental being.

Yoga has gained popularity worldwide. People practise yoga, dhyan regoriously and very religiously. It is accessible anywhere, cost effective and also very liberating.

Mental Wellness could lead to a prodcutive life and yoga is a form of self-treatment, a gift you can give to your body lifelong.

Also read, Surya Namaskar– Sacred & Powerful.

Some facts and figures from reliable sources

Yoga has been shown to enhance quality of life in people who are healthy and ill. A review study found that yoga is as effective or better than exercise at improving a variety of mental and physical health measures such as stress, quality of life, mood states, heart rate variability, pulmonary function and so on .

A meta-analysis concluded that because weight gain and toxicity are side effects of various pharmacotherapies, yoga may be an effective and less toxic auxiliary treatment for severe mental illness.

In one study yoga improved subjective wellbeing, mental health and executive functioning within prison populations. Yoga improved the quality of life of pregnant women in various studies and enhanced their interpersonal relationships .

Multiple studies conclude that Yoga is helpful in improving mild to moderate depressive symptoms in MDD; b) Yoga is equally as effective as TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants) in severe MDD; c) Yoga in combination with anti-depressants is better than anti-depressants alone for depressive symptoms.

A yogic saying states that through a flexible body we gain a flexible mind. This helps people become more patient, forgiving, less prone to anger and sadness. 

Take a step towards replacing Mental Illness from Mental Wellness. Just half an hour a day or atleast alternate day but commence your journey towards Mental Wellness.

Much Love and gratitude

Priyanka Nair

Supporting Source: Journal of Physiotherapy & Physical Rehabilitation

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