Yoga's Power to Improve Mental Health

There are many discussions and speculations about mental health issues and how people’s lives continue to suffer from poor mental health. Conditions of insomnia, depression, poor cardiac health, sleep apnea, etc., are commonly reported. Amidst this chaos, the natural healing system of yoga acts as a boon for the heart, mind, and body.
How so? Let us look at the five ways through which yoga has proven to be highly beneficial at improving and supporting the mental health of an individual.

A Transitional Shift from Sympathetic to Parasympathetic Nervous System

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for triggering the unconscious reactions in the body in the form of a fight or flight response. With the help of yoga, this situation-effect can be reversed. You can shift from the flight or fight response (Sympathetic Nervous System) to the rest and digest response (Parasympathetic Nervous System). This happens as the Pranayama Breathing practiced during yoga mellows and cools down the nervous system leading to a complete relief from anxiety and stress. As a result, sufferers of depression also highly benefit from regularly practicing yoga and pranayama.

Builds a Stronger Sense of Self

A dedicated practice of yoga opens your heart and soul by yoking the contrasting energies that lie within the body into a single element. This divine union leads to a stronger relationship with the self from within. You are able to understand, analyze, and appreciate yourself more. This appreciation with humility and without judgment helps trigger self-confidence and self-love. Self-acceptance and self-love are two of most crucial elements for mental health. It all starts with how you feel about ‘you’ from deep within.

Helps Foster Stronger Relationships

With self-confidence and self-love comes contentment and peace. The mental state decides the strength and orientation of your relationship with others. A peaceful and confident mind is able to foster stronger bonds with the people they form relationships with – whether romantic, paternal, or friendly – yoga is the core of it all. It instills intimate balance and patience that help with to support healthier relationships.

Leads to Mindful Living

To be able to absorb the true beauty and functionality of life, it is essential to live in the present. The practice of Yoga Nidra gives it’s practitioner to have mindful experiences in their life. Being aware of the present helps deplete any worries about the future or any pain experienced in the past, instead focusing on the present time and moment. Being unaware of the current moment restricts us from experiencing life in its current form and often binds us to the worries of things which do not exist in reality yet. Yoga is self-awareness and the route to self-realization. With mindful living, you can experience improved concentration, mental clarity, cognitive ability, coordination, and better reflexes.

It is a known fact that a person with a robust mind sleeps like a baby. A few minutes of meditation or corpse pose before going to bed can be your daily natural pill to a sound and restful sleep. A disturbed mind prohibits us from feeling relaxed and at peace, resulting in insomnia, while we spend the majority of our time shuffling in bed. Yoga actively relaxes both the body and mind to help bring a deep sleep.

To witness the results, try these five excellent yoga poses for an improved mental health: Balasana (Child’s Pose), Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall Pose), Uttanasana (Forward Bend Pose), Bitilasana-Marjariyasana (Cat Cow Pose), and Savasana (Corpse Pose).

Remember that a positive mind is a healthy mind. It is highly essential to stay positive even during the darkest of times. The rest will come along!