Monday, April 29, 2019

Y - Yoga for Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness

The eight limbed path of yoga includes: Yama (moral codes), niyama (self-discipline), asana (postures), pranyama (breath practices promoting life force), pratyahara (sensory transcendence), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), samadhi (state of bliss). “Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind” - Patanjali Sutras

Yoga originated in India several thousand years ago as a system of physical and spiritual practices. It was formalized in the second century BC in the form of the Yoga Sutras, attributed to the scholar Pantanjali. The word roots of yoga mean “to join” in Sanskrit.

Joining mind and body, and individual and collective selves is the essence of this ancient South Asian practice.

Yoga has minimal side effects and is cost-effective in comparison with pharmacological treatments and psychotherapy. Yoga’s added benefit is that it improves physical fitness and encourages self-reliance.

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.

From a yogic perspective, the breath is a bridge between mind and body. Slow diaphragmatic breathing is common to almost all forms of yoga. The key to quieting the mind is slowing and deepening the breath. Practicing yoga helps to regain mental stability, calmness, and tranquility, primarily because of this kind of breathing.

Practitioners are able to connect internally through this stillness and silence. Virtually all yogic practices, including asana (postures), pranyam (life force practices), dhyana (meditation), encourage quietness and listening within. Being kinder and gentler to oneself and others is part of the practice on and off the mat.

More than any other aspect of yoga, researchers have investigated how it affects individuals with mental health conditions. The results are overwhelmingly encouraging, suggesting that yoga helps improve mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others.

With one in four people affected by mental health disorders at some point in their lives, many people are viewing yoga and mental health retreats as effective strategies as an effective strategy that can help protect and restore the mental health of individuals throughout the world.

Yoga has been shown to increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate nerve activity. This is especially relevant to people who have anxiety disorders in which GABA activity is low.

However, patients with mental disorders should not try yoga on their own but only after consulting their psychiatrist and psychotherapist. For minor everyday anxiety, simple yogic breathing techniques might be worth a try as a self-care strategy.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here


  1. I can attest to this! Yoga is great for anxiety :)

    The Multicolored Diary

  2. So true! loved the way you narrated

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  4. Thiѕ sitfe was... how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Fіnally I haᴠe found something which helped me. Thanks!


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