Mental health and Yoga
By 2020, the World Health Organization predicts that depression will be the second largest contributor to the global disease, after heart disease. Thus, the need for Mental Wellbeing is immediate and pertinent.
Worldwide, yoga is gaining popularity as an effective practice for a healthy body and mind. As, it moves you from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system.
Besides, many studies have found that yoga is effective at- reducing stress, depression, anxiety, Attention deficient disorder, etc. Besides, improving the quality of life, improving mood states and producing a sense of calmness and acceptance.
Yoga Practices for Mental Wellbeing
Breath and Pranayam
The breath is a bridge between the mind, body and wellness. Slow diaphragmatic breathing is the key to quieting the mind and keeping the body healthy. Using Ujjayi breath, Anulom vilom pranayam can change the brain and is often used in recovering from long illneses, therapy and dealing with emotional issues. Call it whatever you want, but deep-mindful breathing is the order of the day!
Yoga is somatopsychic. The asana experiences imprints on our whole being. It improves the moods, resilience, perspective and Mental impressions of a person. Some asanas that help in relaxation are:
- Sirsanasa (Headstand)
- Vipareet Karni
- Sharnagat mudra or Balasana (Child pose)
- Veerabhadrasana series (Warrior series)
- Ushtrasana (Camel pose)
- Halasana (Plough pose)
- Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)
- Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclining Fish Pose)
- Supta Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
- Savasana (Corpse Pose)
The meditation and the brain research has been rolling in for a number of years. Meditation helps in:
- Increasing cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which governs learning and memory. And in certain areas of the brain, that play roles in emotion regulation and self-referential processing.
- Decrease in brain cell volume in the amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety and stress.
- Meditation helps increase the alpha waves in the brain.
- Meditation reduces the overall conscious mental activity.
Therefore, deep-slow breathing in combination with asana practice and mindfulness, brings people a greater sense of tranquility. It meets the triple aim of improving health, mental wellbeing and the quality of life.
Thus, this should be reason enough to give yoga a shot!
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