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℞ YOGA for Mental Health – Why, How, and Beyond

Know how yoga could assist one in coping with mental illness.

Some call it science, some magic, and for some, it's a way of living.

Certainly, the goodness promised by the practice of yoga requires no reassurance. As a matter of fact, yoga is perhaps the only kind of exercise that caters equally to body and mind.

Yoga, besides promising flexibility, agility, increased concentration, also harbors a feeling of inner peace. Such positive outcomes have led to several avenues of research where its therapeutic benefits are being widely considered to address mental health issues.

It's interesting to witness how individuals looking for psychotherapy are now being prescribed yoga, given its far-fetched efficacy. In essence, yoga has come a long way to shake off its holistic presence and managed to garner a following that is backed by data and scientific reasoning.

In this post, you will learn more about the relation between yoga and mental health and everything else in between.

Mitigating episodes of anxiety

Multiple studies aiming to establish the correlation between yoga and mental health depicted the efficacy of yoga in dealing with anxiety.

A combination of yoga poses when tried daily has been known to work wonders to find your center of peace, put a leash on your scattering thoughts, and ease the tension away. Here are the recommended yoga poses to help reduce anxiety:

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana

  • Salamba Sarvangasana

  • Uttanasana

  • Savasana

Dealing with aggression

Anger, like other emotions, is a natural occurrence.

However, some people exhibit way too much of it, thereby upsetting their life, work, and relationships in the process.

In a 2012 study comprising adolescents, it was concluded that yoga can be a potent tool for anger management. Reportedly, the study results were pitted against another participating group that only considered physical education, thereby demonstrating the effectiveness of yoga.

In adults too, daily practice of yoga is believed to put a check on frequent cases of verbal abuse without having to resort to drugs. Here are some of the yogasanas (or poses) that you can try:

  • Balasana

  • Matsyasana

  • Sukhasana

  • Sarvangasana

Reducing PTSD symptoms

One of the most talked-about mental health conditions, PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms holds a cue in events of the past.

Commonly experienced symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and recurring thoughts of a traumatic or stressful event. As such, a control group study comprising individuals with PTSD was prescribed yoga for no less than ten weeks.

The results showed how more than 50 percent of the group reported reduced or almost no symptoms compared to the other half. Here are some of the most simple yoga poses recommended for PTSD:

  • KapalBhati Pranayama

  • Marjariasana

  • Konasana

  • Setu Bandhasana

The underlying reason

While most people resort to yoga for the “feel-good factor”, the reason why it seems to work for an array of mental health conditions is different. It's all about the Heart Rate Variability, commonly abbreviated as HRV.

Regular yoga helps maintain an optimum HRV, which in turn, induces a calming effect on the autonomic nervous system; our body’s storehouse for trauma and stress put together. Simply put, HRV is nothing but the measure of one heartbeat to another. When one is anxious, the heart tends to beat faster, which decreases the HRV.

On the flip side, when you are relaxed and not overburdened with thoughts, there is more space between each heartbeat, and you have an increased HRV to help regulate emotions easily.

If you have ever witnessed episodes of road rage, or people being set off by minor issues, or have found yourself in similar situations, know for sure its case of increased HRV.

Yoga as a complementary theory can help reverse the odds by training your heart better and restoring the balance for the autonomic nervous system. All you need to do is find the right program to manage your way through the initial trial and error until you can find your rhythm section.

Wrap up

So you see, yoga, contrary to what some might think, is never a deliberate choice of well-being. Instead, it's a much-needed accessory for a healthy body and mind. If you are bogged by unwanted aggression, PTSD, anxiety, or daily episodes of stress, yoga can be the perfect non-prescription theory to embrace.

To book a session with our Yoga instructor who can assist you in learning a discipline around these postures please click here or send us your query on

By Ipsit Roy

Read about: Insomnia | Anxiety | Depression | Art and Mental Health | Relationship

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