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Benefits of Yoga For Mental Health Patients

Updated on December 26, 2015

Dealing with Mental Health

Yoga is dubbed as an ancient form of healing due to its ability to integrate both your physical and mental health barriers. Thus, there are several practitioners to yoga who practice it for the sole purpose of enhancing their physical and mental health such that they are equipped with the tools to combat potential illnesses, whether it be physical or emotional.

However, dealing with mental health issues offer more complication since it is difficult to pinpoint the causes and triggers. You can read more below to learn how yoga can be used as a tool to enhance your mental health.

Yoga for Fitness, Wellness, Mental health & a Flexible Body

Mental Aspect of Yoga

The state of your mental health is what governs all other functions in the body. Thus, it is of utmost importance to attain a balanced mental condition such that other aspects of your body are functioning normally. It is also crucial for personal growth and development, spiritual awareness, renewing purpose in life, and fostering relationships.

It is therefore one reason why yoga incorporates a lot of mental exercises, alongside physical asanas that are done with each practice. It's no wonder why many have devoted themselves into doing yoga knowing its far-reaching benefits. In fact, it is recommended as a complementary treatment for therapies and other procedures done for mental care patients. However, attaining the full mental health benefits of yoga can be attained differently using varying methods, depending on the specific condition that one is faced with.

Yoga: Achieve positive mental health

How Does Yoga Help With Depression?

Depression is a serious case of psychological or mental illness that need to be addressed right away, especially since it can affect you physically as well. When one mentions the word “depression” or “depressed”, it triggers a negative connotation on the mind of anyone who hears it. Not only that, there is a risk that someone with depression could end up in a downward spiral as they feel more alone and isolated.

In some cases, they refuse to go out and would rather spend their time on their own, which further aggravates the symptoms of depression. The worst case scenario here is for someone to feel totally depressed as to consider the idea of suicide.

In mild cases of depression, the symptoms are often temporary and can be healed using simple treatment methods. Indeed, it is normal for one person to be depressed about something, such as losing valuable things or loved ones, divorce, or getting fired. But in most cases, an individual is unable to recover from that depressed state such that it becomes even worse through time.

The earlier you can detect the symptoms and diagnose depression, the sooner one is treated and avoid further complications. Some of the symptoms of depression that you need to pay closer attention to include appetite loss, intense fear or worry, helplessness, hopelessness, inability to concentrate, hallucinations, and even suicide.

When one is depressed, performing yoga asanas could help reverse those symptoms. This will help boost flow of oxygen and blood supply in the body to produce a positive state of mind. It is therefore important that yoga asanas are combined with breathing exercises to enhance oxygen supply in the body. Some of the most recommended poses for individuals suffering from depression are Bridge Pose, Camel Pose, Sun Salutation Sequence, Full Backbends, Savasana, and many more.

Yoga for Fitness, Wellness, Mental health

Curing Anxiety Disorder Through Yoga

Anxiety disorder is a psychological condition that is triggered by various factors but is manifested through illogical fear, extensive amount of stress, insomnia, pessimism, and many other conditions that (like depression) could also lead to suicidal tendencies. As for the physical symptoms of anxiety disorder, it may include intense pounding of the heart, difficulty breathing, chest pains, palpitations, nausea, and physical and mental fatigue.

Anxiety disorder is one of the most common condition affecting anxiety sufferers. Although mild cases of anxiety is considered to be beneficial to motivate and encourage you to exert your best effort, extreme levels of anxiety is unhealthy.

The ability of yoga to ease your mind and stabilize the nervous system is therefore an effective treatment approach for anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, combining it with breathing exercises help build inner spiritual awareness, inner peace, and a positive state of mind to reverse the effects of anxiety disorder. And finally, performing regular meditation is helpful for anxiety disorder patients to gain a deeper understanding of the self, instead of being influenced by external factors that cause unnecessary worry or fear.

Yoga: Achieve positive mental health

Regaining Emotional Control

When doing yoga for enhancing the mental state of mind or curing mental health conditions, your objective is basically to attain emotional control. Sometimes, when your emotion has overcome you, you lose the ability to stabilize your nervous system and the emotion is further intensified. This is one of the most basic components to every therapy suggested for mental health care patients. The cognitive function is altered to be able to see things at a new perspective. And to further nurture those benefits, body-based intervention is often needed for more effective results.

To better understand the importance of emotional control in yoga, as part of caring for mental health patients, the anxiety or depressed feelings that one experiences trigger a chemical response on the body. When one feels overly stressed out, your muscles become tensed or stiff. Thus, yoga asanas are useful in relieving those stiffness to make you feel relaxed. Attaining relaxation also enables you to think clearly and rationally. And the more you practice yoga, the better able you become at controlling your emotional responses.

17Yoga for Fitness, Wellness, Mental health - Power Yoga Total Body Workout

Exposing Yogis to Social Opportunities Boost Mental Health

Contrary to popular belief and misconceptions about yoga, it can also promote a social experience. The image that often pops out in one's mind whenever thinking about yoga is someone meditating in isolation. But the recent boom in the yoga industry has enabled more people to attend yoga classes that are fun and enriching at the same time. Thus, it creates a healthy social experience wherein you can meet fellow yogis and build a healthy relationship with them.

As you work together in attaining your individual goals while trying to establish relationship with one another, it helps to promote your mental health as well. Indeed, socializing can be one of the best ways to prevent such mental health conditions as discussed above.

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Submit a Comment

  • megni profile image

    megni 5 years ago

    Theresa Ann,

    You've written a beautiful hub as well as a useful hub. Sereneness will do the world a lot of good if it ever catches the habit. Go Yoga and Therese Therese Ann!

  • Katrina Ariel profile image

    Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

    Excellent contribution. Yoga is such a powerful transformational and balancing practice.

    The photo of supta baddhakonasana is gorgeous!

  • profile image

    Dominique Teng 7 years ago

    Thank you for this information. The benefits of yoga are well known for ages. The Asians (both the Indians and the Chinese) never separated the mind from the body. I am a long time yoga practitioner. Already years ago, at the very beginning of my practice I noticed considerable changes in mood and energy alignment. As you wrote, the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of yoga can considerably contribute to healing. The hormone levels and the flow of neurotransmitters in the brain are affected by the asana and pranayama. Meditation contributes further to the healing process.