Yoga is often mistaken as an 'exercise' that only caters to the body but Yoga is also for the mind. The universe of Yoga is endless. It speaks of asanas, pranayamas, mudras, meditation techniques that have several benefits from their practice. Yoga helps in improving balance, strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity. It can also help to boost memory, self-esteem, thereby reducing anxiety and stress. The rise in mental illness has exponentially grown in the past decade and it becomes important for all of us to give our mental health equal attention.
Asanas like Pranayama, Padmasana, Sukhasana, and others, help in controlling our emotions. These act as a tool for calming and energizing our brain to develop a state-of-relaxed mind.
Benefits of Yoga for mental health:
- Calms the Mind
- Improves concentration
- Improves Your Mood
- Improves Patience
- Helps Build Confidence
It is a specific type of controlled breathing (pranayama). It involves holding one nostril closed while inhaling, then holding the other nostril closed while exhaling. The process is then reversed and repeated. Alternate nostril breathing is said to have many physical and psychological benefits, including stress reduction and improved breathing and circulation.
Start the posture by lying flat on your back. Now bend your knees and elbows. Place your feet flat on the floor close to the hips and your hands firmly on either side of the head. While supporting both your hands and legs on the ground, slowly try to lift your body up into the air. Hold this arching posture for 20-30 secs and slowly bring your body up into a standing pose.
While standing, bring the feet hip-distance apart. Without bending your knees, slowly bend your body above the torso downwards. See that your knees are straight. You can allow your hands and hang down and rest your palms on the ground or just hold your feet to the ankles. Hold this position for 8-10 breaths, then slowly get back to the standing position.
Clearing our mind of the chaos and the body of all the tension is a challenging task for us, who live every single conscious moment thinking or doing something. Shavasana helps us regulate tension in a resting pose. Lie down on your back and close your eyes. Relax your body and mind.