Regularly practicing yoga will improve overall health, including mental health. Benefits include increased concentration, reduced stress, relief from insomnia and fatigue, increased body awareness and enhanced emotional stability.
Yoga postures work on all systems of the body. As well as strengthening and elongating muscles, yoga postures tone glands and internal organs. The postures, along with breathing techniques and relaxation help us to focus the mind and calm the nervous system.
Kelly Walsh, a yoga instructor said: “If we feel stressed or anxious, we can get stuck in the sympathetic nervous system, reacting with fight or flight when there is no real threat.”
“Deep breathing and certain postures, help us to move into the parasympathetic nervous system or “rest and digest,” slowing the heart rate and conserving energy.”
People with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and ADHD have responded positively to regular yoga practice.
Kelly further added that: “Yoga could be thought of as a kind of moving mindfulness, helping us to live in the present and stay connected with ourselves and our surroundings.”
“Persistent practice of yoga trains the mind to be calm and focused, enabling an individual to perceive events and situations with clarity and to control their reactions.”
The following yoga poses are very beneficial for easing stress and anxiety:
Child’s pose (Balasana) – Is a resting pose. Relieves fatigue, relaxes the body and further helps to ease stress and anxiety.
Bridge pose (Set Bandasana) – Helps to relieve fatigue, insomnia and depression. It also nourishes the nervous system.
Pigeon pose (Elaine Pada Rajakopatasana) – helps to release tension and anxiety held inside the body.
Get your mats ready, put your yoga leggings on and enjoy!