Yoga is the science to control the mind. A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body to your overall well-being. Good mental health helps you feel good about yourself, connect with others, find meaning in life and thrive at home, work, and play. Good mental health doesn’t mean you will never be sad, insecure, or worried. But it can help you keep problems in perspective.
Chitt (चित्त) includes the consciousness which includes the mind, intellect, and ego. Yoga is the method of silencing the vibration of chitts.
Yoga is an ancient Indian way of life that includes the practice of postures (asanas), regulated breathing techniques (pranayamas), and meditation as well as knowledge of the philosophy of yoga. Practising yoga was shown to be beneficial for physical and mental health.
Ancient yoga has five levels of existence in The Taittreya Upanishad. These are
(ii) a level of subtle energy
(iii) the instinctual mental level
(iv) the intellectual mental level
(v) a state of optimal homeostasis and balance.
Interest in the use of yoga to calm the mind, and improve overall health and wellbeing is on the rise.
According to WHO, Mental health is a state of well-being in which a person understands his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can contribute to his or her community.
Yoga in Mental health
Yoga is a mind and body practice with historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy. It combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and a distinct philosophy.
There are numerous styles of yoga- Hatha yoga (discipline of forces) - which emphasises postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Hatha yoga styles include Ananda, Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kripalu, Kundalini, Viniyoga, and others.
Asana and Mudra for Mental health are Vajrasana, Trikonasana, Bhujangasana, Halasana, Sarvangasana, Siddhasana, Gyan Mudra, Uttarabodhi Mudra, Prana Mudra, Anjali Mudra, Apanvayu Mudra, Kalesvara Mudra and breathing exercises.
In today’s hectic world, it has become quite obvious to people to lose their mental health balance. This loss of balance in mental health is manifested in the form of anxiety and depression. It is a proven fact that yoga helps to stabilize the mental health of human beings.
When you lift weights, your muscles get stronger and bigger. When you do yoga, your brain cells develop new connections, and changes occur in brain structure as well as function, resulting in improved cognitive skills, such as learning and memory. Yoga strengthens parts of the brain that play a key role in memory, attention, awareness, thought, and language.
Studies have proved that people who regularly practise yoga have a thicker cerebral cortex (the area of the brain responsible for information processing) and hippocampus (the area of the brain involved in learning and memory) compared with people who do not practice yoga. These areas of the brain typically shrink with age, but those who are practising yoga for years showed less shrinkage. This indicates that yoga may counteract age-related declines in memory and other cognitive skills.
Amy Novotney, the writer of the monitor on psychology (APA), suggested that yoga may help strengthen social attachments, reduce stress and relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Research has also found that regular yoga helps in treating the post-traumatic stress disorder of military veterans. According to yogic science, psychological problems arise due to the imbalance of speed in the mind.
Many studies concluded that yoga improved the balance of the mind. A study showed that mindfulness meditation improved psychological well-being and reduced psychological symptoms of stress-related problems, illness, and anxiety. Lifestyle modification based on yoga leads to a remarkable reduction in stress and anxiety.
About the Writer- Anamika is a Clinical Psychologist. She specialises in exceptional children and is an educational counsellor associated with NGOs.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are his own and CitySpidey does not endorse them in anyway.