Yoga is practiced by people across the world to stay healthy and fit. This ancient art form has been helping people relieve of many ailments as well as aiding people in their fitness goals. But do you know that yoga can also be used to improve mental health? Let’s find out!
Our mind works round the clock to store and use our thoughts, behaviours, feelings etc. However, we hardly give any attention to our mental health as compared to our physical health. In fact, mental well-being is not regarded as a parameter of health for most. Hence, we suffer from mental health issues, which in turn makes us unable to appreciate the things we have.
In this post, we will learn about some engaging yoga asanas which when performed well in the early morning hours or in the evening can help improve your mental well-being.
Role of Yoga for Mental Health
Do you know if your mind is well-synchronised with your feelings, your bodily sensations or the atmosphere around you? The capability of humans to pay attention to his/her present is a crucial step towards mental health enhancement. Our mind is the place where all thoughts start and come to an end. Our physical health represents our cognitive and physical strength, while it is our mind that determines our exterior looks. Hence, it is of prime importance to recognize and maintain the health of your mind to be able to live a rewarding life. Different types of yoga asanas along with meditation teaches you how to engage your mind.
5 Effective Yoga Asanas to Improve your Mental Health
Here are 5 types of yoga asanas, which we can practice daily to keep our mind happy and to improve its functioning:
- Balasana (Child’s Pose)
- Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend)
- Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
- Sukhasana (Happy Pose)
- Bakasana (Crane Pose)
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1. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
- Kneel on the mat and ensure that your big toes touch each other
- Spread your knees hip-width apart
- Breathe in and raise your arms above your head
- Breathe out and bend your upper body forward
- Put your forehead on the floor
- Your pelvis should rest on your mat between the thighs
- Keep your back rounded
- Stay in the position for 30 seconds or more
- This asana helps in times of anxiety and distress by bringing mental peace
2. Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend)
- Start with Dandasana. Sit with your legs together or hip-width apart
- Sit high up on your sitting bones
- Inhale and reach with both arms toward the ceiling. Keep your arms parallel to your ears
- Exhale and bend forward and try to reach your hands toward your toes
- Now, with your fingers grip your big toes
- Next, let your nose touch your knees
- Stay in this posture for over 30 seconds
- This asana adds calmness of the mind and reduces anxiety
3. Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
- Lay down on your back
- Make sure that you firmly plant your feet on the mat. Now, bring your knees to a bending position
- Next, place your palms in the upward direction and at the elbows bend your arms
- Place your palms on the mat on each side of your head. Now, switch your arms at the shoulder
- Breathe deeply. Use pressure on your palms and legs. Now, raise the body in the form of an arch
- Let your head droop behind you softly. Look back and let your neck relax
- The weight of your body should be equally hold by all four of your limbs
- Stay in this position for 15 to 20 seconds
- This asana is said to stimulate the adrenal glands
4. Sukhasana (Happy Pose)
- Keep the palms of your hand on your knees to create the siddha mudra
- Sit up straight in Dandasana and extend both legs
- Now, fold the left leg and tuck it inside the right thigh
- Next, fold the right leg and tuck it inside the left thigh
- Sit in this position to relieve anxiety, stress etc.
5. Bakasana (Crane Pose)
- Starting with Samasthithi, a simple standing pose with the feet together and the body upright
- Go to the position of squatting on the floor
- Place your palms flat slightly in front of but away from your feet
- Point your fingers forward and apart
- Bend your elbows slightly
- Place your knees just below your armpits
- Lean forward so that all of your weight is transferred to your arms
- Keep your balance and slowly lift both of your feet off the ground
- Bring your feet together and keep your arms straight
- Concentrate on one spot and hold this pose for some time
- This yoga asana help create a sense of awareness in the body to maintain stability and focus
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FAQs: Five Effective Yoga Asanas to Improve Mental Health
Which yoga asana is best for the brain?
Here are 5 poses of yoga for mental health that improve your concentration and boosts your memory power
~ Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
~ Bhramari pranayama (Bee breathing)
~ Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend pose)
~ Padahastasana (Standing forward bend pose)
~ Halasana (Plow Pose)
How practicing different asanas of yoga benefits your mental well-being?
~ Yoga practice help with mental clarity and calmness
~ Yoga increases body awareness
~ It relieves chronic stress and relaxes the mind
~ It centres attention and sharpens concentration
Which pranayam is good for mental stress?
The Chandra Bhedana pranayama is said to calm your mind, relieve anxiety/stress and improve concentration. This pranayama can be performed by blocking the right nostril, forcefully inhaling through the left nostril, retaining the breath as long as comfortable, blocking the left nostril, and exhaling through the right nostril.
Which yoga Mudra improves memory?
The Gyan mudra is known to increase memory power and to control mental disorders. Simply join the tips of the index finger and thumb to perform this mudra.
Which Asana is known as the king of Asana?
Sirsasana or Headstand pose is known as the king of asanas. It is an inverted or anti-gravitational asana.