How yoga is supporting our mental health?

Today is the World Mental Health Day (10 October) so I decided to go a little deeper into the connection between Yoga and our mental health.

But in the beginning read this: 40 mln people suffer from this condition every year in USA.

Do you know what am I reffering to?

…An anxiety disorder

Almost 80% of people suffer from stress and the physical symptoms caused by stress on an every day basis. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States every year*

That’s pretty shocking..

While working in Australia I mainly concentrated on the mental health benefits of practising yoga. I worked with the Mental Health Commission, Red Cross and other organisations offering services to refugees with trauma. I studied this subject very deeply and offered a specific type of yoga class for people that struggle with different mental conditions.

I read so many studies that prove that YOGA is an amazing tool to combat stress, anxiety and even to ease depression.

But why and how?
  • While practising yoga we cultivate a mind-body awareness - The sense of being able to feel and express what is going on in the body and mind. This increased mindfulness can reduce the frequency of negative experiences and impact our behaviour in a very positive way.
  • Yoga teaches us how to breathe mindfully and properly, on and off the mat. Our breath is the best tool to control our physiological and stress responses and anxiety levels. Deeper and slower inhales and exhales reduce our blood pressure and relax our nervous system. The best part of this is that we can access this tool at any time.
  • The other self-regulation aspect of yoga shows that yoga has the ability to build our emotional resilience and control our mind. We are all aware of this simple equation - The more control we have in our mind, the more control we have in our life.

All of the above proves that yoga should not be treated only as a hobby. It has the ability to significantly improve our wellbeing on many levels, including decreasing anxiety, symptoms of depression and overall psychological distress.

Take care of your mental health and find the method that resonates with you the most.

If you would see if Yoga is one of those methods I run Yoga for stress and anxiety every Thursday at 7 pm in Sensiis Cascais. Here you can read a little more.