Yoga Benefits for Mental Health

There is a wonderful quote by Rolf Gates that “Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in”. Yoga does not only benefit you physically yoga benefits for mental health also. It is the ultimate practice that simultaneously stimulates your inner light and quiets your overactive mind. The whole practice of yoga helps you work with the nature of the mind.

Practice of Breathing

Yoga is basically the practice of breathing. The breath is the bridge between the body and the mind. In yoga, Breathing is very important because it makes the foundation for the different types of movements.

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In the practice of breathing, you inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. There is science behind breathing. When you inhale through your nose your body and brain both get oxygenate. After inhaling when you exhale through the nose or mouth, all bad toxins, and carbon dioxide out from your body. During this practice of breathing your brain release some good chemicals like endorphins that help you to relieve pain and reduce stress.

Some Breath Work in Yoga

There is some breathwork in yoga that benefits mental health. There are different types of breath that you use in yoga and it differs by practice and particular flow. Different breathwork has different benefits.

Anulom Vilom Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

SIt, in a position of meditation. Close your eyes and close your right nostril with the thumb of your right hand. Inhale deeply through the left opened nostril until your diaphragm fills with oxygen. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Now, close the left nostril with the ring finger of the right hand and remove the thumb from the right nostril. Then exhale slowly through the right nostril. Then, inhale through the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. Repeat this process 8 to 10 times.

This pranayama gives instant relief in stress, anxiety, migraine, and many more mental diseases.

Anulom Vilom Pranayama

Bhramari Pranayama (Humming Bee Breath)

As the name suggests make a sound humming bee during exhale. Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes by fingers and ear by thumb as shown below image. Inhale deeply through your nose and hold for a few seconds then exhale slowly making a sound like a humming bee. You can make the sound of om also. Practice it 8 to 10 times.

The sound of om and humming sound create the natural vibrations that calm your mind.

Bhramari Pranayama

Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)

Bhastrika Pranayama or bellows breath also includes inhaling and exhaling but its pattern is different. In this, you inhale and exhale forcefully. You inhale deeply through your nose and then exhale forcefully through your nose. This process is a little fast than another breathing process. Repeat it 8 to 10 times.

Bhastrika Pranayama

Breathe in Certain Ratio

This breathing pattern I have read in a book and I don’t name of this but I found it very effective. In this process breathes in a certain ratio. Inhale for one second, hold for four seconds, exhale for two seconds. You can increase this count accordingly. As if you inhaled for four seconds, you would hold for sixteen and exhale for eight seconds. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

Why exhale for twice as long as you inhale? That’s when you eliminate toxins via your lymphatic system. Why hold four times as long? That’s how you can fully oxygenate the blood and activate your lymphatic system. When you breathe, you should start from deep in your abdomen, like a vacuum cleaner that’s getting rid of all toxins in the blood system.

There is more pranayama that benefits you, I shared a few of them you can try these and can get more benefits from these also.

How Yoga Benefits Mental Health

The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body. Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being.

Change the State of Mind from Negative to Positive: Due to some difficulties and challenges your state of mind becomes negative. That’s is the state of unresourceful. Your mind does not work properly and you do not get ideas to come out of your challenging situation. But yoga changes your state of mind from negative to positive and you come into a resourceful state of mind.

Reduce Anxiety and Stress: You know what whenever you are under stress and feel anxiety your breath change. A person starts taking shallow breathing. So, in that situation, you just need to observe your breath and take a deep breath. Just control your breath, your stress level and anxiety will automatically remove.

Heal Mental Diseases: Yoga is the ultimate healer. It heals mental diseases and even those diseases which cure is not in modern science. Yoga is like a miracle for those who cured of incurable diseases.

Detoxes Your Mind: Yoga removes all the negative thoughts and detoxes your mind completely. You always feel so light and fresh after doing yoga practice.

Increase Self-Awareness: As I said after yoga practice your brain releases some good chemicals that increase your concentration power.

Enlightenment: By doing Yoga you can achieve enlightenment and get the ultimate truth of the universe. You came to know the world your seeing outside is just an illusionary world. Your mind becomes enlightened. So, outside things can not manipulate your mind.

You can experience the benefits of yoga by only trying. Try and experience the benefits.


Saurabh Goel

Read more on Laughter Yoga.

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