Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health

It is assumed that yoga is only a form of physical activity. It shouldn’t be forgotten that it includes practices that can aid mental health.

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health F

“Yoga helped me to find solutions that I was too stressed to discover”

Yoga is a form of exercise focusing on both physical and mental health.

This type of activity provides many benefits to our bodies as well as our minds and souls.

According to the research done by PLOS ONE in 2017, practising yoga can decrease the symptoms of mental health issues such as depression.

Yoga increases body awareness and calms the nervous system. It also helps you to improve your concentration.

We prepared a list of yoga positions to help with improving your mental health.

Balasana

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health - Child’s Pose

Better known as the Child’s Pose, Balasana is a simple yet effective pose to boost mental health.

It was proved in an article published by Harvard Medical School that this yoga position helps to achieve a sense of calmness and stability.

Balasana keeps the body energised while making the abs toned and good-looking.

Yoga instructor, Kimberly Terry says it is a perfect position for people who suffer from a lack of sleep and anxiety.

Mrs Terry comments:

“Balasana promotes the parasympathetic nervous system. It may also relieve insomnia.”

Besides being beneficial for mental health, it also opens up the hips and releases the tension from the hips.

Anjaneyasana

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health - Anjaneyasana

Known as the Crescent Moon Pose or the high lunge, this yoga position improves the blood circulation in the body.

This lunge variation helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

The Crescent Moon Pose stimulates the body to achieve calmness and relaxation while building mental focus.

Moreover, Anjaneyasana stretches your body, including the hips, legs, arms and back.

It is definitely a worth-trying position for those struggling with mental health problems.

Vrikshasana

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health - Vrikshasana

This yoga position is also known as the popular Tree Pose.

It is a basic position that helps you to achieve both physical and mental stability.

The Tree Pose stimulates the body to release emotions and cool you down.

This pose helps with mental health in many ways – mainly it helps with concentration and improves self-esteem.

After this yoga position, you will feel rejuvenated and positive.

Baddha Konasana

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health - Baddha Konasana

Also known as the Butterfly Pose, this position opens up the hips, as when we feel stressed, our bodies tend to tighten the muscles.

It actually helps to de-stress, release the tension and reflect.

The Butterfly Pose includes some elements of meditation, which also provides benefits for mental health.

Baddha Konasana helps you to achieve mental stability and feel light and relaxed.

Ardha Chandrasana

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health - Ardha Chandrasana

Better known as the Half Moon Pose, it is not a position for beginners as it requires a lot of stability.

However, it has a lot of benefits. This yoga position helps to relax all of the muscles.

Ardha Chandrasana is a calming pose ideal for people struggling with stress and anxiety.

Doing this pose improves both mental and physical balance, as well as fighting the symptoms of depression and self-doubt.

It also definitely raises self-awareness and boosts your confidence.

Bhujangasana

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health - Cobra Pose

Also known as the Cobra Pose, Miss Marta Wawrzyniak, a former IB Student likes this pose a lot as it helped her with stress and anxiety.

“It puts pressure on your back, giving you the opportunity to stretch the muscles there and think”, Marta comments.

Her journey with yoga started when Marta was put under a lot of pressure before her final exams.

“I need to say, this was one of the best decisions I made in my life.”

“Yoga is an amazing way to take you out of the current problems and helps you clear your mind.”

Marta admits:

“Yoga helped me to deal with my problems, to find solutions that normally I was too stressed to discover.”

Ardha Pincha Mayurasana

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health - Dolphin Pose

The other name for this position is the Dolphin Pose and it has several benefits for mental health.

Having your head down increases blood flow in the brain, improving your concentration.

Moreover, the Dolphin Pose can reduce the symptoms of depression and insomnia.

It is definitely a more complicated position than the others listed in the article.

Although, it is definitely a great yoga position to help with mental health once you get to grips with it.

Ustrasana

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health - Camel Pose

Known as the Camel Pose, it is a great position to release stress and uplift your mood.

For beginners, it might be an uncomfortable experience to hold this position for longer than a couple of seconds.

However, it is definitely a must to try Ustrasana if you struggle with any mental health issues.

It is believed that this position helps to release bad emotions from the body.

Virabhadrasana

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health - Warrior Pose

Many yogis call this asana the Warrior Pose. It is a relaxing exercise that helps with mental health.

The Warrior Pose helps to de-stress and focus on the breath.

It works as an anti-depressant and helps you to fight with stress, self-doubt and depression.

This yoga position helps with mental health, as it makes you more confident and it raises your body awareness.

The original Virabhadrasana includes three different variations, which all help to fight mental health problems.

Shavasana

Yoga Positions to Help with Mental Health - Corpse Pose

Commonly referred to as the Corpse Pose, it is undeniably the most comfortable and effective yoga position.

Still, Savasana is quite beneficial when it comes to mental health.

Yogis very often use this position at the end of each practice. It helps to pay attention to the breath and relax.

Corpse Pose boosts self-esteem and confidence, as well as increasing the blood flow.

It also helps with several mental health problems, such as depression, insomnia, or anxiety.

Mrs Kimberly Terry shows us the connection between yoga and mental health issues:

“For anxiety and stress, we want to calm the nervous system, which potentially can help other mental health issues.”

There are many more other yoga positions that help with mental health than we listed above.

These include Garudasana (the Eagle Pose), Chakrasana (the Circle Pose) and Matsyasana (the Fish Pose).

Overall, it can be stated that yoga is a way of exercising that is beneficial for both physical and mental health. Give these recommended poses a try and you will see the difference for yourself.

Amanda is a Journalism student at Coventry University. She speaks three languages, is interested in winter sports, music and beauty. Her life motto is: “Dream big and make it happen”.

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