Life is certainly stressful – we all feel it. But for some people the ill feeling goes deeper than stress. Anxiety and depression are born of chemical imbalances in the brain, creating stress, desperation, sadness, and lethargy that may not accompany an identifiable source. With yoga, you can practice certain poses to not only relax you, but help relieve anxiety and ease physical tension, improving your mental health.
In today’s blog post, we cover four yoga poses for mental health you can start practicing every day. Improve clarity and peace in your life with these simple asanas.
Child’s Pose is a versatile, soothing pose that yields multiple health benefits. It can prevent constipation, supports healthy digestion, and reduces bloating. It also promotes core strength and stimulates the nervous system, which will calm and re-energize your body and mind.
Perform this pose by resting on your knees, spine straight. Then, bend forward until your thighs meet your chest and your forehead kisses the ground. Allow your arms to rest by the sides of your body, your palms facing the floor. Rest for 20-25 seconds for best results.
Legs Up the Wall/Viparita Karani
Viparita Karani or “legs-up-the-wall” is great for improving blood circulation and stimulating the nervous system, relaxing your mind, calming anxiety, and treating insomnia. A restorative pose, people who suffer from joint pain, headaches, migraines, and other maladies will benefit from practice. It will make you feel like a different person with 10-15 minutes of holding it per day.
To get into Viparita Karani, lie on the floor, facing the ceiling. Place your hands under your body, palms up. Hold your hips, balancing on your arms and elbows, and raise your legs slowly upward until they are resting against the wall at a right angle to your torso. Rest your arms alongside your body. You can add cushions under the neck and back to improve comfort.
Standing Forward Bend Pose/Uttanasana
This therapeutic pose can abate effects of depression and anxiety, along with easing stress, migraines, insomnia, and fatigue. Other perks are that Uttanasana can build stronger calves and hamstrings and stronger knees and thighs.
Perform this pose by standing straight with your hands on your hips. Inhale and then extend your hands above you, bending your torso forward on the exhale. Let your hands fall as you bend forward, allowing your hands to rest on the ground. You can also just hold your elbows. The important part is that you keep your knees straight. Hold for 10-15 seconds.
Most yogis love this pose as it usually indicates the end of a yoga session where you can just exist and breathe deeply in this meditative state. Ideal for improving mental health by helping your release and ground your body, Shavasana should be an integral pose in your yoga toolbox.
Performing this pose is very simple. Lie down on your back with your body straight, hands at your sides, palms upward. Close your eyes and count your breaths as you drift slowly into staying in the moment, mindful and relaxed. We recommend you hold this pose for at least 5 minutes for optimal effects.
Although medication and counseling should also be considered foremost for anxiety and depression, yoga is the perfect supplement. Use these yoga poses for mental health to keep yourself relaxed, grounded, and feeling hopeful, even when times are tough. For more ideas about yoga poses for health, contact us today.