Mental Health and Yoga
Mental and physical health are intrinsically linked. Yoga uses physical movements to evoke long lasting positive mental change.
The art of yoga is thousands of years old, however, the science of yoga as a potential treatment for anxiety is a relatively new concept to the west. Since the 1950s yoga has rapidly become common practice in many western cultures. Whether as an exercise suggested by a doctor or as a mindfulness practice suggested by a counsellor, the west is catching up with the east by integrating yoga as a part of the healing vocabulary. This has led researchers to take an interest in the subject, to see if the anecdotal positive effects of yoga on mental health can be observed in reliable and replicable studies. Finding yoga as an effective treatment for mental health would be good news for professionals as yoga is cost-effective and has no side effects, compared to many pharmacological options.
Click on the headings below to find a review of research on the topic.
There are various reasons for depression, regardless of the cause, it has been found that yoga is an effective solo or additional treatment for those with depression. Tools developed through yoga practice, such as regulating the breath and thoughts, gives practitioners greater control over their mood.
Yoga uses mindfulness to connect the practitioner’s mind to their body and the world around them. As well as encouraging more curiosity and control over their thoughts. Yoga is an excellent tool in defence against intrusive thoughts and physical symptoms of anxiety.
Each person’s experience of addiction is unique to them, as is their yoga practice, which is why yoga is a fantastic option for treatment alongside classic talking therapies or support groups. A class can be specifically tailored to tackle addiction based on research, however, the student will take what they need from each class on their journey of recovery.
Yoga is beneficial as an additional treatment for eating disorders because of the tools taught during class, such as mind-body connection and self-regulation. The tools help practitioners to question and reject intrusive thoughts. A yoga class specifically for those with an eating disorder is tailored to suit their needs and based on current research to work towards long term change.
These are just a selection of mental health concerns which yoga has been found to help the symptoms and treatment of. Please get in touch to find out how yoga can help you or your patients with their mental health.