5 ways yoga can help mental health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that being healthy includes both mental and social well-being in addition to physical health. Our neurological and endocrine systems are the primary means by which our entire body coordinates its functions. The way these systems interact affects our thoughts and eating habits, which in turn has an impact on our hormones.
As a neuroendocrine organ, the hypothalamus serves as a link between the endocrine and neurological systems.Due to the modern lifestyle, we frequently struggle with concentration and are constantly thinking about things throughout the day. Our sympathetic nervous system frequently fires in response to negative circumstances, which raises the hormone cortisol’s release. This affects not just our blood pressure and immunity but also our salivary glands and digestion.
Driven by scientific elements that impact the activity of the brain, our autonomic nervous systems, and ultimately our general health, our awareness functions on multiple levels. Although our heart beats between 65 and 72 beats a minute on average, our brain functions on different frequencies. Brain waves that range between 13 and 40 Hz are indicative of the beta state, which is characterised by concern, stress, fear, or rage along with complete wakefulness and participation in everyday activities. Brain waves in the alpha state, which occur between 7 and 13 Hz, are indicative of a relaxed or early-meditation state that promotes creativity and learning while bringing about a sense of inner peace.
Deepening meditation, theta state (4–7 Hz) increases relaxation and connection, which promotes creativity and problem-solving while lowering cortisol and promoting emotional well-being. The greatest level of meditation, known as delta state (0–4 Hz), strengthens the immune system, encourages deep sleep devoid of dreams, and establishes a connection between the unconscious and superconscious.

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Research has demonstrated that doing yoga can dramatically lower cortisol levels, a hormone linked to stress, in the body. By regulating cortisol flow, yoga promotes mental calmness, balances hormones through its effect on the reproductive system, and enhances the quality of sleep.

The effects of yoga on mental health and cortisol levels

Research has demonstrated that yoga practice can dramatically lower cortisol levels, a hormone linked to stress, improving mental health and fostering emotional well-being.

The effects of breathing and touch on mental health

Breathing rate and physical contact have a significant impact on mental health. Thoughtful touches and embraces bring forth happy feelings, while deliberate breathing exercises bring equilibrium to the body and mind.

Yoga exercises for emotional well-being

Asanas: Posing Techniques to Reduce Stress and Tension
Yoga poses increase blood flow, reduce stress, anxiety, and agitation, and foster mental calm. Asanas such as Child Pose, Downward Dog, Tree Pose etc. can be of great help
Pranayama: Managing Breath to Maintain Balance
While controlled breathing aids in nervous system calmness, diaphragmatic breathing maintains the body’s equilibrium.

Mudras: Hand motions for mind-body harmony
Mudras create a link between the body and mind, improving mental health and encouraging inner peace.
Om chanting and meditation: Developing inner calm
Om chanting and meditation promote general well being by promoting mental calm, enhancing the quality of sleep, and balancing hormones.
Holistic Methods for preserving mental health
The benefits of yoga practices are further enhanced by mindful eating and peaceful living, which improve brain clarity and general wellness. Recognising the interdependence of the physique, mind, and society is essential to comprehending the all-encompassing concept of health. People can attain mental tranquillity and general well-being by adopting mindful living and yoga practices into their daily routines.
(Article Courtesy: Ranjana Chhabra, a professional Yoga Therapist)

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