I would like to share with you how yoga changed my way of thinking and in addition to that –my life. There is nothing more important than that, because our life, mental state and well-being needs to be our priority. Many people are obsessed about their physical appearance and care less about more important thing, which is happening in our mind. Mind is very powerful “thing” and if we don’t take care about it, it can lead to many diseases, like: depression and anxiety, diabetes, obesity, asthma, gastrointestinal problems etc. Yoga for Patanjali is made of instructions and directions how to live a life which will lead us to total freedom (as a pure being without the stress and diseases caused by it.
Since I started to follow those directions my life become much better. For example when I was going through some difficult times it teach me not to complain and not to give up, but just keep going and better times will come. I become vegan because of the rule of “non- violence” which says not to hurt yourself or any living being, not only with the action but with the thoughts as well, which made me love myself more and be more careful and loving to others. I used to shop a lot and accumulate many things and in that way trying to fill some holes and insecurity’s in me, which lead me to being more and more unhappy, but by learning Aparigraha, I decided to stop accumulating stuff and the ones I have it’s already enough.
Here are some Asanas that help you to improve your mental health, clear your thoughts and focus on what matters:
1.Balasana or Child’s pose
- It helps cure constipation, promotes digestive processes and most importantly, stimulates nervous system and helps reenergize your body
- Get down on your knees and keep your spine erect
- Now, begin bending forward so that your thighs touch your chest and your
forehead touches the ground beyond your knees.
- Straighten your arms by the sides of the body
- Your palms should face the floor.
- Retain the pose for around 20-25 seconds
Balasana is a simple pose to perform, but keep in mind:
Use pillows instead of resting your head on the sweaty yoga mat or floor.
Don’t perform this pose if you suffer from diarreah, hypertension, heart problems
or a knee injury.
2.Uttanasana or Standing forward bend pose
- This is another great pose for improving your mental health and treating symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Stronger calves, hamstrings and hips, knees and thighs
- Stimulates digestion by massaging your organs
- Helps to push mucous from the lungs
- Helps to relax your central nervous system and calms the mind
- Reduces and relieves stress effectively.
- Helps reduce insomnia, fatigue and headache.
1.Begin by standing straight.
2.Keep your hands on your hips and inhale.
3.Extend your hands out above you and while you exhale bend your torso forward.
4.Keep going until your hands come to rest on the ground next to your feet.
5.If you find this too difficult to do, you can alternatively hold onto the elbows.
6.You have to ensure that your knees remain straight at all times.
7.Hold this pose for around 10-15 seconds and release.
8.Use your abs to exit this position
3.Shavasana or Corpse pose
- This pose is used to end almost all yoga routines and is an excellent pose for meditation
- It helps boost your mental health by helping you meditate and eases your body
- Savasana is an excellent way to relax the body
- It helps curb the spread of indigestion, constipation, diabetes and asthma as well
- This asana not only improves concentration, but also boosts mental well-being, while relaxing your body
- Helps stimulate blood circulation.
- Lie down on your back and keep your body straight.
- Your hands should be at the body’s sides
- Keeping your palms pointed upwards and close your eyes
- You can consider counting your breaths.
- Hold the position for a minimum of 5 minutes
Try breathing faster or deeper if you feel sleepy
Begin your yoga session with this pose and aim to wind up with the same pose.
The best thing about this pose is that you can perform this asana from the
comfort of your bed.
It’s important to do practices as much meditation as well, in fix and neat place. One of
meditation I would recommend is Breath awareness meditation. Is a type of mindful meditation
that encourages mindful breathing. Breathing is slow and deep and the goal is to focus only on
breathing and to ignore other thoughts that enter the mind. This meditation reduce anxiety, improve concentration and greater emotional flexibility. Food and water intake is also important.
Sattvic food are the foundation of the yogic diet and preferred by yogis, and digest, such as
fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and herbal tea. Water intake should be moderately. It is
recommended to drink a small glass of water half an hour before the yoga practice. Drink as little
as possible during yoga practice and preferably not at all, and not to drink very cold water. It is
recommended not to drink for 15 minutes and eat for half an hour after the yoga practice to let
the body calm down again.
I would recommend yoga to everyone, because it will only bring benefits and improve way of living, but there is a thing to have in mind, it is not easy. All the best things in life come with hard work, but it’s definitely worth it!
Author Bio: Zlatka is an International School Teacher and recently completed her yoga teacher training with Yoga India Foundation in Rishikesh. She is very passionate about traveling, teaching and implementing mental health care and yoga into her life and work.