If you are one of the few people who have managed to maintain a clean bill of health through the pandemic, congratulations. Apart from the obvious, you have also dodged several other things that come with such a diagnosis.
One of these is the sharp increase in mental health issues that studies say come with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Or maybe you’re not so lucky. Some may still struggle with mental health through the isolation and stress of the past few years.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your mental health, yoga may be a good option for you. Keep reading to learn more about yoga for mental health and why you should give this ancient practice a try.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that has been used for centuries to improve mental and physical health.
In yoga, you use different postures (asanas) and breathwork (pranayama) to unite the mind, body, and spirit. This union is thought to create a sense of balance and harmony in your life.
Yoga is often used as a form of mindfulness meditation. This means that during your practice, you focus on being present in the moment and letting go of any intrusive thoughts. This can help you learn to control and focus your thoughts, which is beneficial for mental health.
Why Is Yoga Good for Mental Health?
Yoga can be helpful for a variety of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia. It can also help to improve focus and concentration. People who practice yoga report feeling an overall improved quality of life.
One of the most important things to remember is that yoga is not a competition. There is no need to push yourself to do something that doesn’t feel good. Listen to your body and go at your own pace.
How to Do Yoga for Mental Health
If you’re new to yoga, it’s best to start with a beginner class. This will give you time to learn the basic postures and get used to the breathwork. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, there are a few things you can do to make sure your practice is focused on mental health.
First, focus on your breath. Make sure that you’re taking deep, slow breaths through your nose. This will help to control your anxiety and focus your thoughts. Second, choose postures that feel good for your body. Avoid anything that puts strain on your body or makes you feel uncomfortable.
Finally, take the time to relax at the end of your practice. Spend a few minutes in Savasana, or corpse pose. This will help to clear your mind and let go of any residual stress.
When to Seek Mental Health Services
While you can enjoy yoga therapy for mental health, it’s important to remember that yoga is not a replacement for professional help. If you’re feeling suicidal, have any other thoughts of self-harm, or have the desire to harm others, please seek professional help immediately. There’s no shame in getting the help you need to keep yourself and others safe.
Respectful and Compassionate Counseling
While yoga for mental health is a great idea, if you feel ready for depression counseling or anxiety counseling, we’re here for you. At Braden Counseling Center, we have a team of highly qualified mental health professionals who are ready to help you work through whatever challenges you’re facing. We offer a variety of services, such as individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, and more.
If you’re in the Sycamore, Rochelle, Elgin, Geneva, Bartlett, or surrounding areas in Illinois, visit us for help. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today.