6 Top Yoga Asanas To Improve Mental Health
By
Dr G Om Prakasham
Chairman, Lotus Wellness
Consultant Cardiac Surgeon

“Yoga for mental health”, yes this sounds a bit odd, but it does work. We will see some of the yoga poses that are good for health and when we say overall health it means both mind and body. 

In today’s world where people are living their lives comparing theirs with others on social media platforms, this comparison has led to a lot of stress and mental health issues. 

Many people do not have the vision to do something good with the life which has been gifted to us. Instead of being sad and unhappy after comparing ourselves with others, understanding that, not everyone lives a similar life would be healthier attitude.

We need to learn to make something beautiful out of what we get from this life. Comparison and then getting stressed and depressed about it is not the solution. 

It is said that a fine balance between mind and body is important to make a beautiful life, no matter what comes in your way; you are capable enough to turn it into something beautiful and worth it. 
And, for this ,one needs to have a healthy mind and body, everything else , your skill, your knowledge, your education, your degree or education are all secondary. If you can handle your body and mind and work with a balanced approach, you will feel like you are ready to face everything that comes your way, you will naturally do things for your betterment and for others too.

You can start with some of the yoga asanas to balance your mind and emotions and work on your overall wellbeing of both body and mind. 

How Yoga asanas can improve our mental health?
We can talk about the benefits of yoga asanas and how yoga benefits our minds and bodies, but you will understand once you start experiencing all the benefits we are about to talk here when you start practising it. You will see and feel those changes in your mind and body, and when you experience it, you are welcome to write a blog or post on this topic. 

Benefits of Yoga for Mental Health
1. Calms your mind: One of the main reasons that medical expert suggest their patients to practise yoga asanas is because yoga asanas include breathing exercises and correct postures which help to calm your mind and body. Yoga poses can also help to deal with mental health issues like panic attacks and anxiety attacks.
• Increases your Focus: People who are suffering from ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) should practise yoga poses. Yoga poses can help people with ADHD disorder to be able to focus more and to relax the mind and body at the same time. Yoga poses can help people to enhance their focus and attention capabilities. 
• Yoga improves your mood: Do you know that when you exercise your brain releases healthy brain chemicals like dopamine and endorphins which are happy hormones. Therefore, it is good to exercise because this helps to deal with depression and stress. Yoga asanas help you to balance your mood, which helps you to see more clarity while making a decision. 
• Boost your confidence: Many people do not feel confident because of stress, anxiety and depression. If you practise yoga asanas, you can deal with these issues and this helps you to boost your confidence. Practising yoga asanas on a daily basis helps to centre your body and mind and develop it slowly. Also, deep breathing yoga asanas calm your mind and helps you to get rid of self-doubt and brings about clarity. 
• Improve your patience level: When a person suffers from depression, stress and anxiety, the chances of that person losing their temper and getting angry in a situation where it does not even matter becomes common.This can hamper your mental state and your relationships with other people as well. Yoga asanas like Pranayama that include breathing exercises help you to clear your body and mind. 
These asanas are not just about being fit, these yoga poses help improve your mental health and helps you to feel more patient and prevent an angry outburst.

Top 6 Yoga Poses for Mental Health
1. Anjaneyasana: This is also known as “the high lunge” pose. This yoga asana is helpful to calm your mind and to increase the blood circulation. 

2. Natarajasana: This yoga asana is also known as“the dancer’s pose” . This asana is extremely beneficial for people who are suffering from anxiety and depression. 
If you have any knee or ankle injuries do not practise this asana. Also, do this asana under the supervision of a Yoga expert and try not to practise this asana too early, else it can be really harmful to your body.

3. Adho Mukha Vrksasana: This is headstand and it is important to do this asana correctly with the help of a yoga expert, especially if you are a beginner. This asana prevents stress, headaches, and calms your mind. Also, this asana helps to increase the blood circulation and to strengthen the shoulder, wrists and arms.  

4. Garudasana: Garudasana is also known as the eagle pose, and this asana helps to get rid of stress and anxiety attacks. Garudasana also improves your focus and requires breathing while you are holding your body and trying to balance it.
If you feel pain while practising this asana do not practise this asana and do this under the eyes of an expert because Garudasana demands focus and balance and it is necessary to do it slowly and correctly.

5. Savasana: Savasana is a simple way to feel relaxed while taking a nap. In this, you just need to lie down on the floor, loose up your body, close your eyes and just relax. Savasana is also known as “the dead body pose.”

6. Virabhadrasana: Virabhadrasana is helpful to improve your focus, balance your mind and stability. Also, this is helpful to open up your chest, hips and lungs. Virabhadrasana also helps to energise your entire system and make you feel active throughout the day.   Virabhadrasana is also known as “the warrior pose.” If your body is shaking while practising this pose then do not hold it for too long. And make sure you breathe evenly, and your ankles are in line with your knees. 

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