Yoga and Mental Health

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I practice yoga and I find that it helps slow down my thought processes and relax my body. I find that it also helps me stay in the present, particularly when I am practicing a certain yoga position. Staying focused in my balance and endurance allows me to stay in ‘the now’. I believe taking a moment in your day to leave your thoughts at the door and focus on the present can be a very positive experience for anyone’s mental wellbeing.

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An article in the Toronto Sun indicates that a study has proven yoga to help with mental health conditions. In particular they found that yoga had a positive effect for individuals with mild depression, insomnia and improved symptoms for schizophrenia and ADHD (QMI Agency, 2013). Click here to view the article.

In the Yoga Journal, they feature an article discussing yoga and mental health. They quote a professor of psychology and psychotherapist, Dr. Eleanor Criswell: ” “Yoga is incredible in terms of stress management. It brings a person back to homeostasis [or equilibrium]. For people who have anxieties of many kinds, yoga helps lower their basic physiological arousal level.”” (Yoga for Mental Illness, 2013) However, Dr. Sophia Reinders, a psychotherapist from San Francisco, warns that yoga can also bring out an array of emotions from joy to fear or sadness. She emphasizes that for individual’s with mental health conditions, it is important to build up to be comfortable with these emotions and to work closely with a therapist so this technique does not emotionally backfire (Yoga for Mental Illness, 2013).

 

Brahinsky, R. (2013). Yoga for mental illness. Retrieved from http://www.yogajournal.com/for_teachers/1915

QMI Agency. (2013, January). Yoga can help with mental-health conditions: Study. Toronto Sun. Retrieved from http://www.torontosun.com/2013/01/25/yoga-can-help-with-mental-health-conditions-study

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