Yoga and mental health have gone hand in hand for hundreds of years. People have practiced yoga for centuries to not only attain physical health, but mental and emotional health as well. Whether you’re simply seeking more psychological and emotional balance, or you’re seeking relief from the serious effects of mental illness, yoga can be the path you’ve been looking for to achieve your goals.
Yoga and Mental Health
Mental health is a term generally used to describe one’s psychological and emotional well being. Being mentally healthy is more than just the absence of mental illness; it’s a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being. It’s the ability to enjoy life, function well in society, bounce back from adversity, and go through every day life with little or no difficulty. Lots of things can adversely affect your mental health, including negative experiences in your family, at work, in relationships and past trauma. One study showed as many as 65% of individuals who practiced yoga for three months reported improvements to their mental health and general well-being.
Yoga and Mental Illness
Mental illnesses are health-related conditions in which a person’s behavior, mood or thinking affects their ability to function normally. Mental illness can generally be classified into six categories: mood disorders (such as depression and bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders (such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD), Schizophrenia, eating disorders, personality disorders, and organic brain disorders. One study showed that after three months of yoga, study participants reported their depression improved by 50% and their anxiety improved by 30%. Other studies of individuals with bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia also reported a significant drop in levels of anxiety, depression, anger, tension, hostility and fatigue.
Yoga’s Healing Impact on Mental Health and Mental Illness
To understand the healing effect of yoga, you have to understand its origins. Yoga is a centuries-old practice based on the Eastern idea that health is based on the body and mind working in harmony. Illness is caused by any physical, psychological, environmental, nutritional or spiritual influence that tips this balance and creates an imbalance or “disharmony.”
It’s easy to asses your physical health, but assessing your mental health is more difficult. There is no test or procedure to determine the condition of your mental health. However, if you’re feeling unhappy, unbalanced and unable to function at your optimal level, then yoga can help return the balance you need and improve your mental health.
Mental illness, on the other hand, is a medical condition that can be tested for. Yoga should not be used as a sole remedy for mental illness, but it is a very effective complement to professional mental health treatment. There many studies that support yoga’s ability to alleviate symptoms of mental illness, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and more.
Yoga Therapy for Mental Health at Casa Palmera
Our bodies and minds hold on to the past, creating blockages in energy flow that can aggravate existing emotional and mental issues or lead to new ones. Regular, long-term practice of yoga therapy can be a powerful tool for emotional healing and maintaining mental and physical health by releasing these blockages and relieving stress.
At Casa Palmera we believe that treating a person’s entire well-being — their physical, mental and spiritual health — is the fastest path to mental health. Yoga is not a cure for mood and mental disorders, but it helps alleviate the symptoms and is a great complement to traditional mental health treatments. If you’re suffering from a mental health disorder and would like more information on holistic forms of treatment like yoga, Call Casa Palmera today.