Can Yoga Improve Our Mental Health?

May 21, 2023

Can Yoga Improve Our Mental Health?

Hey there Yogis!

Did you know that nearly one in five Americans lives with a mental health condition? That includes any mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder such as depression, anxiety, mood disorders, eating disorders, trauma, among others. 

So, for this Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to talk about how yoga can significantly improve our mental health and quality of life. 

Slowing down the breath and focusing on the present shifts the balance from the sympathetic nervous system and the flight-or-fight response to the parasympathetic system and the relaxation response. This calms and restores the body and the mind, and lowers heart rate, blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the vital organs.

Yoga also generates balanced energy, vital for the immune system. Daily practices inhibit feelings of fear, aggression and rage and stimulate the areas of the brain responsible for pleasure and bliss. The result is lowered anxiety and improved depression.

Not only that, but yoga helps build muscle mass and increase flexibility, improving general wellbeing and contributing to higher self-esteem and confidence.

We all deserve to live happy, healthy lives. Yoga is an excellent option to fulfill many, if not all, of your needs for care and wellbeing.

I. A quote by Emmanuel Carrère

"Meditation is to see things as they are. Meditation is to detach yourself from your identity. Meditation is to discover that you are something other than what keeps saying: me, me, me, me! Meditation is discovering that you are something other than your ego. Meditation is a technique to erode your ego. Meditation is to dive into and become grounded in the setbacks of life. Meditation is non-judgment. Meditation is mindfulness. Meditation is observing the points of contact between what is you and what is not you. Meditation is the cessation of mental fluctuations. Meditation is observing those fluctuations that we call the vritti in order to calm them down and ultimately eliminate them. Meditation is to be aware that others exist. Meditation is to dive inside yourself and dig tunnels, build barriers, open new circulatory pathways and press for something to be born and flow into the great open sky. Meditation is finding within yourself a secret, radiating zone where you can feel good". 

― Emmanuel Carrère, Yoga

II. Lotus Pose: Padmasana

As important as the lotus flower is in Hindu imagery, Lotus Pose is an important foundational pose in yoga practice. This seated posture boasts many physical and energetic benefits: it can help improve circulation in the lumbar spine, stretch the ankles and legs, and increase flexibility in the hips.

A regular practice of this posture aids in overall blossoming of the practitioner, just like a lotus; and hence the name Padmasana.

How to Practice Padmasana

III. Ted Lasso | Series

This show follows Ted Lasso, an American college football coach who is hired to coach an English soccer team with the secret intention that his inexperience will lead it to failure, but whose folksy, optimistic leadership proves unexpectedly successful.

The show destigmatizes mental illness in a workplace setting, sweetened by comedy and Ted's folksy American witticisms. It explores Ted's panic attacks after he spends decades bottling up trauma from his father's suicide when he was 16. Ted also struggles with an impending divorce from his wife and separation from his young son in the U.S. while he works in England.

Despite his internal sadness, Ted personifies optimism, positivity and empathy. He also hangs a big sign saying "Believe" in the locker room. He taps it when hoping to win a game or achieve a goal. "I think it's the lack of hope that comes and gets you. See, I believe in hope. I believe in belief", he says. 

Ted Lasso has not only not shied away from discussing mental health, it has championed those discussionsEveryone should watch it!   


We hope you enjoyed today's post. Please, don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts and suggestions. We would love to hear from you.

We'll get back to you shortly Yogis! 


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