Top 4 Yoga Benefits for Mental Health and Anxiety

Apr 7 01:59 2022 Gurdeep Saini Print This Article

Yoga is a group of practices that are beneficial, helpful and mind-enriching. Yoga originated in India or the Indian subcontinent.


Yoga is a group of practices,Guest Posting many of which those beneficial, helpful and mind-enriching practices that originated in India. The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means connection or fusion or to join; it simply refers to ‘uniting’ our individual souls to the almighty cosmic soul. It is a very vast term, covering a lot of practices and knowledge. It is the science of inner well being. We can understand more clearly about yoga if we about how it came to be and what is the history of yoga.


VEDIC AND PRE-VEDIC PERIOD: The history and origin of yoga closely relate to the Vedic and pre-Vedic periods, in the Indian subcontinent. The earliest mention of the word yoga is found in “Rig-Veda”, dating back to 1500 BC. However, to determine the exact date and timeline of Vedas is difficult since before being written down, Vedas were orally passed on from one generation to another. PRE-CLASSICAL PERIOD (UPANISHAD ERA): Roughly between 700 BC and 500 BC Upanishads took birth. Out of the 108 Upanishads, there are 20 Upanishads describing yoga. They talk about different elements of yoga such as pranayama, pratyahara, Yama and dhyana. CLASSICAL AND POST CLASSICAL PERIODS: Classical period saw many significant developments and additions in the whole philosophy of yoga. Lord Mahavira and Lord Buddha both spoke about meditation as a way toward enlightenment. Lord Krishna also taught about a number of variations of yoga in “Bhagawat Gita”. They were Dhyana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga.

Another notable and significant development that took place during this time was the Patanjali’s ‘Yoga Sutras’. Sage Patanjali was the first to systematize the whole philosophy and practice of yoga. He introduced Ashtanga yoga or the ‘eight limbs of yoga in his Yoga sutras. Later in the classical period, many other sages and yogis contributed to Yoga. Moreover, Hatha yoga, which includes the practice of asana, grew up to be more popular and to date is the most popular form of yoga.

MODERN PERIOD: Yoga practitioners of recent times like Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Vivekananda were some of the first yogis who introduced the concepts and philosophies of yoga to the western world. However, yoga today is basically comprehended by most people as a bunch of different poses and different breathing exercises and meditation. But in reality, is much more.

On the surface, it may look like it is just a bunch of different postures, that are found to have therapeutic effects but yoga and meditation have much more depth to them. Both, mental and physical health can be improved by practising yoga.

Yogic postures or the ‘asanas’, meditation and breathing techniques or the ‘pranayam’ are the limbs of yoga that help one to get in the best of mental and physical conditions.

Stress, anxiety and depression are a few of the psychological disorders that are taking their toll on a larger part of the population. Yogic asanas and pranayams are said to provide benefits to people suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. 

Following are the ways in which practising yoga is good for mental health:

  1. IMPROVED MOOD: Firstly yoga involves asana and they are a form of physical activity any physical activity improves the oxygenation of the blood and more oxygenated blood is circulated to your brain. Feel-good chemicals or endorphins are released during this process. So in a way, feeling good is an instant benefit of practising yoga asana.
  2. EASE ANXIETY: Yoga includes breathing exercises which are known as Pranayama. Anxiety can be helped by practising these pranayamas regularly.
  3. IMPROVED SLEEP: Almost half the population suffers from sleeplessness at some point in their lives. Meditation is extremely beneficial when it comes to releasing tension and producing a state of comfort, both of which are ingredients that are required for a good sleep. Racing thoughts and stress-induced due to them are some of the reasons behind sleeplessness. Getting efficient and skilled in practising meditation enables one to control and comprehend thoughts and emotions in a better way hence preventing sleeplessness.
  4. REDUCES STRESS AND DEPRESSION: Yoga asana and dhyana (Meditation) help bring a balance to the hormonal imbalance as during meditation one truly doesn’t keep track of things that stress them. Moreover, it brings a sense of happiness due to the happy hormones that get released during meditation.

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Gurdeep Saini
Gurdeep Saini

ADDA YOGA is a prominent yoga studio in Bali.

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