Yoga for Mental Health - Mental and Physical Benefits of Yoga

Yoga for Mental Health: Mental and Physical Benefits of Yoga

By Faye Martins, Sangeetha Saran, and Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP 

To give a general overview of the benefits of yoga for mental health: Yoga is an effective form of treatment for various mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Several studies have shown that yoga can help to reduce anxiety levels and help people to cope with anxiety disorders. Yoga can also help to improve moods and reduce stress levels. Yoga has also been shown to help treat PTSD. Several studies have found that yoga can help to reduce the symptoms of PTSD and help people to cope with the condition. In addition to the mental health benefits, yoga can also lead to physical benefits. Yoga can help to improve flexibility and muscle strength and can also help to improve posture.


Why Do People Practice Yoga?

Health and well-being top the list of reasons why people practice yoga. Several benefits have been associated with practicing yoga, including improved mental health. Yet, mental health is not considered important until we encounter a problem. Some of the many mental health benefits linked to yoga are listed below.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

When considering methods to reduce stress and anxiety, there are few things as effective as yoga. Yoga has been shown to help improve mental well-being and reduce stress and anxiety levels. A recent study showed that yoga could be more effective than medication for treating anxiety. Yoga works by calming the mind and body and promoting relaxation. It does this by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps to regulate the nervous system. Yoga also helps to reduce cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. There are many different types of yoga, so it’s important to find one that you enjoy and that suits your level of fitness. Yoga is an effective, natural way to improve your mental health.


Improved Mood

Yoga has a lot to offer when it comes to improving your mood. The benefits of yoga are well-documented, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving sleep and increasing energy levels. What exactly is it about yoga that can so effectively improve your mood? There are several reasons why yoga is such an effective mood booster. First, stretching and moving your body can help to release tension and improve circulation, both of which can help improve your mood. Additionally, focusing on breathwork in yoga can help regulate the nervous system, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. Finally, the mind-body connection cultivated through yoga can help increase mindfulness and awareness, leading to a more positive outlook on life.

Enhanced Well-Being

Mind-body interventions like yoga can be effective in enhancing well-being and treating mental health conditions. Yoga may help to improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, and increase self-esteem. Yoga is a form of exercise that involves physical, mental, and spiritual practices. The physical component of yoga includes postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama). The mental component includes focusing on the breath or a mantra (repeated phrase or saying), and the spiritual component includes connecting with the inner self. Yoga is an effective intervention for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia. Yoga can also help to improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, and increase self-esteem.


Increased Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is our sense of worth or value as individuals. It’s how we feel about ourselves. When we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to feel confident and secure in who we are. We feel good about our accomplishments and accept our limitations. We have a positive outlook and bounce back from setbacks. Yoga can be a great tool for increasing self-esteem. The physical postures (asanas) help to build strength, flexibility, and body awareness. The breath work (pranayama) helps calm the mind and focus inward attention. The meditation practices help to still the chatter of the mind and connect us with our true nature, pure consciousness. When we practice yoga regularly, we start to see ourselves in a different light. We become more accepting of ourselves and others. Let go of judgment and negative self-talk. Become more compassionate and loving toward ourselves and others. Our self-esteem gradually increases as we develop a greater sense of who we are.

Improved Sleep Quality

There are several things that yoga can do for your mental health, but one of the most important is improving your sleep quality. This is because when you get better sleep, you can function more effectively during the day and manage stress more easily. Yoga works to improve sleep quality in a few different ways. First, it helps to regulate the hormone levels that influence sleep, such as cortisol. Second, it promotes relaxation and reduces stress, which can help you fall asleep and stay asleep more easily. Third, it allows you to move your body and release any physical tension that might keep you up at night. If you want to improve your sleep quality, there are a few particularly effective yoga poses. One is the Supported Forward Bend, which helps to lengthen the spine and relieve any tension in the back or neck. Another is the Child’s Pose, which calms the nervous system and allows the mind to quiet down. Finally, the Legs Up the Wall pose can help to reduce stress and promote a restful night’s sleep.


Physical Health Conditions

An increasing number of scientific studies are beginning to show what yogis have known for centuries: yoga benefits mental and physical health. A recent review of over 100 studies on yoga and its health benefits found that yoga can be helpful for a wide variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, stress, and trauma. Yoga has also been beneficial for several physical health conditions, including chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. One study even found that cancer patients who practiced yoga had a better quality of life and less fatigue than those who did not practice yoga.


High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common condition that can lead to serious health problems if left uncontrolled. Hypertension is often caused by stress and anxiety, making yoga an ideal treatment option. Studies have shown that practicing yoga can help to lower blood pressure by relaxing the body and mind. Yoga poses particularly beneficial for hypertension include forward bends, such as Paschimottanasana and Halasana; inversion poses, such as Sarvangasana and Viparita Karni; and restorative poses, such as Viparita Karani and Shavasana. Breathwork is also an important part of yoga for high blood pressure, as deep breathing can help to lower heart rate and calm the nervous system. Talk to your doctor before starting a yoga practice if you have high blood pressure.


Heart Disease

Yoga is beneficial for heart health in several ways. Studies have shown that yoga can help to lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Yoga can also help to improve circulation, increase cardiac output, and reduce oxidative stress. These effects can help to improve overall heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, contributing to better heart health. Yoga has also been shown to boost mood and reduce symptoms of depression, both of which can impact heart health.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a common problem that can be difficult to treat. Yoga is a popular form of exercise that effectively reduces chronic pain. A recent study found that yoga was more effective than other forms of exercise in reducing chronic low back pain. Yoga may be effective for chronic pain because it helps to improve flexibility and increase range of motion. Yoga also helps to improve muscle strength and endurance.


Source of Pain

Chronic pain is often due to a cause, such as a pinched nerve in the spine. However, chronic pain can also be associated with mental health issues such as stress and anxiety. Yoga can help to improve mental health by reducing stress and improving mood. Yoga may be an effective treatment option if you suffer from chronic pain. Talk to your doctor about whether yoga is right for you.

Yoga for Mental Health Conditions

Yoga has long been used as an adjunct therapy to treat various mental health conditions. Studies have shown that yoga can effectively treat anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Yoga is beneficial for mental health because it can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Yoga may also help to improve mood and increase feelings of well-being. Additionally, yoga can help to increase self-esteem and body awareness, and it may also help to reduce negative thinking. Several different yoga poses can be beneficial for mental health. The most commonly used poses include forward bends, downward facing dog, and child’s pose. Yoga has been used as an adjunct therapy for the following conditions.



Yoga is known to help with a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety. Studies have shown that yoga can help decrease anxiety symptoms and even be as effective as medication in some cases. Several different yoga poses can be helpful for anxiety, and it is important to find a pose that works for you. If you are new to yoga, starting with a basic pose, such as the Warrior II pose, is best. This pose helps to ground you and provides a sense of stability. Once you are comfortable with the Warrior II Pose, you can move on to other yoga poses that are more challenging, such as inversions or arm balances. These poses help to increase your strength and flexibility and can also be very calming for the nervous system. Yoga is not only a great way to reduce anxiety, but it is also a great way to improve your overall mental health.


ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a mental disorder that affects millions of children and adults worldwide. Symptoms of ADHD include problems with focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Yoga is an effective treatment for ADHD. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry found that yoga can help improve symptoms of ADHD by increasing mindfulness and improving executive function. Other benefits of yoga for people with ADHD include reduced stress, improved sleep, and increased self-awareness. If you or someone you know has ADHD, try yoga to improve symptoms and overall mental health.



If you’re one of the millions who suffer from insomnia, you know how frustrating and exhausting it can be. A good night’s sleep is essential for our mental and physical health, but when we can’t get to sleep or stay asleep, it can take a toll on our well-being. Thankfully, there are things we can do to help improve our sleep, and one of them is practicing yoga. Yoga has many benefits for mental health, and research has shown that it can also be helpful for those with insomnia. One study found that when insomniacs did yoga Nidra (a form of guided relaxation), they slept better and rested more during the day. Another study looked at people with sleep problems who took a yoga class twice a week for eight weeks. These participants improved their sleep, had less anxiety, and felt more energetic during the day.

Eating Disorders

Yoga can help to regulate the appetite and digestive system, which can be particularly helpful for people with anorexia nervosa who often have disturbed eating patterns. Yoga can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, which are often triggers for disordered eating. The physical movement of yoga can also help to release pent-up emotions and feelings, which can be therapeutic for people who have been holding in their feelings for a long time. The mindful nature of yoga can also help people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings, leading to greater insight into their disorder.



Depression is a mental health condition that can cause many symptoms, including low mood, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. While there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for depression, yoga may be an effective complementary treatment for some people. Yoga is beneficial for mental health in general and specifically for depression. A large review of research found that yoga may help treat mild to moderate depression.

Negative Emotions

Research has shown that yoga can help reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions. There are many different types of yoga, so it’s important to find a style that you enjoy and that suits your needs. If you’re new to yoga, it might be helpful to try a beginner’s class or an introductory session with a qualified instructor. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can practice at home or attend regular classes.



Here are some things to remember if you consider using yoga for depression. First, it’s important to understand that yoga isn’t a substitute for professional medical help. If you’re experiencing serious symptoms of depression, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. Second, while yoga can help manage stress and anxiety, it’s not always the best option if you’re agitated. In these cases, it might be more helpful to take a walk.


Yoga is especially beneficial for those who have experienced trauma. Trauma can lead to various mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Yoga can help to reduce the symptoms of these disorders and can also help to promote healing. There are many different types of yoga, so it is important to find a style that suits you. If you have experienced trauma, choosing a class specifically designed for people who have experienced trauma is advisable. This will ensure that the class is safe and supportive.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division


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Related Studies

Naveen, G. H., Rao, M. G., Vishal, V., Thirthalli, J., Varambally, S., & Gangadhar, B. N. (2013). Development and feasibility of yoga therapy module for out-patients with depression in India. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 55(Suppl 3), S350–S356.

Cramer, H., Lauche, R., Langhorst, J., & Dobos, G. (2013). Yoga for depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Depression and Anxiety, 30(11), 1068–1083.

Balasubramaniam, M., Telles, S., & Doraiswamy, P. M. (2013). Yoga on our minds: a systematic review of yoga for neuropsychiatric disorders. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 3, 117.

Ravindran, A. V, & da Silva, T. L. (2013). Complementary and alternative therapies as add-on to pharmacotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders: a systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 150(3), 707–719.

Varambally, S., Vidyendaran, S., Sajjanar, M., Thirthalli, J., Hamza, A., Nagendra, H. R., & Gangadhar, B. N. (2013). Yoga-based intervention for caregivers of outpatients with psychosis: a randomized controlled pilot study. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 6(2), 141–145.

Cabral, P., Meyer, H. B., & Ames, D. (2011). Effectiveness of yoga therapy as a complementary treatment for major psychiatric disorders: a meta-analysis. The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, 13(4).


Yoga for Mental Health: Mental and Physical Benefits of Yoga
By Cathy H. Jones

Living in today’s fast-paced world can be very stressful. People go through their lives without having time for rest. One would think that life would be much simpler and more relaxed after all the technological advancements. However, life has become busier with all these new technologies. Even if you are always piled up with work at the office, or you always have to travel from one place to another, not for leisure but business, it is still important to take time for yourself. Doing some yoga is a good way to make your free time more relaxing. The primary focus of yoga is on the general well-being of the individual. Yoga is good for mental health and stress reduction, as it encourages the mind to focus and relax.


Positive Thoughts

Doing some yoga, whether in a class or at home by yourself, can have a lot of positive benefits for your overall mental health. Yoga can help your mind relax, and by constantly engaging in both the physical and mental practices of this discipline, you will find it much easier to deal with stressful situations. Yoga for mental health offers so many benefits. You learn how to quiet your mind so that you can focus your energy on being at peace. While work and other worldly endeavors are an important part of your life, it is important to feel from time to time that work is not all there is in the world. By doing yoga, you can focus on positive thoughts, let go of all the bad energy and focus on things that make you happy.


Feel Good

Doing yoga for fitness is beneficial for your body as well as your mind. Yoga will keep you physically fit, improving your body’s flexibility and overall health. Yoga significantly improves energy, vitality, and respiration. By doing yoga, you can lose a lot of weight, which helps improve your metabolism. When you feel good about the way you look physically, and when you constantly think positive thoughts, you will be much more satisfied with your life. Yoga for mental health may be one of the best things you can do for yourself. Go for a session or two of yoga over the weekend, and you will find that you are much more alert and energetic when you return to work. Yoga for mental health will also help you become much more alert, and mental alertness can help a lot as you go about your daily activities.

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