In today’s day, where our lives are filled with work, and we are directly or indirectly consuming content packed with negativity, horrors and cruelty, the state of our mental health often takes a hit. Every day we start to wake up tired, spend days without any motivation or enthusiasm, and our brains are riddled with a gazillion different pessimistic thoughts. Now, while it is normal for you or any individual to go through some bad days once in a while if this is the persistent, perpetual state of your mind, the effect will gradually start to reflect on your physical health.
However, studies have shown that, apart from therapy, certain yoga asanas have shown tremendous efficacy in calming minds and overall improving a person’s mental health.
Have a look at these four yoga asanas that will enhance your mental health and help you get rid of all the stress, anxiety and negative thoughts:
This is a form of yoga that every instructor and even doctor swears by. Studies have shown that regular pranayama practice in the mornings before you start the day can single-handedly decrease stress levels, improve sleep quality, help in mood regulation and stress management and enhance cognitive performance. There are different types of pranayama like Anulom Vilom, Bhramari and Dirga Pranayama that you can try. How to do Anulom Vilom:
- Sit erect on the floor with your neck, shoulders relaxed, and legs folded. Place your palms on your thighs, near your knees.
- Block your left nostril using your left thumb and inhale through the night nostril. Hold for a few seconds.
- Now, block the right nostril with the left middle finger, open the left nostril and exhale.
Also known as sleep meditation, Yoga Nidra is one of the ancient yoga asanas used to alleviate anxiety symptoms through deep relaxation. Its effectiveness has been scientifically proven through multiple studies. The steps involve lying down on a mat and getting yourself in a state where you are in a conscious but deep state of relaxation or sleep. A state where your brain is calm, and no thoughts are racing through it- the theta state.
It is a highly effective yoga asana that positively impacts your mind and your body. To make the low lunge:
- Start in the Downward dog pose.
- Exhale and bring your left foot between your palms and extend your other leg back until you feel a slight stretch.
- While inhaling, brace your core, lift your hands and join them over your head. They should be touching your ears.
Called the Dancer’s pose and derived from Bharatanatyam poses, this standing asana requires you to build strength and balance. It will strengthen and tone your shoulders, hips, thighs and arms. One of its most significant benefits includes an improved concentration and attention span resulting in less stress. How to do Natarajasana:
- Start in the tree pose position.
- Bend your right knee and start extending it back towards your buttocks.
- While doing so, raise your right hand and hold your right big toe. Your elbow should be towards the sky.
- Extend your other hand forward for balance. Gradually, with practice, you will be able to touch your foot to your head.