In this blog, I am sharing a comprehensive list of yoga asanas for mental well-being. Practicing these basic and easy asanas will surely help you to boost your mental health.
I often hear people saying that it doesn’t work, we don’t get the time and it takes a lot of effort. Because we usually seek quick-fixes and fast-relief.
With the decreasing attention span and increasing intolerance, we are gradually heading towards a world full of restless minds and excessive stress. You can be anxious and confident at the same time, you can feel depressed and yet work at the same time, but you cannot be angry and level-headed at the same time.
Yoga Asanas for Mental Well-Being and Emotional Health
The magical benefits of Yoga are known to the world. It is known to improve strength and flexibility and it also has immense benefits for mental health ranging from improving mood, concentration, relieving stress, and anxiety.
In my blogs, I often talk about reclaiming your lost inner-space and I hardly skip to mention the power of exercise, meditation, and mindfulness. Yoga is a discipline and it is for everyone who wants to make wellness a priority in their lives.
Now with wellness, we often stress over losing weight or gaining strength which is also a good thing but what we miss out here is the weight we need to lose first, which is the weight of loads of accumulated stress, piled up responsibilities, and duties, lack of managing expectations and unfulfilled goals.
Now the million-dollar question, how can be practicing yoga asanas for mental well-being help you develop equanimity? Yoga has properties of both the physical fundamentals of humanity and spiritual uplift. A classic blend of knowledge, karma, and devotion. It can help you to disengage from external factors that cause stress to you.
9 Easy Yoga Asanas for Mental Well-Being you must try
Now before you begin, let me tell you you don’t have to be a yogi or yogini to reap the benefits of yoga. Yoga is an effective tool to calm the mind and strengthen the body, irrespective of your expertise level, your gender, and age.
Also, keep it as simple as possible, create your own atmosphere, and don’t be intimidated by the fancy yoga studios and stress over complicated poses. Yoga is for everyone. Here is a list of 9 easy yoga asanas for mental well-being:
Disclaimer: It is important to consult your physician before beginning yoga if you have never done it before and also if you suffer from some underlying illness. Make sure that your bowels and stomach are empty before you perform any asana. It might be a good idea to give a gap of a few hours between your last meal and the exercise.
|1.) Chandra Namaskar|
|3.) Adho Mukha Asana|
|5.) Prasarita Padottasana|
1.) Chandra Namaskar (Moon Salutation)
You must be well aware of sun-salutation, but we hardly talk about moon-salutation. Like sun-salutation, each step is coordinated with breathing. The difference between moon salutation (yin) and sun solution (yang) is that the latter about the heat, light, and activity in our lives, and the former is about calmness, cooling-off, and meditation.
Moon Salutation for mental health:
Moon Salutations are used to calm the mind and draw your awareness inward. It helps you in channelizing the lunar energy; which has cool, relaxing, and creative qualities. The best part about Moon Salutation is that the slow stretches allow you to connect with each part of your body and bring your maximum awareness to it. It stretches the spine, hamstrings, and backs of legs; strengthens leg, arm, back, and stomach muscles.
2.) Chakrasana (Wheel pose)
Chakrasana is extremely beneficial for those who usually hunch over the desk all day long. The backward bend in the pose will relieve tension or stress from the body and help in decreasing the ailments arising out of it. One of the best yoga asanas for mental well-being is also helpful in strengthening and toning your muscles.
Chakrasana for mental health:
Chakrasana relieves you from anxiety, stress, and other emotional problems rewarding you with good mental hygiene. Here is how; while you perform Chakrasana the blood is directly flowing to the brain cells oxygenating them. It not only rejuvenates you physically but also recreates the scope of filling you with immense peace reconnecting you with your inner self.
3.) Adho Mukha Asana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Adho Mukho Asana is very easy to follow and is a part of many sequencing exercises too. This asana has numerous amazing benefits that make it extremely essential for you to practice it every day. The best part is, even a beginner can get the hang of this asana with great ease.
Adho Mukha Asana for mental health:
Adho Mukha asana helps in reducing anxiety by helping you relax and calm down. In this pose, as the neck and cervical spine are stretched, stress is released from the muscles. The stretching through the pose releases endorphins that help relax your body and mind.
4.) Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
One of the best yoga asanas for mental well-being, as it provides a deep stretch to our entire body. It is very effective for people suffering from various blood and glands-related disorders such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Paschimottanasana for mental health:
Paschimottanasana helps to relieve mental and physical stress thereby calming the body and mind. It stimulates a smooth flow of blood to the entire body thereby energizing the cells of the whole body especially the mind. Proper blood circulation relaxes the body and mind which in turn helps one in reducing mental ailments like stress, insomnia, and other such disorders.
5.) Prasarita Padottasana (Wide Stance Forward Bend)
Prasarita Padottanasana is like an energized version of yoga that helps in increasing blood circulation to the brain while stretching the legs, arms, and back of a person.
Prasarita Padottasana for mental health:
Prasarita Padottanasana is an easy and effective pose for letting go of symptoms of anxiety and mild depression. This practice energizes and reduces fatigue. In addition to the mental benefits, physically the pose uses your body weight to release tension in the back, while also providing a nice stretch to the hamstrings and calves.
6.) Balasana (Child pose)
Balasana is a forward kneeling asana in modern yoga as exercise. It is very easy and can be practiced by anyone. Balasana is performed preceding and following various asanas including Sirsasana as it is a resting pose.
Balasana for mental health:
It is a very effective pose for relieving anxiety and restlessness. It helps you to calm down as you kneel in this asana with your closed eyes. It helps in releasing the tension at the back, spine shoulders, and chest.
7.) Viparitasana (Legs up the wall pose)
This one is my daughter’s favorite, although she does it for fun along with me, the benefits are cathartic. It is one of the most effective yoga asanas for mental well-being. It is done fully supported pose using a wall and sometimes a pile of blankets.
Viparitasana for mental health:
Viparitasana is a simple but effective anxiety-alleviating yoga that helps relax and calm the mind and stimulates the nervous system. It also regulates blood flow and is helpful in treating depression and insomnia.
8.) Halasana (Plough Pose)
Halasana may look slightly difficult but is super effective with calming your brain and therapeutic for your back. An inverted pose would require you to keep your hands on the floor, raise your legs and place them right behind your head.
Halasana for mental health:
Halasana strengthens and opens up the neck, shoulders, abs, and back muscles. It is very helpful in calming the nervous system, eventually reducing stress and fatigue. Besides this, it is helpful in strengthening the immune system and improved flexibility.
9.) Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Last but not the least, never underestimate the power of one of the easiest yoga asanas for mental well-being anybody can do, but hardest among all because you just have to lie down and bring all your awareness to your body. In hatha yoga and modern yoga, Savasana is often used for relaxation at the end of a session. It is the usual pose for the practice of Yog Nidra meditation.
Savasana for mental health:
Practicing Savasana relieves physical and mental stress that builds during a workout session. It puts your body to rest after the rigorous stress your body goes through after a strict exercise routine. It brings back the body balance by allowing it to rest by focusing on the flow of your breaths.
In the end, I would say that doing a few forms of asanas on a regular basis has been shown to enhance brain wave coherence and improve functions such as memory and intelligence. It has been ages since people practice restorative Yogasanas and have benefitted in their life.
When you can not go outside, you can always turn inside and work on your internal repair, which will ultimately help you to build resilience for the coming future. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay fit. Rise up!
Love and light!
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.