While it’s a well known fact that yoga is beneficial for the body, new studies are now showing that yoga may help fight major mental health disorders. I think the whole of the yoga community already knew this fact, but to see it published in professional print is something else entirely. As a young yogi, I can honestly say that yoga may have saved my young life, or at least my mental health. Countless personal stories reveal that yoga helps to balance one’s life. That’s crazy to think about, right? The idea that practicing a series of poses can help a person’s physical, mental, social and psychological health is really nuts. But yoga is so much more than cool-looking poses. The first thing a yogi does when he or she starts a practice is frees their mind. Breathing becomes a focus of the mind. Breathing connects the mind to the body, and life starts to fade away. That’s also a crazy thought: letting life fade away for however long the practice is, to work on oneself. It’s selfish, even, taking time out of the day to devote solely to oneself. But, studies now show, the benefits are endless to the practice, including opening up extensive mental progression. It has positive effects on mild depression, sleep complaints and “improves symptoms associated with schizophrenia and ADHD in patients on medication.” The review of the studies found that “yoga influences key elements of the human body,” elements that help out the mind in “similar ways to that of antidepressants and psychotherapy.” While drugs and therapy is expensive, yoga is relatively affordable, and it doesn’t have to be done alone. Not only is yoga great for the body, but its benefits of the mind are of even more importance and recognition.
As yoga has become an international sensation, it becomes apparent now why the attraction is so high: everyday it seems, more benefits are discovered in the 5,000-year-old Indian practice.