Yoga as a Mental Health Tool

Yoga: an overview

Yoga has become a mainstream workout method in many gyms, but the practice is an ancient one with roots in India. The exercise is a philosophy that combines postures, breathing techniques and works in meditation. There is no singular form of yoga and it is performed in several different styles. The most common yoga style in the West is Hatha yoga. The Hatha category includes Ananda, Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kripalu, Viniyoga, and some others.

Yoga is a calming practice that goes hand in hand with meditative practices. Scientific studies usually discuss the exercise as a low-impact way to reduce physical ailments and improve functionality. A study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) found that 90 per cent of people with chronic lower-back pain felt significantly less pain after six months. The study not only showed improvements in lower-back pain but with depression. According to a study by Sherry A Glied, PhD, at Columbia University, and Richard G Frank, PhD, at Harvard Medical School, the rate of diagnosed mental illnesses doubled among adults 65 and older and by 60 per cent among adults aged 18 to 64.

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