5 Beginner Friendly Yoga Asanas to Improve Your Mental Health

5 Beginner Friendly Yoga Asanas to Improve Your Mental Health

If you are someone who wants to practice yoga but confused about what yoga asanas you should practice, then you can start with one of the yoga asanas below.  Here are five beginner-friendly yoga asanas that you can practice to improve your mental health.

1. Uttanasana (standing forward bend pose): 

The name Uttanasana (Uth-thA-nA-suh-nuh) is derived from the Sanskrit words Ut (meaning intense), Tan (meaning stretch), and Asana (meaning posture). This pose is also highly recommended for people who are fighting mild depression.

How to Do It:

Start by standing straight on your mat and resting your hands on your hips. Inhale. Exhale and gently soften your knees and bend forward, folding from your hips. Keep bending. Then, bring your hands to rest on the ground next to your feet. Hold the pose for 10-15 seconds. Keep your knees straight.

Mental health benefits of Uttanasana:

It calms the mind.

It helps in the treatment of symptoms of headaches, and insomnia.

It helps relieve stress, anxiety, mild depression, and fatigue of the body and mind.

2. Shavasana (Corpse pose):

Shavasana is a pose of total relaxation that is usually practiced at the end of yoga routines.  This pose is also called Mrtasana (pronounced mrit-TAHS-anna, mrta meaning death) It is the simplest asana in yoga.

How to Do It:

Lay flat on the ground.  Stretch your legs out and relax your legs. Keep your hand on the sides. Let your palms face upward. Close your eyes. Meditate. Count your breaths. Continue breathing for 5 minutes.

Mental health benefits of  Shavasana:

  • It calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.
  • It relaxes the body.
  • It reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia.

Related Article: Yoga and Mental Health

3. Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose):

Viparita karani is a simple yoga pose but it has pretty amazing benefits. The name has been derived from Sanskrit word viparita meaning ‘inverted’ or ‘reversed’ and karani meaning ‘to do’ or ‘a particular practice’. It allows the blood to circulate to every part of the body. 

How to Do It:

Find an open space near the wall. Exhale. Lie on your back. You can use a cushion to support your back. Place your buttocks a little away from the wall or press them against the wall. Inhale slowly. Use the back of your legs to press against the wall and tilt toes towards your body. Close your eyes and breathe. Stay in the position for at least five minutes. Focus on your breathing.

Mental health benefits of Viparita karani :

  • It helps in the treatment of depression and insomnia.
  • It helps to soothe and calm the mind.
  • It has therapeutic benefits for anxiety.

4. Chakrasana (Wheel pose):  

 “Chakrasana” comes from the Sanskrit words “Chakra” meaning “Wheel” and “asana” meaning  “Pose”. It is also  known as Wheel Pose. This k mi is known to give the spine great flexibility.

How to Do It:

Lay down on the ground.  You may bend your knees so that the soles of your feet are on the floor and closer to your buttocks. Place your hands behind your shoulders, near your ears and ensure your fingers are opened up and pointed towards your shoulders. Once you feel comfortable in this stance, balance your weight on your limbs.

Mental health benefits of Chakrasana:

  • It works as a stress buster.
  •  It relaxes the whole body.
  • It releases fatigue, depression and tension.

5. Garudasana (Eagle pose):

This pose requires you to breathe while holding your body in balance.  It helps you build your balance and core strength.

How to Do It:

Breathe in deep, shift the weight of your body onto one leg. Slowly wrap one leg around the other. Sink your hips and gently bend your knees. Keep your ankle flat on the ground. Bring both arms out in front of you and parallel to the floor. Wrap one arm around the other at the elbows and wrists. Keep your breathing even and slow. Hold 5-10 breaths.

Mental health benefits of Garudasana:

  • It helps prevent anxiety attacks.
  • It improves focus.
  • It develops better concentration.

In this pandemic, these yoga asanas are the perfect solution to relieve your stress from the comfort of your house. These easy to follow light exercises can do wonders for your physical as well as mental health. So, we recommend you give it a go!

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