30 Apr Yoga and Mental Wellness
Mental health improvement (we’ll call it mental wellness) is one area where yoga absolutely
shines. Mental wellness issues include anxiety and depression, which affect one-in-four people in
Australia. Yoga is playing a starring role in treating these issues, managing their effects and re-
occurrence further down the track.
That’s because a big part of yoga is meditation. If it sounds a bit hippy-dippy, bear with me. Yes,
meditation can involve incense, chanting, and bells, but it is generally a way of keeping your
brain focused and grounded. Think of it as cleaning your mind, just like you clean your floors. If
you don’t vacuum or sweep for a while your floors will accumulate some stuff you don’t want or
need (ie. crap). This then gets in the way and makes it difficult to enjoy the stuff you do want.
The meditation part of any practice or class can be confronting. I used to be guilty of slipping out
of the room once it was time for Shavasana. Now it’s my favourite part of the class. I’ve found the
methods used in meditation are handy for dealing with pointless work meetings, cranky people,
traffic jams — any stressful situation.
Yoga and meditation ultimately help you slow down, something we could all benefit from. The
modern world is crazy-busy, which for a long time was seen as a state of being that equalled
success. Thankfully, more and more people are starting it realising that doing more doesn’t mean
they are doing well.
If you’re having a bit of trouble keeping on top of your mental wellness introduce a bit more yoga
and meditation to your routine. Also, have a look at Beyond Blue. This Australian organisation
has some easy-to-follow, non-judgey information on anxiety, depression and more.