Angry, tired or stressed? These powerful Yoga tips will help you conquer all
- World Mental Health Day: Yoga expert Grand Master Akshar recommends a set of asanas, pranayama, meditation, mudras and positive affirmation to help deal with our emotions better and for good mental health.
World Mental Health Day: Pandemic has had a huge impact on our mind. Many of us have not only lost touch with the outside world but also with our inner self being constantly in stressful situations. The entire world is struggling with some or the other mental health issues. The cases of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems have skyrocketed. People are feeling burnt-out and trapped. Health experts across the world are cautioning people against the ill-effects of stress on their physical and mental health. Yoga is increasingly being suggested as an alternative therapy in many ailments and a holistic solution to our mental health troubles.
"For the past 1.5 years, we are disconnected with the outside world and mental health issues like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder are on rise. Apart from these, every individual has been suffering mentally in some way or the other. Acceptance of the situation is important, only then any kind of treatment or therapy will work. One has to realise why they are feeling these sudden bouts of anger, not able to concentrate on work, being lazy and lethargic and not feeling energetic. Mood swings are happening without any reason and people are experiencing drop in the energy levels even on second and third way of the week. This impact could have been exacerbated by pandemic. Yoga can provide a solution to this," said Yoga guru Grand Master Akshar in a telecon with HT Digital.
The renowned Yoga guru recommends a combination of asana, pranayama, meditation, mudras and positive affirmation to deal with our emotions during pandemic and for good mental health.
Yoga asanas to boost mental health
Gently drop your knees down. Rest your pelvis on your heels. Keep your heels close to each other. Hold Apana Mudra. In Apana mudra, we join the tip of the middle and ring finger with the tip of the thumb to balance the Apana Vayu present in the body.
Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend)
Begin with Dandasana. Ensure that your knees are slightly bent while your legs are stretched out forward. Extend your arms upward and keep your spine erect. Exhale and empty your stomach of air. With the exhale, bend forward at the hip and place your upper body on your lower body. Lower your arms and grip your big toes with your fingers. Try to touch your knees with your nose. Hold the posture for 10 seconds.
Padahastasana (Standing forward fold)
Stand straight. Fold forward with your upper body as you exhale. Drop your head and keep your shoulders and neck relaxed. Bend your knees slightly if you are a beginner. Place palms next to your feet. Hold this asana for a while. The asana energises your body and alleviates stress. It also helps improve the blood flow.
Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
Begin by lying down on your stomach. Bend your knees and hold your ankles with your palms. Have a strong grip. Lift your legs and arms as high as you can. Look up and hold the posture for a while.
Chakrasana (Wheel pose)
Lie down on your back. Fold your legs at your knees and ensure that your feet are placed firmly on the floor. Bend your arms at the elbows with your palms facing the sky. Rotate your arms at the shoulders and place your palms on the floor on either side beside your head. Inhale, put pressure on your palms and legs and lift your entire body up to form an arch. Relax your neck and allow your head to fall gently behind.
These asanas stimulate happy hormones in our body and fill us with energy. Do each of these asanas for three minutes for one week to expect the desired result.
Pranayama for better sleep
A good night's sleep can keep many physical and mental diseases away. "When we are not able to sleep at night, our overall mental frame is affected and we become negative, sad, stressed and ill," says Grand Master Akshar. He recommends practicing Bhramari for five minutes every morning to improve the sleep quality.
How to do Bhramari
Sit in any comfortable pose such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana. Straighten your back and close your eyes. Place your palms on your knees facing up in Prapthi Mudra. Place your thumbs on the 'Tragus', the external flap outside on your ear. Place your index finger on your forehead; your middle finger on the Medial Canthus and ring finger on the corner of your nostril. Inhale and fill your lungs with air As you exhale, slowly make a buzzing sound like that of a bee, i.e., “mmmmmmm….” Keep your mouth closed the entire time and feel the vibration of the sound disseminate throughout your body.
Tratak Kriya for controlling your emotions
For those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, and feeling negative in general, Tratak can be very effective. "Practicing Tratak daily can give a 360 degree turn to your life. It is said to increase your psychic power and help you respond to a stressful situation better. No matter how the other person is communicating with you, you will feel calmness while responding to them," says Grand Master Akshar.
"It actives our pineal gland one will be able to control their impulsive reactions. Most of us are stressed because we do not know how to communicate effectively or without showing agitation and how to be a good listener. This kriya helps you with that," adds the Yoga guru.
How to do Tratak
Sit in a comfortable position and look at a lamp's flame without closing your eyes. If your eyes seem strained, you can move them a bit, but keep them opened. To look at one direction continuously is called Tratak.
Mudras for mental health
Certain mudras can help calm mind and balance blood pressure. These mudras will keep your energies balanced, neither too high or too low. Kanishtha mudra, Siddha mudra, Sahaj Shankha mudra should be practiced regularly for achieving this.
One can begin their day with positive affirmations like - 'I am good', 'the world is with me', 'I'm beautiful' or listen to something motivational that puts you in a better frame of mind.