As it’s World Mental Health Awareness Day (October 10th), we wanted to take some time to share the positive impact a regular yoga practice can have on your mental health and wellbeing.

In the UK, statistics from Mind show that 1 in 4 of us will be experience a mental health problem each year, and 1 in 6 will report a common mental health problem in any given week.

This can vary from depression, anxiety, mood disorders, eating disorders and many more. Whilst yoga is not a cure for any of these conditions, it can certainly benefit your wellbeing, release stress and relieve anxiety.

As we discussed previously here, there is a direct link between yoga and stress release, and likewise with stress and mental illness.

Did you know according to a recent survey, 74% of adults in the UK reported feeling so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious.

Here are just a few ways yoga can improve your mental health. Hatha Flow

Yoga is an integrative mind and body practice, combining postures, controlled breathing techniques, and often meditation or relaxation.

A regular practice can work to move you from your sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. This moves you from a state of fight or flight, to rest and digest, which is the state where successful healing can take place. In this state, you are more relaxed and less likely to feel anxious or stressed.

Yoga is proven to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, therefore releasing tension within the body.

An opportunity to put time aside in your day for you, time to relax your mind and focus on your breath.  Through this, you will learn controlled breathing techniques which can be used to release tension and tightness.

We asked our students how yoga has improved their mental health and wellbeing, here are just a few of their responses.

TTC“Yoga brings rest, release and restoration to my life.”

“It has taught me to live in the present. What will be will be.”

“Yoga eases my anxiety, helping me feel more relaxed and less stressed. It releases all the tension in my body.”

One of our students even spoke with The Yorkshire Evening Post about his experience with depression, and the benefits he found through his yoga practice. Our highlights include:

“Finding my yoga practice allowed my self-criticism and hatred gradually to ease. I could focus on poses that distracted me from my mind.”

You can read the full article by clicking here.

If you’d like to share your experience of yoga with us, click here. We’d love to hear how your practice has benefitted your life!

Which style of yoga should I practice?

There are a wide range of yoga styles available. Whether you’re wanting to be guided into a gentle and restorative meditative state or looking for a dynamic class to distract from the world off your yoga mat.

Just as everyones body is different, so are our minds and so there is no one style of yoga for everyone. It’s about listening in, it’s about focus and it’s about doing what’s right for you.

With over 40 classes per week, we have something at Yoga Kula to suit everyone of all abilities and experience levels. From your very first class or beginners course right through to training as a yoga teacher, we’d love to see you on the mat! You can view our full timetable here.