Yoga therapy for mental health has become more widely available in recent years. It’s not hard to see why. It can be a great approach to improving mental health by getting someone in touch with the connection between their mind and their body. Yoga therapy for mental health draws on a number of techniques, such as yoga poses, breathwork, meditation, and relaxation.
While it may look and sound similar to the yoga people practice in studios or with at-home videos, yoga therapy for mental health is specially applied to treat a mental health problem. Notably, it is also conducted in partnership with a trained clinician.
Yoga Therapy For Mental Health
Yoga therapy for mental health is typically practiced one-on-one with just a therapist and a client present. However, it can also be used in a small group setting. The group setting can, in fact, be beneficial for participants as it adds a communal aspect to the healing process and can even encourage accountability among participants.
Several different techniques are foundational to yoga therapy for mental health. These are:
- Yoga postures
- Breathing exercises
- Guided imagery
- Relaxation exercises
It is the combination and application of all of these techniques that sets yoga therapy for mental health apart from standard yoga classes that people sign up for. Those can be helpful for people in a number of physical and mental ways. But they should not be confused with a therapeutic application of yoga.
The poses and exercises used in yoga therapy for mental health are designed to maximize mind-body functioning. Another aspect of yoga therapy is knowledge and self-understanding. While practicing yoga therapy, the clinician will often explain how a certain posture or technique is targeting a specific symptom. For example, when doing a child’s pose or a tree pose, the therapist may explain how they relieve anxiety.
Benefits of Yoga Therapy
Yoga therapy benefits are numerous. Many of the benefits of yoga therapy stem from its intentional focus on the connection between the mind and the body. The four top benefits of yoga therapy are explained below.
1. Integration of Mind and Body
Yoga therapy focuses on the mind and the body at the same time. Many people live a large portion of their lives without recognizing the connection between the mind and body. Practicing yoga therapy for mental health helps people develop a powerful mental/physical awareness that can help them be more mindful in their daily lives.
2. Physical Benefits
Even though yoga therapy leans into the mind-body connection, it often produces numerous physical benefits. For starters, doing yoga is a form of exercise. Thus, someone who does it regularly will see improved strength, balance, and flexibility. It can also have more wide-ranging physical impacts, helping with issues like pain, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.
3. No Side Effects
Medication is a go-to treatment for mental health. It is often quite helpful. Yet it can also cause a range of side effects. Yoga therapy is naturally side-effect free.
4. Alternative Option
Traditional forms of therapy may not be the right fit for everyone. Yoga therapy for mental health offers another option that can provide meaningful progress.
Experience Yoga Therapy Benefits at Serenity Grove
Another significant yoga therapy benefit is just how widely it can be applied. Yoga therapy can treat many different mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, phobias, bipolar disorder, and more. It is also applicable in treating substance abuse. In fact, its versatility makes it an excellent option for people with a dual diagnosis.