Last year, United Nation and International community has celebrated and declared 21 June as International Day of Yoga. Yoga have its origin in ancient India. It is defined as specific physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines that are practices in order to establish a state of permanent inner peace . The Yoga Sutras define the technique as follows:

  • yama (universal ethics), 
  • niyama (individual ethics), 
  • asana (physical poses), 
  • pranayama (breath control), 
  • pratyhara (control of the senses), 
  • dharana (steadiness of mind), 
  • dhyana (meditation), and 
  • samadhi (bliss).

The word Yoga means union of personal consciousness with cosmic one. Considering mental health, this union can be viewed as union of thought and affect as well as mind and body. Since last three decades emerging evidence are coming from scientific literature that Yoga is effective in various psychiatric disorder. 

How it works ?

Most of the scientific research has shown that Yoga may have work via regulating HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary
axis) and sympathetic system. Yoga reduced the cortisol levels in blood which are involved in negative emotions and other health problem like cardiovascular diseases. Mindfulness defined as “the process of thinking and felling about oneself". If we includes other in this process then it is called as Mentalization. These process alter brain neurotransmitter and receptors specially GABA, Serotonine, NE, DA in such a manner that it decreases stress and anxiety symptoms.  These process also alters the brain waves especially alpha and theta wave.  As Mindfulness is an integral part of many Yoga techniques. In long term mindfulness reduces the stress signalling molecules and increases dopamine in amygdala. This in turn help in regulating emotions, mood and anxiety.

Mental health condition showing effectiveness of  Yoga 

Study have shown that Yoga is effective in building positive health in healthy individual. Other study has shown that Yoga improves general health, improve physical health and sleep related problems, lowers stress and promote social function. It is also effective in anxiety and depression,OCD, PTSD, Psychosis, Substance use disorder etc.