Benefits of Yoga | Yoga for better mental health: increase confidence and develop new skills with these yoga asanas

Mental Health Benefits Of Yoga And Yoga Asanas For Mental Health Photo credit: Getty Images


  • Yoga is a healthy exercise routine that engages the mind and body
  • A yoga guru shares with us the different yoga asanas that can be helpful in improving your mental health, self-confidence and skills.

New Delhi: Yoga is the most dynamic and scientific process that can be used for the holistic evolution of man. Yoga is unmatched in its wonderful ability to channel energy or balance chemicals in the human body. This is the reason why yoga is known as the best medicine. It is the only tool that can heal, nourish, while allowing self-discovery.

Yoga prompts your brain to release chemicals that cause a relaxed and calm state of mind. These “happiness hormones” such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins not only help you relax, but also reduce your stress and anxiety. It builds self-confidence, makes you feel good about yourself.

The yogic practices of asanas such as Bakasana, Shirshasana and the practice of meditation like Tratak on Flame correct any unfairness such as bodily imbalance, physical or mental frailties, as they correct the sensors present in the body. It can give you an immediate understanding of the added value yoga brings to your life by improving your physical and mental faculties.



Posture training

  • Start with Samasthithi
  • Lean forward and place your palms flat in front of your feet but slightly away from them
  • Your fingers should point forward and they should be spread apart
  • Bend your elbows slightly and place your knees just below your armpits
  • Lean forward so that your full body weight is shifting to your arms
  • Find your balance and slowly lift both feet off the ground. Gather your feet
  • Straighten your arms as much as possible
  • Focus on one point and hold this asana for a while


  • Strengthens your wrists and arms
  • Tones your waist
  • Your sense of balance, focus and coordination improves by practicing this posture regularly

Chakrasana – Pose of the wheel


Posture training

  • Stand on your back
  • Bend your legs at your knees and make sure your feet are firmly placed on the floor
  • Bend your arms at the elbows with your palms facing the sky. Rotate your arms at shoulder level and place your palms on the floor on either side next to your head
  • Inhale, put pressure on your palms and legs and lift your whole body to form an arch
  • Look back and relax your neck as you let your head gently drop behind
  • Your body weight should be evenly distributed among your four limbs
  • Hold the asana for a while

Methodology of breathing: Inhale as you lift the body

Kapal Bhati


In Sanskrit, “Kapal” means skull and “Bhati” means “to shine / illuminate”. Hence, this Kapalbhati Pranayam is also known as the Breathing Skull Breathing Technique.


  • Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan, or Padmasana)
  • Straighten your back and close your eyes
  • Place your palms on your knees up (in Prapthi Mudra)
  • Breathe in normally and focus on the exhale with a short, rhythmic and powerful breath
  • You can use your stomach to forcefully expel all the air from the diaphragm and lungs by compressing it
  • Inhalation should happen automatically as you decompress your stomach.


  • Strengthens and stimulates the digestive system and abdominal muscles
  • Strengthens nasal passages and clears blockages in the chest
  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Improves skin tone and brings radiance to the face
  • Increase memory power
  • Gives mental clarity and helps overcome stress and depression
  • Removes any extra fat from the body

Tratak on Flame Tratak

Tratak is a Sanskrit word meaning “to look”.

Equipment needed to practice

  • A comfortable mat to sit on
  • A mud diya (or lamp)
  • Ghee or oil
  • Cotton wick
  • Match sticks
  • Stool or desk


  • Prepare the diya by first placing a wick on the diya, then add ghee or oil from above
  • Turn on the diya and place it on the desk or stool
  • Make sure the flame is directed towards you and at eye level i.e. the flame should be aligned with your eyes
  • Start by sitting about 4 to 5 feet from the flame. The distance varies depending on your height. You also shouldn’t sit too far or too close
  • Make sure your neck is not strained as you watch the flame
  • Sit in any comfortable position (preferably Sukhasana or Padmasana)
  • Lengthen your spine and place your palms on your knees up
  • Join your index finger and thumb and hold Gyaan Mudra
  • Draw your gaze to the flame and direct all your attention to it
  • Observe how the tip of the flame moves
  • Try not to blink as much as possible
  • If you catch your thoughts wandering, bring them back to focus on the flame.
  • After your practice, close your eyes for a while and release the tension in your eyes if there is any.

Flat / direction: Facing east


  • Improves concentration
  • Clear the mind of unwanted thoughts
  • Induces positive thoughts
  • Brings your mind to the present and makes you more aware
  • Reduces stress
  • Calm the mind

Duration: A beginner should practice at least five minutes a day. The duration should gradually increase as the ability to concentrate develops. There is no maximum limit to the duration of the practice. The more you practice, the more you will benefit.
According to clinical studies conducted on groups of samples, there was a clear difference between those who practice yoga and those who do not. Regular yoga practice of Yoga can cause an increase in the volume of gray matter located in the brain. It can improve your focus, increase your IQ, and increase your memory. Yoga is also known to help you improve your decision-making and body-mind coordination.

The techniques of Surya Namaskar, Kapal Bhati, the Tratak practices of the sun, the moon and the flame, etc. can bring your inner potential to the surface. Asanas like Bakasana, Bal Bakasana are known to improve your concentration and memory capacity. It builds determination, determination, and keeps you on the path to achieving your goals. The very practice of yoga instills a quality of discipline in you as you work out consistently and regularly. By adding value to your physical dynamics, you explore and develop your latent skills. The fact that yoga has 84 lakh asanas proves that this ancient practice endorses the belief in the infinite possibilities of human potential.

(Disclaimer: The author, Grandmaster Akshar is a yoga master, spiritual guide and lifestyle coach. He is a guest contributor and part of our panel of medical experts. Opinions expressed are personal)

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