Mental illness in city dwellers which has emerged as a major problem can be treated to an extent through yoga, say experts. Though mental illness, as such, cannot be directly treated through yoga, stress, which one of the major causes, said mental health expert Prakriti Poddar in a telephonic interview.
“Stress is one of the major factors that leads to depression and you can deal with stress through yoga. You can learn to calm your responses by extending your reaction time, thereby giving you better control on your emotional reactivity.
She said that Yoga asanas like Surya Namaskar, Warrior Pose, Tad Asana, Trikonasana and Pranayam could help a person cope with depression and stress. “Depression is one of the major diseases of the developed world and it is triggered off by one’s inability to cope with stress – emotional and physical. Yoga helps you to calm your nerves, increase your mental strength and help you deal with situations,” she explained.
Poddar said that migration of work force from rural to urban areas also triggered depression. She said that there are studies on stress due to different kind of struggles one has to face due to the migration. This includes financial, emotional and physical stress.
“Often situational stress assists it, as people move from a robust support system to a limited one. Loneliness steps in as the sense of belonging depletes,” she stated.
Children can also be taught yoga form a young age to help them cope with pressures. She further said that most companies are now incorporating a well-being programme to provide a holistic approach towards the well being of employees.
“Yoga has become a part of corporate wellness programs and has huge benefits for the employees as it lowers stress levels, relaxes the mind, makes the body flexible and invites an overall feeling of well-being. This improves the performance of the employee and promotes a sense of friendship,” she said.
Children can also be taught yoga form a young age to help them cope with pressures, personal and professional, when they attain adulthood. According to various studies, around 14 per cent of the global burden of disease is attributed to neuropsychiatric disorders.
Mental health literacy among adolescents is very low and only 29 per cent could identify depression while others remained unaware of the problem. Parental disharmony, peer pressure and examination stress can trigger off depression in children.