The Link Between Yoga And Mental Health.

Yoga has become an integral part of wellness practices over the past decades, and its growing popularity worldwide is bringing it closer to more people than ever before. More than simply being a way to keep fit, yoga is also a form of meditation and a lifestyle that has multiple benefits that modern science is only now beginning to discover.

In an earlier post here on the Almost Essential blog, we listed down ways on how life can be made easier while we are all stuck at home. Now that our routines have changed drastically, it is of utmost importance that we take care of ourselves. We can do that through recharging our bodies, but that is just one of the many physical benefits of yoga — alongside increased flexibility, better core strength, and healthier posture, among others.

However, the pros of yoga definitely go beyond the physical. As a mind-body practice, yoga is well known for being able to unify the body and spirit and help practitioners find inner peace. Lifestyle blog Daydreaming in Paradise has a piece on the many spiritual benefits of yoga, including fostering a sense of connection and healing.

In fact, The BMJ published a study that evaluated the motivation and perceived health benefits of yoga to more than 2000 practitioners. The participants reported significantly higher rates of positive health behaviours, proving that consistently practising yoga can improve mental well-being.

Perhaps the most widely known mental health benefit of yoga is its ability to reduce stress. A study published in Occupational Medicine evaluated different research studies that focused on yoga in the workplace. The findings show that in general, yoga has a positive effect on the employees’ health, particularly in reducing their stress levels.


Researchers from the Research Council for Complementary Medicine in the UK have also found a distinct link between yoga practice and depression. Through reviewing research efforts, they found that yoga-based interventions were actually feasible options for the treatment of depression. Although the results varied depending on the specific methodology, the overall conclusion was that yoga had a positive effect on people living with depression.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The positives of yoga also extend to treating people who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers at the King’s College London assessed whether yoga can alleviate symptoms of various mental disorders, including post-traumatic disorder. After conducting the methodology and comparing the results of the yoga group and the control group, they found that yoga moderately reduced the depressive symptoms, and even greater improvements were seen in those who participated in more yoga sessions a week.

Eating Disorders

German researchers from the University of Witten/Herdecke and the University of Duisburg-Essen recently conducted a study on whether yoga could help mitigate the symptoms of eating disorders. They compared groups practising yoga to control groups, involving a total of 495 participants in eight randomised trials. Although the effects of yoga were generally found to be minimal, the researchers did write that yoga could be considered an additional treatment option for persons suffering from eating disorders.

Content intended only for the use of By Blanch Mann

For Almost Essential recommended yoga teacher click here