Kausthub Desikachar’s Ultimate Guide for Achieving Your Desired Mental Health in 2021
Today is going to be an uplifting day.
Have you ever noticed how you feel immeasurable solace and tranquillity within or mentally when you practice Yoga regularly?
Suppose you haven’t endured this yet, Dr Kausthub Desikachar suggests that you follow the steps below that was taught to him by his Father, TKV Desikachar who in turned learnt from his father Ācārya, T. Krishnamacharya. In that case, you can too experience your desired state of mental health.
Have you ever experienced the supernatural essence of Yoga?
For the healthiest of people, in this modernised era, the response to this question is a big ‘YES’.
Dr Kausthub Desikachar promises that it won’t be hard, but it will necessitate time.
In this blog, we’re going to figure out precisely what you need to do to overcome and beat mental health issues. But first, let’s start with the basics.
In this article, you will learn :
What is Mental Health?
What are the common warning signs of Mental Illness?
Does Untreated Mental Health affect Physical Health?
What is the Impact of Yoga on Mental Health?
How vital is Yoga in our daily life?
Is Yoga the only way to overcome mental health?
Let’s understand each question one by one.
What is mental health?
There are several definitions of the term ‘Mental Health.’ Many understand Mental health as the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is “functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment”. From the perspectives of psychology, “mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience“.
Let’s dive deep to understand more about mental health.
There is a surge of mental health issues in this current mechanical era, like anxiety, depression, mood swings, etc. The recent COVID-19 crisis has only aggravated this situation. Therapists recommend trying preventive measures and non-medicated treatments before you strive for medication.
Mental health difficulties can have an extensive array of reasons. Most likely, for many people in the contemporary era, mental health could be affected due to lifestyle factors, including work, diet, drugs, and lack of sleep. It could also be because of a combination of other factors as well that you may have encountered life events like abuse at a young age, shock, torture, social detachment or loneliness, debt, loss of someone close to you, long-term stress, unemployment, neurological condition, etc.
Dr Kausthub Desikachar wants you to understand the fact that, unfortunately, negative attitudes toward people who have a mental health condition are common today. However, Kausthub writes this article for you, primarily to disrupt this stigma, as it leads to a hesitation in seeking help and having the belief that you will not succeed at the challenges, life throws at you or that you can’t improve your situation.
Dr Kausthub Desikachar often quotes his father, Sir TKV Desikachar, “When obstacles appear, it is necessary to advance toward a state of reflection to reduce their impact and prevent them from taking over.”
It is important never to feel ashamed of the mental health condition you are facing. Don’t consider your mental health condition as a weakness or infirmity and hold it as a secret.
Kausthub Desikachar also likes how Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, says mental health conditions need a crucial reframing from “mental disorders” to “brain disorders”. Hence, stay positive and overcome this condition. Talk to someone reliable about your struggles and seek help from Therapists who can guide you and be a great support to you in the process of overcoming and winning over your mental health condition.
Now let’s understand,
What are the warning signs of mental illness?
Experiences of one or more of the following feelings or behaviours can be an early warning sign of a problem in adults and adolescents;
- Eating or sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing from people and usual activities or feeling of clinginess
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Feeling helpless or hopeless, difficulty in making decisions
- Feeling strangely confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried,
- scared, worthless, guilty, or ashamed
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends without any reason
- Undergoing drastic mood swings that provoke complications in relationships
- Getting recurring thoughts, you can’t get out of your head
- Believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Incapability to accomplish daily chores like taking care of your children or going to work or university
- Unusual smoking, drinking or using drugs”
Does untreated mental health affect physical health?
Yes, Untreated mental health conditions are a pressing complication.
Mental health state is a dysfunction that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It alters the way you eat and snooze. It changes the way you accept yourself and those around you. It even affects your ideas, can impair relationships, and cause problems at the workplace.
Without proper therapy and healing, it can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate approach and yoga therapy, however, can help people overcome any mental health condition.
Poor mental health is harmful to the physical health condition and can take a toll on your body, driving to an increased risk in certain health conditions like unstable blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol, coronary heart disease and stroke.
What is the impact of Yoga on mental health?
To understand the impact of Yoga on mental health, let’s begin with learning what the word ‘Yoga’ means exactly.
Yoga is a word that has many interpretations and implications.
Is it solely a form of exercise? Is it a religion, a philosophy, an ideology? Or is it something else entirely?
Patanjali, an Indian sage who authored, compiled the great Hindu classic: Patanjali Yogasutras, interprets the word ‘Yoga’.
yoga union; connection; the system of Yoga
Citta [of] mind
Vritti activity; movement; fluctuation
Nirodhah restraint [of]; control [of]
Patanjali defines the understanding of the word ‘Yoga’ as the ability to immerse the mind exclusively in an object of focus and sustain this connection without any distractions.
The object of focus can be a material one, either external to ourselves or part of ourselves. It can also be something beyond the grasp of the senses, such as an area of interest, a concept, or the Divine itself.
Wow, What a concept!
This is why Patanjali’s answer to the biggest question, What is Yoga, is contradictory as the answer is unexplainable, it must be experienced, and so it is with continuous practice, that you can experience the supernatural essence of Yoga.
You might have heard people referring to the mind-body connection that comes from practising Yoga. One must realise, Yoga can even help you reach the deeper elements of yourself as your heart and soul. The mental, emotional, and physical advantages of Yoga are worth practising.
Dr Kausthub Desikachar (Yoga Therapist), explains that our body and mind are subtly connected. Yoga does not separate the two as independent entities but rather sees that there is a very close connection between body, breath and psyche. From this understanding, it prescribes the tools that may appear to be addressing the physical layer of our system but also influences our breath and psyche. Similarly, when Yoga therapy addresses the mental or emotional realms, it will also have a control on your body and breath. Yoga does not approach the diverse elements of our body as separate individual parts, but rather looks at the entire human system as a holistic, interconnected existence. Hence, even certain kind of mental health conditions can be aided through yoga therapy, as long as the person can empower themselves in this practice and has a competent yoga therapist to guide them in the journey.
The top benefits of Yoga are that it calms the body through various poses while loosening tension in the hips, back, shoulders, etc.; and messages are sent to the brain that it’s okay to relax. It is well documented that these techniques reduces levels of cortisol, guiding them back to a natural mood of equanimity. The central nervous system then becomes relaxed, so you feel greater clarity and focus.
Practising yoga regularly helps your body and strengthens it gradually. It improves your confidence.
Yoga fuses numerous breathing activities known as pranayama further helps clear your mind of self-doubt. Doing these exercises will enhance your patience and sense of inner balance and help prevent anger outbursts.
How important is Yoga in our daily life?
There is a surge in acknowledging Yoga for its abundant benefits by a bounty of people in recent times. Medical practitioners and celebrities are also adopting and recommending the regular practice of Yoga.
Yoga is not a religion but is a way of living that endeavours towards a healthy mind in a healthy body. The human body is a physical, mental and spiritual being, and Yoga helps in amplifying the equilibrium between all the three. Other forms of exercise, like aerobics, gymnasium, etc.; only assures physical fitness. Yoga is not only about bending or twisting the human body and holding the breath. It is the means to bring you into a state where you see and experience reality merely the way it is.
Yoga assists in controlling an individual’s mind, body and spirit. Yoga carries the physical and mental disciplines collectively to attain a peaceful body and mind; it aids in lowering your stress and anxiety and keeps you relaxing. It also assists in increasing flexibility, muscle strength and body tone. Yoga improves your respiration capacity, energy and vitality. Practising Yoga might seem like just stretching of the body, but it does much more and alters from the way you feel, move, and even how you look. Yogaasanas build focus, strength, flexibility and confidence, and if practised regularly, it can help lose body weight, relieve stress, improve immunity and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Yoga, as an everyday practice has innumerable benefits that positively influence an individual both physically and mentally. Below are some of the numerous benefits that have been scientifically studied:
- Enhanced blood circulation
- Improves posture
- Uplifts your mood
- Lowered blood pressure
- Keeps premature ageing at bay
- Reduces stress
- Increases strength
- Anxiety management
- Better cardiovascular endurance
- Combats Depression:
- Teaches balance
- Increased immunity
- Increasing core strength
- Higher levels of pain tolerance
- Increased metabolism
- Renewed energy
- Improves sleep
- Allows- Self Acceptance
- Builds Self – Control
- Brings about a positive outlook to life
- Better concentration and focus
- Tranquillity and calmness
Yoga is a transformation that can change your life and broaden your horizons in ways you can never imagine. It is absolutely worth trying!
Is Yoga the only way to overcome mental health?
Yoga is one of the methods that helps you win over your stress, fear, anxiety, depression, etc.; an essential part of keeping yourself fit and healthy is to take care of your mental health. There are much more things you can teach to help make sure you keep yourself mentally healthy and happy.
- Love and respect yourself, and avoid self-criticism.
- Set aside time for doing the fun things you enjoy.
- Eat nutritious meals.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get enough sleep.
- Stress is part of everyone’s life. Practice excellent coping skills with Yoga.
- Smile and see happiness in life.
- Aim higher in life, but be realistic and don’t over-schedule.
- Break up your monotonous schedule.
- Avoid cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.
- Being able to volunteer or help someone can help with your self-esteem and
- make you feel good about your place in the world.
- Make little efforts to maintain good relationships and talk to people
- Whenever you get the chance.
Seek a competent Yoga teacher near you, who can offer private Yoga instruction to you, specifically catered to your mental health status. Practice everyday and boost your mental well-being. Dr Kausthub Desikachar concludes by saying, Yoga is one of the best means for improving mental health and can help you relax, focus better and overcome problems like insomnia, anxiety, fear, stress, depression, etc.
Let us know your feedback on this article if you found it valuable, share it and leave a comment. Our readers and subscribers would love to know your views.
Subscribe for blog updates on Poems, Photography, Health & Wellness, Spirituality & Culture and travel.