“How Yoga Can Improve Our Mental Health”

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States, and we’re sharing this short video in which counseling psychologist and yoga professional Michael de Manincor, PhD, explains how yoga can support mental health and well-being. 

“Yoga is a methodology—it’s a system—that not only brings about benefits in terms of physical health, but its real benefit is in the area of mental health,” de Manicor says in the video. “Many people who practice yoga report significant benefits in what we might call mental health. The mind and the body are not separate; if we do something to the body, it will affect how the mind works.”

He goes on to explain, however, that yoga is “something that is not just [about] the mental health benefits of doing a physical yoga practice; yoga is a multidimensional approach.” This includes both working on the body to benefit the mind, and working on the mind directly to improve mental health. 

But what style of yoga will have the most benefit in the area of mental health? “A comprehensive approach that works on body, breath, and mind,” says de Manincor.

“We might be doing practices that are techniques of yoga postures and how we do them is very important—that will affect the mind. How we work with our breathing is also going to affect the mind; and then how we use different types of meditation techniques—that will also affect the way the mind works.”

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