Lots of people say that yoga has helped them with their mental health. On a physical level, there is evidence to suggest that it calms your nervous system, making you feel more relaxed and less anxious.
By doing yoga you are actively deciding to take care of your body, which may also help promote healthy eating and exercise habits, and improve your sense of self-worth. One of the big ideas behind self-care generally is the notion that you deserve that care, and you are worthy of the time and effort you spend on it, and yoga can help remind you of that.
Many of the moves, such as the Warrior pose, are uplifting and empowering, and could help to not only release knots or tension, but improve confidence. You can find information about yoga on the NHS website and try yoga out for free on YouTube.
In the following video, Lorna, who works at the Centre and leads yoga sessions for staff, tells how the combination of stretching and breathing helps her clear her mind:
What young people have told us:
'I think it helped because it made me feel relaxed and like I was taking care of my health. This encouraged me to do it more often, especially in the morning as I think it's a great way to wake up the body and begin the day.'
'Forget 'norms' and who you think should be doing yoga. try it!'
'Yoga helped me to learn to calm down and relax and also strengthen my body and mind. Also, i had a sport's injury so i couldn't run and was limited to the time i spent outdoors due to covid-19. Yoga can be done indoors and at anytime and with little or no equipment.'
There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.
If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.