Yoga and Mental Health

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A person in such state is called a healthy person or Swastha. In this definition, Samadosha indicates the normal condition of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The imbalanced conditions that is either lower or higher condition is a state of disease. Likewise, Samagni means the normal condition or quality of the body’s Agni, the power or energy. If the Agni is abnormal and in low quality, it is called Mandagni. Mandagni also brings the state of disease. Ayurveda describes 7 types of body’s components which are called Sapta-Dhatu. These seven Dhatu includes Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Medas, Asthi, Majja and Shukra. All these components should be in balance and their functions must be proper, otherwise it is the abnormal state of health. The elimination of wastages is called Mala-Kriya. The balanced state of the Mala like Purisa (faeces), Mutra (urine) and Sweda (Sweat) in the body also determines health or illness in the body. Ayurveda gives equal importance to the mental health. The Sutra gives more emphasis to the mental well-being. If a person wants to be healthy, his sensory and motor organs and mind have to be in happy and pleasant conditions instead of griefful, sad and imbalanced mind which leads to psychosomatic diseases. Unhealthy body and mind do not play any role in the overall development of an individual, a society and a nation, but instead it harms the individual. Physical and mental health are important in every fields of economics, education, value, information, science, technology etc.

The condition of mental health depends on different human qualities. Yogic theory of mental and personal quality is based on Tri-Guna such as Sattvika, Rajas and Tamas Guna of Vedic concept. Among these three Gunas, Sattva represents positive, stable, peaceful, joyful and blissful condition of mind which leads to positive behavior; Rajas represents unstabale, naughty, helter-skeltar and disorganized condition of mind which leads to excessive attachment over materialistic things, momentary pleasures and ultimately, it disturbs the mind and mental health. Sharma & Tiwari (1993, p. 457) stated that according to Atharva-Veda, the one who behaves abnormally and is unable to keep the Guna’s level in a sufficient balance, he or she goes to abnormal condition. The ancient and modern thoughts are similar in the case of normal and abnormal behavior. According to brown (1940), “The chief tenet of modern psychopathology is that abnormal psychological phenomena are simply exaggerations (i.e. overdevelopments or under-developments) or disguised (i.e., perverted) developments of normal psychological phenomena” (p.6). Since ancient age, the concept of the mental health and illness was developed.

In Atharva-Veda, the nature of abnormal psychology and its therapy is included as insanity, mania, seizure-hysteria, epilepsy, fear-phobia, schizophrenia paranoia type, anger-rage, jealousy, feeling guilt and inferiority; eroticism, evil dream, sharp compulsive evil suggestion, memory and learning improvement, energising ego; integration and social harmony.

Singh & Tiwari, Ibid. pp. 457-458

Pradhan (2016), addressed that mental health is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspective of the discipline of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.

The review of literature revealed that the state of the mental health depends on work and workplace; behavior of friends, family members, teachers; quality of relationship and support from the ones considered close such as parents, family members; physical conditions; social participations, learning and teaching methods, family environment and financial condition. According to the scriptures of yoga, action (Karma), quality (Guna) and state of Chitta determines a person’s performance and overall mental health.

Characteristics of Mentally Healthy Persons

Lewkan (1949) defined mentally healthy person as the one who is happy, lives peacefully with her/his neighbours, strives to makes his children healthy citizens and after fulfilling such basic responsibilities is still empowered with sufficient strength to save the cause of the society. A mentally healthy person has some characteristics and indicators, among them the major ones are enlisted below:

1. Self respect, feeling selfless, secure and reverence for other 2. Positive emotions and autoenthusiasm 3 . Behaviour according to time/situation and adjustment 4. Knowledge and acceptance of one’s own shortcomings 5. True knowledge or estimation and right decision 6. General Intelligence and genuine contact with reality 7. Knowledge of own power and ability 8. Organized personality and hardworking 9. Firm determination and role execution 10. Learning from experience 11. Equal emphasis on personality, performance and behaviour

Mishra & Mishra (1989, p. 13-16)

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Yoga And Mental Health. (2019, Aug 07). Retrieved June 21, 2024 , from

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