Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Yoga and mental and physical health are closely entwined. With its emphasis on breathing practices and meditation, yoga reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. Yoga also strengthens parts of the brain that play a key role in memory, attention, awareness, thought, and language.
Did you know?
- 57.8 million adults experience mental illness every year.
- 22.8% of American adults experience mental illness.
- Young adults aged 18-25 years had the highest prevalence of AMI (33.7%) compared to adults aged 26-49 years (28.1%) and aged 50 and older (15.0%).
- The prevalence of mental illness was highest among the adults reporting two or more races (34.9%), followed by American Indian / Alaskan Native (AI/AN) adults (26.6%). The prevalence of AMI was lowest among Asian adults (16.4%).
- In 2021, among the 57.8 million adults with AMI, 26.5 million (47.2%) received mental health services in the past year.
- 26% of people experiencing homelessness also experience mental illness.
- 24% of the people experiencing incarceration also experience mental illness.
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
- 90% of people who die by suicide had a history of mental illness.
- 60% of adults and 50% of children and teens report not receiving support from healthcare professionals related to mental illness.
YiA and Mental Health
Yoga in Action instructors are aware that not all conditions are visible on the outside, and work hard to provide a safe space for someone with mental illness in their classes. Many instructors have completed mental health first responder training and approach teaching from a trauma-informed perspective.