Ayurveda, yoga and mental health

The causes of mental disturbance are multifaceted and highly complex but evidence suggests that the modern, medical approach to mental health is limited and largely ineffective judging by the increasing number of people suffering from mental issues in society today. There is more violence, suicide, depression, anxiety, addiction and a prolific use of psychotropic, prescription drugs than ever before. It is well known that the use of medications for mental illness causes dependency and adverse side-effects and yet an alternative, comprehensive approach has never been suggested. Modern culture, where money is God, is a breeding ground for mental disturbance. Loneliness and isolation, the dissolution of family and community and the constant bombardment of toxic material on the collective mind are the curses of our time. In addition, food available to most people is mass produced, contaminated by chemicals and low in nutritional value all contributing to mental and physical ill-health. The Vedas recognized mental illness thousands of years ago by understanding the connection between the body, the mind and spirit as being not only connected but interconnected and that treatment must get to the root cause of the issue. Vedic philosophy does not directly describe psychology but that mental disturbances manifest as an imbalance of all aspects of the human condition, each one affecting the other. Therefore by following the principles of Ayurveda and Yoga in the context of Vedic psychology long-term and permanent solutions to mental health issues can be addressed.


Ann Holaday

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