May is Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s OK to not be OK.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 5.7%-8% of adults suffer from depression. Close to 1 billion people worldwide have a mental health condition. Yet nearly 2/3 of people with a known mental health condition
never seek treatment.

Yoga can be a powerful tool for managing mental and emotional well being. But here’s the thing: it’s not the only thing.

There’s a troubling strain of toxic positivity that is often perpetuated by folks in Western yoga and wellness spaces. This “good vibes only” mentality creates separation and causes real harm. It contributes to the idea that “if I were a serious practitioner of yoga, I would feel only positive emotions all of the time.” Or that therapy, medication, and other therapies are “unnatural” and somehow antithetical to the practice of yoga. This is patently untrue and only serves to prevent those who need help from getting it.

Yoga spaces should be places of healing and liberation, not exclusion and stigma.

Yoga is a powerful tool for mental and emotional well being. It can be an excellent complement to therapy. But yoga is not a replacement for therapy. If you need additional help, know that it’s ok to get it. You are not alone.

Yoga spaces should help create more access to mental health support, not further limit it.

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