Image Credit: Supplied

Yoga-based modalities are known to be effective as holistic mind and body healing technique. Though they have been understood and practised differently across the world, they are a combination of physical, mental, and psychosocial practices that aim to improve well-being while enhancing cognition. Such modalities help penetration into a non-judgemental state of heightened or complete awareness that helps unlock the full potential of the human body, and has been supportive in enhancing resilience.

What does resilience mean?

Resilience is an individual’s internal capacity to deal with life’s curveballs and cope with rigour. It builds endurance and helps bounce back from adversities - into a state of equilibrium and well-being. Multiple studies indicate that nurturing mental resilience not only enhances your ability to deal with the daily grind of life, but also shields you from situational depression and distress - stemming from personal setbacks or trauma. It also enables you to identify life’s goals and strategically work towards them.

Methods to increase the resilience quotient

Building resilience can take time and patience, and is an ongoing process. However, as per integrative healthcare, there is enough scientific evidence to validate that yoga-based meditative modalities have high efficacy in improving wellbeing. Additionally, they can be easy to integrate to build resilience. The combination of yogic, breathwork and meditative interventions, derived from ancient Indian Knowledge Systems, can reduce stress, enhance focus, alleviate anxiety or burnout, and develop emotionally-regulated responses, improving holistic health and well-being.

The need for an integrated approach towards healthcare is underlined by the fact that elite athletes and sportspeople, who face immense pressure and stress to not only excel in their field but also maintain their position, are increasingly being taught yogic practices and techniques to improve their sports performance and total wellbeing.

Dr Ishan Shivanand Image Credit: Supplied

A recent study conducted among athletes in Mauritius exemplifies this. Participants involved in diverse athletic pursuits were randomly assigned to either undergo four weeks of yoga-based practices or receive no intervention. Utilizing the Sports Mind Inventory (SMI), researchers evaluated the impact of yoga-based activities on athletes' resilience against sports-related stress.

Results showed that over 80% of participants experienced improvements in sports-related mental and emotional health, with notable increases in self-confidence, mental resilience, and a positive mindset. The benefits of these practices are not limited to sportspersons; everyone can benefit from them if understood and practised under adequate guidance.

Yoga-based techniques to improve resilience

Yoga-based techniques to improve physical and emotional health cover several aspects. These can be categorized as follows.

Meditation: Yoga-based meditative protocols can lead to a state of deep relaxation, which enhances mental focus. Practising meditation helps you to enter a non-judgemental state of heightened or complete awareness – that helps build self-awareness and make self-informed choices.

Breathwork: Breath awareness modalities can enable you to not only manage stress and promote relaxation but also improve cognitive functioning for brain health and total well-being. By learning to control your breath, you can regulate the nervous system response, which can result in maintaining focus and composure during challenging life situations.

Awareness: Resilience is a lot about learning, unlearning, and relearning. The benefits of yoga-based awareness strategies help manage stress, prevent burnout, and also alleviate mental health conditions of anxiety, depression or insomnia.

Visualisation and Journaling: Implementing lifestyle modification practices, such as visualization and journaling, can create positive neuropathways and support behavioural modification. This can resist lifestyle disorders and help adopt healthier habits.

Yoga-based resilience training bolsters emotional stability. Incorporating such techniques into daily routine can significantly boost the quality of life, improve mental and physical well-being, raise endurance levels, and enhance your ability to cope with life’s many challenges.