Mental Health, Spirituality

The Yoga of Mental Illness and Self-Realisation

yoga and mental illness

I’m fascinated by how self-realisation relates to mental illness. Common ailments, such as depression, can’t be exempt from liberation traditions because they’re psychological constructs. Pathways that contextualise these ailments in structures ripe with potential for enlightenment, or nirvana, are of particular interest. Yoga is the choice for this exploration, because it’s grounded in self-realisation, mystical union, and the cessation of suffering, not… happiness.

That’s a direct challenge to dominating ideologies such as materialism and scientism. It challenges the notion of ailments as permanent or fixed. It turns our ambition of what’s possible upside down, suggesting that suffering is a pathway to awakening. Mental illness absorbed by this understanding is something to take incredibly seriously, because it suggests common recovery goals significantly downplay human potential.