Yoga is not a new practice. It has been known to mankind through the ages. Yoga is a group of mental, physical and spiritual practices that help elevate your mood, cleanse your spirit, invigorate your body, and sharpen your mind.
Just a few minutes of practice each day can help you ease out of worries and stress.
Here are 5 ways that yoga will positively impact your mental health.
1. Anxiety and Stress
Yoga encourages you to relax through slow breathing and shifting the focus to the present moment which has a large effect on our fight and flight response. This encourages our relaxation response to be activated which in return creates a calming effect, decreases blood pressure, lowers cortisol levels, lowers heart rate, and increases blood flow to the vital organs.
Consistent yoga practice can lead to significant increases in the neurotransmitter serotonin levels which improves mood.
With the encouragement of the relaxation response, decreased heart rate, increased serotonin levels, and mindful breathing, yoga has been shown to support better sleep.
Yoga has been shown to have a significant impact in the functioning of those working to overcome past traumas. Yoga is integral in connecting those who are disconnected from their bodies and emotions allowing them to literally feel things in their bodies. The breath allows for awareness building, centering and grounding.
Yoga encourages and promotes a mindful awareness of the present moment and letting go of judgements focusing on worry. Mindfulness allows for the ability to become comfortable in the uncomfortable by rooting us in the present moment and out of the worry of "what if" thinking.
Overall, the research indicates that the benefits of yoga for mental health wellness are far-reaching.