Yoga has come a long way, and the practice is here to stay. Nowadays, it’s not unusual to see a yoga studio in your town. Yoga exercises like Reiki are now part of the mainstream culture. Practicing yoga improves strength and flexibility that is why many people enroll in yoga sessions. But did you know that yoga exercises can also benefit you mentally? That is why many psychologist and psychiatrist are recommending it for people who are suffering from mental disorders. Here are some mental health benefits of yoga.
- It Relieves Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety may take a mental as well as a physical toll. Yoga is capable of fighting stress and improving moods. When you go to yoga, you escape from your busy life. It’s a time where you just concentrate on your body and your entire self. Yoga helps in lowering the stress levels which ultimately reduces anxiety. As science will tell us, when one is overstressed, their bodies lose the ability to regulate the inflammatory response which can lead to a series of health complications. So if you are feeling stressed out and anxious, this is the best way to deal with those conditions.
- Improves Concentration
To get maximum benefits from yoga, you need to concentrate during the exercises. Each yoga pose can help in improving brain function. These yoga poses help in stimulating the brain and the nervous system in general hence resulting to a sharper mental concentration and focus. When you are deeply concentrating, it is easy to process and/or retrieve information.
- It Boosts Brainpower
A short minute yoga workout will improve your brainpower to significant levels. Poses like downward dogs help relax and de-stress and also increase the brain function. Instead of using an a energy drink the next time you feel foggy, consider taking some time in the mat as this will help improve focus and information retention.
- It Leads to a Happier Brain
Yoga has the ability to increase happiness. When you are doing yoga practices, a chemical called Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the thalamus. The chemical is responsible for suppressing neural activity in the brain that leads to anxiety. A happier mind, means it functions well.
- Increases Mindfulness
Mindfulness is when a person focuses on the present moment without judgment. Yoga advocates that you concentrate in the now, that is what is happening at the moment. Thus, it facilitates mindfulness, which is an important aspect that syncs with emotions and help reduce daily stress and improves social relationships. The yoking of light and dark in yoga helps us to be more mindful hence recognizing qualities about ourselves that we were not aware of.
- Helps People with Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder. Individuals who have it suffer from confusion, delusion and personality loss. Although this disease cannot be permanently cured, it can be controlled with long life treatment. Doctors will suggest certain medications combined with psychological and social therapy. Because yoga is a supplementary therapy, many doctors believe that the poses will really help in managing this disease.
- Helps with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD results when one experiences shocking and terrifying life events which can trigger flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety. This disorder is common with sexual assault victims and veterans who have combat trauma. Although, in all honesty, it is new and unexplored, experts advise that yoga maybe a useful supplementation program to people with PTSD.
- Helps Mitigate Cognitive Decline
One of the best ways to keep your mind sharp is by engaging in physical activities. Inactivity leads to a cognitive decline. Since yoga is both a physical activity as well as a way of meditation, it can significantly mitigate that. So if you are suffering from moods and depression trying yoga poses may help improve that.
Yoga is significantly beneficial to your mental health. But you should ensure that you pick the right yoga class so that you fully benefit from this practice. Some yoga forms are safer and gentler than others. So it is best that you look for a teacher who has been teaching yoga for quite some time. Also, if you are using yoga to manage a particular brain disorder or disease or if you have a pre-existing medical condition, ensure that you check with your doctor first. And lastly, remember to be careful. Yoga is a workout like any other, and if you do not take proper care, you may end up injuring yourself.