How Does Yoga Improve Your Mental Health? Understanding Benefits, And More

Yoga is a mind-body practice which dates back thousands of years and has dozens of different types.
Yoga

Impact of yoga on mental health. (Image credits: iStock)

International Yoga Day 2024: Yoga is an ancient practice which connects the body, breath, and mind. Basically, it uses physical postures, breathing, exercises, and meditation to improve your overall health. It was developed as a spiritual practice thousands of years ago. Today, the benefits of this practice are multifold. Most people do it for their mental well-being and to reduce stress. Many people, for a long time, have relied on yoga and its healing powers to help maintain their mental and physical fitness.
For the unversed, Yoga is a mind-body practice which dates back thousands of years and has dozens of different types. However, its basic premise seeks relaxation through breathing and meditation combined with stretching and strengthening poses. People who practice yoga regularly tout for its ability to help them with everything from mood and emotions to muscle tone and endurance.

Here is how yoga can psychologically benefit you.

Release helpful brain chemicals

Most asanas trigger the release of "feel-good" chemicals in the brain. These mood boosting chemicals include brain messengers such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Although yoga movements are slow and controlled, they still elevate your heart rate, make the muscles work hard, and stimulate the release of brain chemicals. This is how yoga can make you happier.

??Relieves depression

According to many studies, yoga can ease depression. Researchers have found that yoga is as effective as other treatments, such as medication and psychotherapy. Also, it is usually inexpensive and doesn't cause the same side effects as many medicines. It has said to benefit multiple people with depressive disorders.

Eases anxiety

Yoga can improve anxiety. The breath training included in yoga is very effective, as there is a relationship between anxiousness and breathing problems. If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, yoga may not help. However, some psychologists are using yoga to supplement other forms of therapy.

Promotes quality sleep

Many research says that yoga can improve sleep. This may be especially true for older adults. In one study, yoga participants over the age of 60 reported an increase in both the quality and quantity of their sleep. They also noticed sleep efficiency.

Promotes healthy habits

Yoga can become a gateway to other types of physical activity. It will also help you choose more whole some foods. On top of that, exposure to other health-minded people can inspire you to inculcate lifestyle changes. Yoga can also aid in weight loss, help you stop smoking, and manage chronic diseases. All in all, it is a great way to promote healthy habits.
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