Why yoga can make your mind as fit as your body

Why yoga can make your mind as fit as your body
Did you know that regular yoga practice can give you long and lean muscles that will be the envy of your friends? The physical effects are brilliant, but today we want to focus on the mental health benefits of yoga which get overlooked. Yoga is perfect for the mind but is still not considered a go to treatment. Yoga can help you quiet the mind and restore calm. Modern living is hugely stressful, so anything that creates calm is excellent. Thankfully, studies are underway into the benefits of yoga, and people are beginning to see just how beneficial it is. All the reviews carried out so far confirm that yoga can have a positive effect on a range of mind-related matters including:

Combating stress

A healthy mind requires healthy stress levels. So, in many cases, this means finding ways to reduce your stress. We know that having high levels of stress in your life is bad news. High stress manifests as physical illness. Therefore, if you suffer from poor sleep or inflammation, your stress levels may be responsible. Anxiety and fatigue are common side effects of an overstressed mind. All these conditions make us susceptible to viruses and other medical problems. Thankfully our bodies have inbuilt safety mechanisms to help combat stress. These are our relaxation responses.
Yoga is one way to trigger the relaxation response. We know that just 15 minutes of yoga reach day will create positive change. Yoga affects the biochemicals in the brain and changing these is vital. For example, focused breathing can reduce cortisol levels. These stress hormones are responsible for lowering blood pressure and in turn calm the body. Any form of exercise releases endorphins and yoga is no exception. Endorphins help manage stress and boost mood. It is such an important area that scientists are studying the benefits. A simple Google search will show many reports, and this is a positive step for treating stress.

Helping with anxiety and depression

A recent Harvard University article was able to demonstrate that yoga reduces anxiety and depression. We know this is because yoga can help to regulate the stress response system. The emotional benefits of yoga are just as significant as the physical aspects. Relaxation, meditation and socialisation are three of activities that lead to a psychological advantage. These three things help reduce negative thoughts and feeling, that left unchecked lead to increased anxiety and depression. Yoga increases the levels of the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. GABA helps regulate nerve activity and is especially relevant to people who have anxiety disorders in which GABA activity is low

Improving memory and concentration

Struggling to concentrate with day-to-day tasks can be caused by many things. Stress; relationship problems; work difficulties, the list is endless. Yoga can be incredibly useful in improving memory and concentration.  Yoga might be just what you need during difficult times. This is because yoga encourages you to actively ‘practice’ concentration. By focusing on the here and now and what your body is doing. Consequently, yoga can help reduce, or remove, the static noise. It calms mumbo jumbo from your mind, stilling the senses and focusing your brain. So, as such, you’ll find it easier to concentrate, remember things and tackle your everyday tasks.

Relieving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

According to the American Psychological Association, Hatha yoga has been shown to be effective in reducing PTSD symptoms. Particularly in cases where contemporary pharmacological treatments have failed. People who have PTSD can experience frequent nightmares and flashbacks, among other symptoms. Yoga’s ability to restore mental calm is perfect. It can reduce anxiety, improve sleep and encourage relaxation.  This can be incredibly helpful for patients.

Helping to build a sense of self

Yoga encourages you to build a non-judgemental, positive relationship with yourself.  Consequently, people report many positive changes from yoga. Some of the good side effects include healthy eating and better self care. So, the philosophy of yoga revolves around being more mindful. You can be aware and become more centred. As such, yoga can help you feel more rooted. Consequently less egotistical and therefore more positive about yourself and your life. And ultimately, such positivity boosts mental health significantly. Consequently, in turn yoga helps to keep your mind as fit as your body.

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