We knew the effects of yoga were positive ones, but we had no idea they were so far reaching. If you needed an excuse to get started, you’ll find it here.
Yoga is not a new practice—it has been known to mankind though 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.
And I am sure those who are addicted to yoga can vouch for that statement.
Just a few minutes of practice each day can help you ease out of worries and stresses. If you wish to further reap its rewards, incorporate yoga into your daily routine as it is a powerful way to relieve anxiety and cope with everyday stresses.
Let’s first discuss how yoga positively affects our minds.
Effects of Yoga on the Mind
Yoga helps with anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression are two serious health concerns that damage silently; however, a daily yoga practice can be effective in improving mental health. In fact, yoga has proven to be helpful in reducing anxiety and depression. According to a Harvard University article, yoga helps in regulating a person’s stress response.
Yoga strengthens memory and improves concentration.
At some point in life, we all struggle with concentrating on our day-to-day tasks. Yoga has proven to be useful in improving your memory and concentration.
There is a limb of yoga known as Dharana—the practice of concentration—that is widely famous because it helps us understand the what it means to clear the mind and calm our senses.
Yoga improves mental as well as psychological well-being.
Life can be stressful. Many people feel as if they are carrying the entire world on their shoulders; but with the help of yoga, you can set aside overthinking and negative, unwanted feelings.
According to the British Psychological Society, yoga involves concentration and is all about breathing techniques—a great way to relieve stress and sooth the mind.
Yoga reduces the effects of traumatic experiences.
There are many people in the world who have developed a condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—often as a result of powerful and unpleasant incidents in their lives. People with this mental illness often experience flashbacks and nightmares. A form of yoga known as Hatha has been shown to be effective in reducing PTSD symptoms.
Effects of Yoga on the Soul
Yoga improves relationships.
One of the most important aspects of yoga is mindfulness—and mindfulness is all about paying heed to the emotions, thoughts, sensations, and surroundings of you in your present moment. Yoga can play a great part in helping you enjoy your present life, irrespective of any condition. It can therefore also play a great role in improving the quality of your relationships in life.
Yoga has a positive impact on mood.
Just as there are many physical benefits of yoga, there are also emotional benefits associated with this practice. We all know that stress can cause a lot of health-related issues, but what we may not know is that it can deeply affect our moods.
Yoga has the power to release endorphins in our brains; these are “feel good” chemicals that are released when a person is happy. Various studies have also hinted that yoga may improve your mood in the long term as well. We can all sometimes fall prey to mood swings; but with the help of yoga and meditation, you can not only experience improved health and reduced levels of stress, but your mood swings will also naturally improve.
Yoga helps us attain inner peace.
Life is full of stresses—most of which are unwanted and can be avoided—but how to keep oneself calm and strong at difficult times is what yoga is all about.
Yoga helps us cope with hardships.
Life isn’t devoid of hardship, not for anyone, but a life with no ups and downs is really no life at all. Yoga helps us deal with hardships in a positive way. It also allows us to deal with anything that life throws at you in a more calm and confident manner.
Effects of Yoga on the Body
Yoga helps us attain increased flexibility.
This is one of the most prominent benefits of yoga. It is quite possible that you may not reach your toes during your first stint with yoga, but with time and patience, your body will experience incredible changes. According to a recent study conducted by Colorado State University, one form of yoga—Bikram yoga—introduces the body to 26 different types of postures, providing you increased shoulder, hamstring, and lower back flexibility.
Yoga helps lower blood pressure.
Hypertension is an extremely common health concern. People who experience mild to moderate hypertension might benefit from a regular yoga practice. Various studies have found that people who practiced yoga on a regular basis have greater drops in blood pressure as compared to those who participated in a nutrition, weight, or walking program alone.
Yoga reduces chronic neck pain.
Yoga can be helpful in curing chronic neck pain and neck spasm. A German study hinted that four weeks of practicing Iyengar yoga can help reduce the intensity of pain in adults suffering from neck spasms and general neck related issues.
Yoga lowers the risk of heart disease.
Research also indicates that a regular yoga practice may lower the risks of heart disease due to high blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol.
Yoga helps build healthy bones.
Through various weight-bearing postures, yoga can strengthen bones and keep osteoporosis at bay. There are various postures—like downward and upward-facing dog—that help in strengthening the bones of arms and knees.
It is important to keep in mind that yoga is a continuous process. The deeper you penetrate into your yoga routines, the more fruitful the benefits. Yoga, when done regularly, can truly open the door to peace, harmony, love, and laughter.
About the Author
Alma Causey is a blogger who usually writes about lifestyle and mind health related topics. If you are looking for more information on Mind and Body release or looking for an amazing retreat, subscribe to us at Retreat, Relax, Release.