The benefits of practicing yoga for mental and physical health
If you have anxiety, depression, or PTSD, yoga for mental and physical health can be a great way to improve your moods and feel more relaxed. It is also a natural and accessible alternative or complementary treatment to medication and therapy for many mental health conditions, particularly when you are looking for a healthy, all-natural approach that won interfere with other treatments.
Boosts GABA levels in the brain
Lower GABA levels are linked to anxiety disorders and negative moods, so people who do regularly yoga for mental and physical health experience higher levels of this brain chemical that promotes calmness, calming their nervous systems. As a result, they find that they have more self-confidence and joy in their lives (Grazioplene, 2012).
Strengthens parts of your brain that help you learn, remember, think, and speak better
If we compare yoga for mental and physical health to weightlifting, we can see how it builds muscles for the body and strengthens areas of the brain that are key to memory and cognition. This helps the body and mind function more efficiently, which means that it will be able to handle stress and other emotional issues more effectively.
Increases sleep and reduce stress
A regular yoga routine can help you to relax your body and prepare it for better sleep. This can be especially helpful for older adults who often struggle with insomnia and disrupted sleep. A 2005 study of a geriatric population found that yoga helped participants to fall asleep faster and to sleep longer, improving their quality of life overall.
Reduces cortisol secretion in the body
The stress hormone, cortisol, is important for keeping our immune system strong and helping us deal with stress. However, too much cortisol can lead to problems like fatigue and mood swings. In addition, high cortisol levels can inhibit the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can contribute to depression.
Studies have shown that yoga decreases cortisol levels, making it an excellent tool for reducing the symptoms of these conditions. In fact, research shows that a yoga program can even help to prevent these illnesses from developing in the first place!
Moods and anxiety can be a challenge for many people, so finding something that works to alleviate symptoms is an essential part of treating mental health conditions. Fortunately, a wide range of techniques can help, including meditation and relaxation exercises.
Yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which counteracts the fight or flight response of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for stress and anxiety. This type of yoga for mental and physical health can have a powerful, long-lasting effect on anxiety levels because it encourages the body to shift from the â€œfight or flightâ€ response to the œrest and digest response that helps keep our bodies in balance.
This is a very powerful and lasting change, so it is no wonder that it can be effective in treating and preventing depression as well. Taking a yoga for mental and physical health class or doing individual yoga sessions for as little as 12 minutes a day can measurably reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even PTSD.