The Positive Effects of Yoga for Your Mind
Yoga offers incredible physical health benefits that are undeniable and, well, look and feel great. However, there is just as much to be said about the mental benefits of yoga. With the spike in appreciation for yoga and other mind-body practices, researchers in the psychology field have found a specific interest in exploring the benefits of yoga for individuals working to improve their psychological well being. The meditative aspect of yoga has the power to deeply soothe the mind and ease stress, opening up new perspectives on life. There is an increasing number of communities, such as hospitals, rehab centers and transitional homes incorporating yoga into their programming for
Research on yoga has proven that it helps decrease stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and many other mental health issues. Yoga works by decreasing activity in the sympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the “fight or flight” response, which is typically responsible for constricting blood vessels and raising heart rate and blood pressure. The breathing practices in yoga calm the nervous system overall and give us the time to reset.
Here are a few positive psychological results that yoga can cultivate:
Yoga focuses on the use of breath to guide individuals through movement. This allows those who practice yoga the experience really paying attention and tuning in to the present moment while increasing overall awareness. This process also includes letting go of judgment toward themselves and accepting where they are in their practice and as a person. If practiced regularly, you will begin to see this mindfulness translate into other aspects of daily life. By being in tune with our body movement and breath at the same time, we are practicing ways to be mindful both on the mat.
Yoga requires a true commitment to self and improvement. This teaches us the importance of self-care and self-love. Letting go of judgment allows us to accept who we are right now and that can be often very difficult. Yoga teaches us to embrace the diversity that we each bring to our yoga classes and the world. We learn to encourage ourselves to maintain a holistic self-care practice that fits each person personally and, most importantly, without judgment.
Yoga teaches us to let go of our ego. There is no one perfect yoga practice than yoga for your mind. Each yoga practice should fit how your body is feeling at that moment, which will change every day. The best way to improve in your yoga practice is through patience, especially for those who are just beginning their practice. It takes time to build a solid yoga practice and we learn that along the way, so there is no room for comparison. Many aspects of yoga can be carried into the real world. It teaches us to breathe through difficult postures just as we would through life challenges. We learn to find stillness during times of discomfort and find our breath during times when we need it the most. All of which can be practiced in real life.
You get time to dedicate to tending to yourself. Throughout the practice, you are constantly checking in with yourself and ask what you need in this current moment. Yoga encourages us to always work toward being the best possible version of ourselves. But remains open-minded and open-hearted during the process. This keen focus on ourselves allows us to better tend to our relationships in a more selfless way.
Yoga classes build a community that has powerfully creative, like-minded minds working together. Yoga is a community where we can find support and a sense of belongingness. It’s an opportunity to meet people that might think similarly to you. Chill out and say hi next time you roll your mat out next to someone.
Yoga is a truly amazing holistic practice that has the power to change people’s lives due to its psychological benefits.