Guest Blog by Rebecca Shinn
Can Practicing Yoga Improve Your Mental Health?
Description: Practicing yoga has many known benefits for mental health, including helping to manage mental illness symptoms. Regular yoga practice can be beneficial in terms of relieving stress and combating intrusive thoughts. We look at some of the other ways that yoga can help.
If you’re looking for a long-term way to manage your mental health, practicing yoga is a wonderful option. We all know that modern life can get stressful, whether you’re worried about your job or doing something fun like meeting new people on free hookup sites. For those struggling with mental health issues, even everyday tasks can sometimes become too much. This is where yoga can help!
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The benefits of practicing yoga are many-fold. Yoga is a great form of strengthening exercise and is excellent for joint and spine health. Yoga can also be a great workout if you do power yoga or faster vinyasa flows. However, the mental health benefits of yoga are also really startingly. In fact, practicing yoga every day can make a huge difference when it comes to reducing the symptoms of common mental illness, like anxiety and depression. Here’s just some of the ways that yoga might be able to help you.
What Are the Health Benefits of Practicing Yoga?
1. Relieves Anxiety
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Even those who suffer from anxiety disorders, such as Generalized Anxiety or Panic Disorder, may benefit from regular yoga practice over time. Many aspects of yoga, including deep breathing techniques and syncing breath with movement, have a calming effect upon the brain. Over time, these techniques can even shrink the amygdala, which is the brain’s fear center and is believed to be overdeveloped in those with anxiety disorders.
2. Boosts Concentration
If you often find yourself zoning out at work or when you’re trying to read, then practicing yoga may help you. Many yoga poses stimulate blood flow to the brain, especially inversions. This brings a flood of oxygen to the brain and can boost concentration and mental power. This is also great for circulation, especially for those who spend all day sitting.
3. Releases Endorphins
Although yoga can be practiced slowly, it is still a powerful form of exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which are commonly known as happy hormones. This can provide an instant mood boost and help with managing conditions like depression or seasonal affective disorder.
4. Encourages Mindfulness
One of the benefits of practicing yoga for mental wellbeing is the emphasis on mindfulness. Yoga encourages you to be in the moment and remain aware of your body and any intrusive thoughts you may have. Learning to manage thoughts can help, especially if you’re dealing with mental health problems.
5. Builds Mental Resilience
Yoga can be demanding, especially as you move on to the more advanced poses. Holding your body weight is a great workout and also builds mental strength and resilience. As you gradually adapt to the challenge of holding difficult poses, you will likely find that you are more resilient and have more discipline in daily life too. This can help when you’re trying to stick to healthy habits or build routines to help you manage mental health.
How to Start Practicing Yoga?
When it comes to tips for practicing yoga, the best way is to start small and build up over time. To get the most out of your yoga practice, you should approach sessions with focus. Don’t try to rush ahead or power through it. Instead, move slowly and listen carefully to what your instructor tells you.
There are plenty of great resources for practicing yoga online. Yoga schools often run online live classes, or you can work from a yoga YouTube video. You can also read more about yoga in books.
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If your area has group classes available, try signing up for one of these. While yoga is generally a solitary practice, it can be a great way to socialize and make friends. You also have the benefit of a teacher present with you to help correct your postures and give you advice.
Another of the most important guidelines for practicing yoga is to drop any assumptions you may have before you come to class. If you think you’re going to walk in a newbie and leave a zen master, you’ll be disappointed. The benefit of yoga practice is not in quick results. Rather, the benefits come from learning to appreciate the journey and mindfully test your own limits.
You can always build on your practice over time, so there’s no need to be hard on yourself or force yourself into poses. You also shouldn’t compare yourself to others in the class. Everyone will learn at a different pace.
Whether you’re starting yoga as a beginner or building on existing practice, you’re sure to notice some tangible benefits to your mental health. While yoga is not a cure-all, it can certainly go a long way to managing persistent symptoms. As well as the other health benefits you will enjoy from practicing yoga, you will almost certainly find a way to quiet your mind.
Do you practice yoga for your mental health? How does this practice benefit you? Let us know in the comments!
Rebecca Shinn is a freelance writer and dating and relationship expert with a psychology degree. Her field of expertise is relationship, dating, and marriage. The important part of Rebecca’s practice is to help couples with communication skills, problem-solving skills, stress management, or financial skills.
Rebecca started writing 2 years ago to inspire and help people to have a better dating life, healthy relationships, or find a way to keep a marriage strong for long years.
With all said above, Rebecca is proud to be a mother and a wife so she doesn’t only use her knowledge for helping others but keeping her family strong and happy.