With all the problems that we face today, finding more people discussing mental health, whether on social media or during a casual conversation with friends at your favorite coffee shop, isn’t surprising. Even famous people are talking more about their mental health issues.
Indeed, there is an increased awareness of mental wellbeing, and as a result, more people are seeking ways to manage their mental health challenges better or improve how they take care of their mental state. With this in mind, more individuals are turning to yoga.
Step into our Dawata Wellness yoga studio, and you will notice how the calming and positive atmosphere can help you feel more relaxed and peaceful.
Aside from the soothing sounds and environment, you can also slow down the activity in your limbic system as you meditate during your yoga practice. The limbic system is the part of the brain that is responsible for emotional and behavioral responses. As you reduce activity in this area, you can respond more positively to stressful situations.
Research suggests that yoga can reduce your stress hormone (otherwise known as cortisol) and strengthen your mind and body connection. In addition, practicing yoga teaches you to clear your mind and focus on the present. These are why yoga is becoming a more popular option for complementary therapy for those diagnosed with depression.
Several famous people, including NBA player Kevin Love, have credited yoga to manage their depression.
According to the Sleep Foundation, 55% of yoga practitioners report improved sleep. This can be credited to how yoga can calm the mind, relax the nervous system, and rejuvenate and tire the body – all essential to having a quality sleep.
The physical exercise you do during your yoga practice (or any sort of physical workout for that matter) can naturally produce more serotonin (the happy hormone) as well as endorphins (feel-good chemicals). You are making more serotonin and endorphins, which lowers your anxiety and stress levels and stabilizes your mood. Many yoga people report feeling more alert and enthusiastic after doing their asanas and meditation.
Today, there is more research on how yoga is an effective complementary form of therapy for those with PTSD. An article in Psychology Today reports on a study that shows how yoga and other mind-body practices can help “reduce the severity of core PTSD symptoms including intrusive memories, avoidance, and emotional arousal.” Another study on adult women diagnosed with PTSD reports how 52 percent of the women who underwent yoga treatment for ten weeks had significantly reduced PTSD symptoms.
Experts believe that individuals who experience trauma suffer from emotional, cognitive, and physiological effects. And because yoga is a mind-body practice, it can be a helpful supplemental therapy as PTSD patients learn to regulate how their mind and body respond as they undergo counseling and psychotherapy.
Mental health isn’t just about your emotional and psychological wellbeing. It also includes your social life – how you relate to others, how you adapt to society, and how you develop a sense of concern and care for others. A healthy social life can be vital in maintaining your mental and overall wellbeing.
A yoga class can be a good place to interact with other people. Developing bonds and gaining a sense of belonging can be easier as you grow together in your practice, breathing and moving in unison. Interacting with health-minded individuals can also motivate you to pursue positive changes in your life.
As all types of people do yoga, you can meet a variety of individuals from different backgrounds. This allows you to widen your social circle and exposure to different personalities, races, and ages. In turn, this can make you more adaptable and increase your social skills.
Some psychotherapy experts believe that more research on how yoga affects mental health is needed to show more scientific proof. On the other hand, many mental health professionals already recognize the positive role yoga therapy plays today and are open to discussing how their patients can incorporate yoga into their therapy plan.
If you are searching for a new or additional way to better care for your mental health, yoga might be just what you need.