Taking care of your mental health is more important than ever. One of the best ways to do that is by practicing yoga. Combined with mental health treatment, yoga is an effective method for coping with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It can also help improve your sleep quality.
Still, it’s not just for people with mental health challenges. Yoga can help improve your mood and make you more focused and able to concentrate. It can also give you more energy and reduce stress and anxiety.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that involves putting your body in different positions, controlling your breath, and meditating or just relaxing. People who do yoga have less stress, lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and cardio and circulatory health. If you want to boost your mental health, this is something everybody can use. Because of this, you’ll have a more positive outlook and a stronger sense of who you are.
How Exactly Does Yoga Work?
Historically, yoga has its roots in India. Asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditation are all part of the practice (dhyana). All these elements working together keep your mind and body in balance. This sense of tranquility and poise, in turn, improves sleep quality and increases self-esteem and body image.
Yoga stimulates the relaxation response, which is the opposite of the stress response. Anxiety occurs when the body goes into “fight-or-flight” mode. This leads to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels. The relaxation response is a state of rest and digestion. Yoga helps these systems return to normal.
This safe and gentle form of exercise is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. It has many benefits and is a terrific way to take care of your mental health. However, please consult your doctor before practicing yoga if you have any medical conditions.
Yoga for Mental Health
Since yoga reduces stress hormone levels in the body, which leads to improved health, it’s an effective remedy for mental health issues.
Yoga can also help improve mental health by giving you a sense of calm and peace, encouraging positive thinking, and making you more aware of yourself. When you’re in a state of serenity, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder can be easier to manage.
With online yoga classes, you can follow along with live-streaming yoga classes from the comfort of your home. Yoga classes are also available for various skill levels, and you can do them at your own pace and when it’s most convenient. The easy-to-follow lessons are led by experienced yoga teachers.
The Benefits of Yoga for Mental Health
There are many yoga schools, so you can find one that fits your needs and preferences.
- In Hatha yoga, the focus is on gentle movements and breathing exercises. It is a great type of yoga for beginners and those looking for a relaxing workout.
- In Vinyasa yoga, breath harmonizes with movement to build strength and improve flexibility.
- In Iyengar yoga, students use props such as blocks and straps to align the body. It is an excellent practice for beginners or those looking to improve their alignment.
- In Bikram yoga, you practice in a heated room. This type of yoga improves flexibility and helps you detoxify your body.
Regardless of the type of yoga school you choose, each of them helps in the following ways:
- Stress reduction: Yoga increases GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation.
- Less rumination: Yoga can help you stop thinking about the past or worrying about problems that might happen in the future. This makes it easier to think positively.
- Increased self-awareness: Yoga teaches us to focus on our breath and body sensations, which makes us more aware of our thoughts and feelings.
- Decreased inflammation: Yoga can decrease inflammation in the body, which in turn also improves mental health.
Conclusion: Take Classes to Learn the Fundamentals
Yoga is a form of exercise that involves both the mind and body. It includes physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. The goal of yoga is to improve your overall health and well-being. There are many different types of yoga, but all of them can help reduce stress and improve your mental health. Yoga can help you learn to control your thoughts and emotions. It can also help you become more aware of your body and how it feels.
About the Author: Sierra Powell graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a major in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing. She’s passionate about writing, reading, and learning. When she’s not writing, she loves to cook, sew, and go hiking with her dogs. For excellent online yoga classes, Sierra recommends vivayalive.com.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-with-a-sports-bra-sitting-near-a-laptop-6582628/
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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