Two people sat performing meditation before yoga

Benefits of yoga on your mental health

When you think of things to improve your mental health you might not instantly think of yoga. In this post, I will be discussing the benefits of yoga on your mental health and give some tips on getting started if you haven’t done it before.

It can reduce stress and anxiety

Woman with head in hands in front of laptop

Multiple studies have found that yoga reduces the secretion of the body’s primary stress hormone, cortisol. This reduction in stress helps improve quality of life and mental health. Further studies have found that regular practice of yoga can drastically reduce anxiety. Personally, I find that yoga is a good way of clearing the mind and focusing on your practice, allowing you to forget about all of the stress of your day even if it is just for 10 minutes.

It can improve quality of life

Research has shown that after just eight weeks of yoga, quality of life can be improved, from less pain to increased invigoration, relaxation and acceptance. All of these things are important for maintaining good mental health, so why not try getting involved? My post on my experience in the yoga society can be found here.

You can improve your breathing

Woman sat in meditation pose

A big part of yoga practice is learning a breathing technique that is calming and also good for the body. The breathing techniques you learn can then be applied in daily life and also in other circumstances, such as panic attacks or during meditation. As someone with asthma and other breathing problems, yoga taught me a lot about good breathing technique that benefits you both physically and mentally.

It makes you more mindful

Yoga practice is a time where you can come to the mat and let go of all your troubles. There is a focus on mindfulness through a combination of movement and breathing. I find that yoga really eases my mind and I feel refreshed after a session. This makes yoga a great option to start or end your day, or even as a post-workout cooldown.

It reduces fatigue

Woman doing yoga

If you struggle with fatigue or feel very tired in the mornings, then yoga might be for you. During yoga, your body is engaging both physically and mentally, so it is a brilliant way of waking up the body and preparing it for the rest of the day. Research has shown that regularly building yoga into your routine can reduce fatigue. As it can be done at home in your own time, why not give it a go and see if you feel any benefits?

Yoga doesn’t need to be every day and it doesn’t need to be for a long time either, but as discussed in this post, regularly engaging in yoga practice really can have great benefits for your mental health. Thank you for reading and I hope this post has inspired you to start or continue your yoga journey.

“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness”

Sakyong Mipham
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