Yoga is one of the most diverse forms of exercise there is. Not only is it a great way to improve your strength, stamina, and flexibility, it was made to strengthen your spirit and mind too.
That’s why meditation and breathing exercises are incorporated into the physical aspects of yoga. These help to calm and center the mind, and that’s why practicing yoga regularly can improve a person’s well-being, mental clarity, and confidence.
If you’re searching for a tool you can use to improve your mental health and state of mind, give yoga a try. After all, yoga is used in psychotherapy to treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It can even be used to treat symptoms of PTSD. In other words, you can’t go wrong by incorporating yoga into your everyday life.
There are countless mental benefits of yoga practice, and each one will lead to a better state of mind, and an overall better you.
Read through the list below to see just how yoga can improve your life.
1. Yoga can decrease feelings of depression and anxiety
As you practice yoga, your HRV, or heart rate variability, is increased. HRV is the measure of time between heart beats. While heart rate is measured in beats per minute, heart rate variability is measured in the milliseconds from one beat to the next.
A high HRV — having more variability in the time between your heart beats — is healthier than having a low HRV — less variability. A high HRV is a sign that your body is capable of performing at its best. This means it’s better at relaxing and handling anxiety. Meanwhile, low HRV has been linked to depression and cardiovascular disease.
Even a relaxed yoga session can raise your HRV as long as you give it your all.
2. Yoga can improve your mood
Yoga, like all forms of exercise, is key to increasing serotonin production in the body. Serotonin is what allows the brain and nervous system to function properly. Without healthy levels of serotonin, you’ll have trouble eating, sleeping, and reacting to life situations productively.
Happiness is also a key benefit of high levels of serotonin. Without enough serotonin in your system, you’re more likely to be pessimistic and develop depression. So, yoga can be a great tool for improving your mood and staying positive.
3. Yoga can improve your memory
Everyone knows that yoga strengthens muscles, but people don’t usually talk about how yoga affects the most powerful muscle in the body, the brain (though technically the brain is an organ, not a muscle).
Yoga is a unique form of exercise because of the incorporation of meditation, chanting, and visualization, all of which are linked to improved memory and cognitive performance. Not only that, yoga has also been proven to improve coordination, reaction time, and overall IQ.
4. Yoga can strengthen your self-confidence
With improved strength and mental health comes a stronger sense of empowerment. That’s why regular yoga practice is linked to better self-confidence and less self-consciousness.
As a tool for practicing meditation, better flexibility and posture, focus, and deep breathing exercises, yoga is inseparable from body perception and confidence. The more you practice yoga, the bigger the boost to your body image will be.
So, while you strengthen your body and sharpen your mind, you can deepen your self-love, and enjoy every minute spent in your own skin.
Few forms of exercise can say that they have as many health benefits as yoga does. Physical, spiritual, and mental health benefits abound with regular yoga practice, and luckily, you don’t need much to get started!
Sign up for a yoga class at your local gym, yoga studio, or community center. And if that’s not possible, there are thousands of free yoga courses you can find with a simple web search. Don’t wait to improve your mental health.
You’ll be surprised by how far you can go with just a few sessions and enjoy th mental benefits of yoga practice.
However, if you have persistent feelings of depression and anxiety, it’s important that you reach out and get help from trained healthcare professionals.