Yoga for Mental Health
Yoga is an ancient practice designed to benefit a person’s mind and body, to unlock untapped strength and rejuvenate the person’s body as well as their spirits. The exercise focuses on doing choreographed poses while controlling one’s breathing and focusing on the pose. The mental and physical components of the exercise have been proven to benefit the practitioner on both fronts. Here are some ways of how yoga improves your overall quality of life:
1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
One study from the University of Utah shows that people who don’t respond well to stress are also more sensitive to pain. Three groups were tested: people with fibromyalgia, yoga practitioners, and healthy people. The study highlighted how the techniques learned in yoga can help people mitigate stress subsequently improve their responses to pain.
Stress elevates your cortisol level, and when the body is constantly producing high levels of cortisol, it affects their mental capacity as well as compromises their physical health. Yoga and its controlled breathing exercises and meditation have been determined to have helped people combat stress and other related symptoms.
2. Fulfill Oneself
To fulfill oneself doesn’t mean we only serve ourselves, rather, it is when we can give back to our community that we improve our mind and body. If you’re interested in helping others get over their mental anguish and obtain a better quality of life by sharing your passion for yoga then becoming a yoga instructor may be a great way to do it. Because it is not a one-size-fits-all type of practice, when you become certified you can choose from a different set of specialties that would suit your class well.
3. Improve Cardiovascular Health
Many studies have shown that doing yoga can actually reduce the risk of heart disease. People over a certain age who constantly practice for more than 5 years have low blood pressure and heart rate than ordinary people of their age. It can also slow down the progression of the disease though they are not still sure how. It’s important to note that the proper diet along with this exercise should be followed to achieve the desired results.
4. Improves Flexibility and Balance
Many people, including professional athletes, do yoga to improve their flexibility and balance. One study shows that after only 10 weeks of yoga, healthy college athletes have shown great improvements in their range and balance compared to those who didn’t. Because it’s also considered calisthenic exercise, the prolonged poses, and controlled movement helped in training the muscles to achieve high levels of flexibility.
5. Increases Strength
There are many poses in yoga that are designed to develop one’s strength. If you’re looking to develop muscles and get stronger, the weight room is not the only place to get it. A couple of studies done years apart showed similar results with the participants doing one specific pose for 12-24 weeks, having improved their endurance, upper-body strength, and fat loss.
There are still other benefits claimed by yogis that you can get from yoga. Although many of these claims still need to be supported by science, multiple studies have already confirmed that you can be healthier or maintain their health by doing the exercise. The important thing is to incorporate it into your lifestyle to see improvements in your life.
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