”Yoga is the most friendly ally when you want to reduce stress, burnout, and mental illnesses”
Most of the time, when people discuss Yoga, it is often about its physiological benefits, including increased muscle strength and flexibility.
These effects are probably because of increased pressure from everyone to have toned bodies for vacation or Instagram.
However, there’s rarely a discussion about the mental, cognitive, and psychological benefits of Yoga. Although it is not mentioned enough, Yoga does much to the Mind, as it does to our physical body.
Many researchers embarked on journeys to assess the effectiveness of Yoga for mental and brain health, and they had promising findings.
While the physical benefits of Yoga are astonishing, it is the less apparent benefits of the practice that is more beneficial to you.
As we now know, the Mind can control our physical and mental health, which can have tragic outcomes or pleasant ones.
When you have a stressed mind, you are likely to have stressed muscles and negative and anxious thoughts. The opposite is also true. If you have a calm mind, you will have relaxed muscles as well as positive and uplifting thoughts.
As human beings, we are wired to feel, think, and react negatively when things get tough. But more importantly, we are also conditioned to seek external solutions.
Yoga practices are meant to help us transcend the limitations of the Mind. It is associated with a better life, and it is easy to see why.
Often, our Mind is ruled by our past as it is a pile-up of past events. So if you focus on what is in your Mind, you will create a future similar to the past.
”If you do what you did, you get what you have gotten.”
Yoga focuses on the Mind and helps you release all tension and let go of the past and focus on the present – which is like a clean slate to build your new life on.
Having happy thoughts is crucial to have a better life. A quick Google search and you will come across hundreds of blogs and thousands of self-help books.
Also, you see a lot of online seminars, and millions of quotes backing the need to have happy, calm thoughts, and the importance of deep breathing.
According to science, our thoughts and actions change the chemical structure of the brain.
So if you practice deep, slow breathing, you will relax your muscles, and harbor positive thoughts. Therefore you are rewiring your brain to focus on the positives and eliminate the past bad thoughts.
The environment influences Human’s response to stress, and it can be hard to combat that because it is a habit that was developed over a long period.
Then again, the good news is that you can alter this habit that might be blocking you from being the best version of yourself – and the answer is Yoga for the Mind.
The Yoga Effect
The real intention of Yoga is to help you take what you have learned during the sessions, like deep breathing, clearing the Mind, softening muscles, and living the present. And bringing it into your day-to-day life.
The practices of Yoga enable you to break away from the bad, old habits, get rid of negative thoughts, and reduce stress.
These benefits are also being backed by science and are well documented.
When Yoga incorporates meditation, which it does most of the time, it has powerful effects on the brain and helps diminish stress, anxiety, and depression. While, on the other hand, increasing happiness as well as the overall well-being.
Here are the ways Yoga affects the brain:
How yoga Calms the nervous system
One of the benefits of Yoga is that it helps you move from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. In this situation, you will have less stress and will enter a more relaxed state of Mind and body.
Deep breathing allows you to pace down out of fight-or-flight mode, and your nervous system will calm down subsequently.
The parasympathetic nervous can be accessed by deep breathing during Yoga in the morning, for example.
When this nervous system is activated, you’re in your most happy and relaxed state of Mind.
Yoga for enhanced brain power
A study has shown that some yoga poses such as downward-facing dog increase brain function in inactive adults, alongside the usual relaxing and de-stressing effects.
Doing three 20-minutes yoga practices per week improves your focus as well as retain information. That is according to a study by the University of Illinois, which also found improved performance on everyday cognitive tasks.
Yoga to preventing age-related mental decline
A recent study that was conducted in older people with early symptoms of memory problems found that Yoga and meditation provide better results. Even better than spending time on brain training activities and exercises.
That’s pretty amazing, right?
Yoga for Increased happiness
Yoga is about living in the moment, and this boosts your mood. It has been found that human beings spend nearly half of their time planning the future or contemplating the past.
by doing yoga sessions, you become focused on the present through the mental and physical stretches that allow you to stay in the here and now.
The present has certain qualities like:
- inner peace
- Quitting of the Mind
But also more metaphysical qualities:
- You can feel the stillness
- You experience more Joy and Bliss
- Your intuition gets more precise
Now, there are a lot of qualities that Now has. It’s like an alternate dimension that we never experienced before. But when we finally do, we don’t look back anymore.
Clinical brain connection when doing Yoga
With the use of modern brain imaging tools, neuroscientists have proved that Yoga, accompanied by meditation, can change your brain.
Here are some of the effects of Yoga on the brain:
- Yoga practices affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal by regulating the regelation of cortisol – the stress hormone.
Many studies have shown that even the shortest yoga session is capable of positively impact the endocrine responses, thus reducing inflammation associated with chronic stress.
Stress and cortisol are associated with almost every disease known to men. So reducing your stress and cortisol levels with Yoga is a no-brainer.
Yoga Regulates emotion
Yogis learn how to become self-compassionate and non-judgmental due to the self-reflection. The yoga poses and deep breaths impact emotional regulation at a biological level.
Also, the involuntary nervous systems work on autopilot, and therefore, it is not easy to regulate reactions consciously. Such as how fast you breathe and the beating of your heart rate.
But with Yoga, you can access the parasympathetic nervous system, and your emotions will settle down. Also, if you do this enough, your emotions can even be healed.
Influence GABA levels
Recent research tried to look at the effects of yoga practice in GABA levels, and the findings were astounding.
GABA is what is called the body’s “chill out” neurotransmitter, which regulates communication between the brain cells.
Therefore, If you practice Yoga consistently, you can increase the GABA levels in your brains and thus making you relaxed and chilled.
Yoga Raises grey matter
Grey matter is a significant section of the central nervous system, which consists of neuropil, neuronal cell bodies, unmyelinated, and glial cells.
When this component of the brain decreases, it can lead to emotional problems, memory impairment, decreased cognitive functioning, and poor pain tolerance. But with consistent Yoga, you will have a more vigorous grey matter, which will protect you of a bad functioning brain and body.
How Yoga affects your brain and general health
The best thing about Yoga is that it is free, except when you have to buy the gears or take a Yoga course. But still, you will spend very little.
The effects of Yoga is for everybody — no distinctions for a race, boundaries, age, or gender. Countless studies have found that daily yoga sessions and meditation help relieve signs of perks of ailments without any adverse side effects.
Among many ailments, Yoga can help reduce bipolar disorder, strengthen the immune system, and relieve migraines as well as enhance digestive disorders.
Yoga is a powerful tool that can transform your Mind just as it does with your physical body. The practice has been around for many centuries, but many people have been focusing on physical benefits alone.
But as we have shown in this article, Yoga can positively impact your Mind and make you live a happy and relaxed life. It takes just ten minutes every day, but the benefits are immense. My advice would be: Start now!
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A question to you: What was the most essential benefit yoga has done for your Mind?