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Benefits of Yoga in Mental Wellness

What are the benefits of yoga? Read on to learn more about how yoga affects mental health and wellness.


What Is Yoga and How Does It Work?

Yoga is a mind-body exercise. It incorporates breathing exercises, meditation, and movement to enhance mental and physical well-being. Different types of yoga use physical poses, breathing exercises, and relaxation or meditation.

Benefits of Yoga

Benefits of Yoga

Brief History of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient discipline emphasizing breathing, flexibility, and strength to improve mental and physical health. It consists of a collection of physical, psychological, and religious disciplines or practices.1

Due to the oral traditions of religious texts and the secrecy of its teachings, much of yoga's history is obscure and ambiguous. The practice first appeared in India thousands of years ago and has undergone many forms of adaptation in different nations. Although the practice's development may be dated back to more than 5,000 years ago, some scholars believe that yoga may be up to 10,000 years old.2

What is Rig Veda?

The Rig Veda, a body of old writings, has the first recorded use of the word "yoga." Yuj means "union" or "to unite," which is the Sanskrit term from which yoga derives. Yoga was introduced to the West by Indian monks in the late 1890s. By the 1970s, modern yoga teachings had become popular in Western nations.

Types of Yoga

Modern yoga emphasizes physical activity, stamina, flexibility, and breathing. It might improve both physical and emotional health. Yoga comes in a variety of forms. Below are some of the many types.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is frequently regarded as the most athletic form of yoga. Many forms of yoga, including ashtanga, power yoga, and prana, may also be categorized as vinyasa flow. 

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga, sometimes referred to as the "yoga of consciousness," entails repeated positions. Additionally, kundalini yoga is helpful for stress, anxiety, sadness, and improved cognition.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga, commonly referred to as hot yoga, is practiced in rooms that have been artificially heated to a temperature of almost 105°F and 40% humidity. It consists of a series of two breathing exercises and 26 positions. 

Hatha Yoga

Hatha, which is a Sanskrit term meaning "power." Hatha yoga thereby restores the body's equilibrium. This kind of yoga focuses on balancing the energy centers and chakras. The energy vortexes or concentrated energy centers in our bodies are called chakras.

Yoga for Beginners

Yoga is not an exclusive kind of exercise; anybody can practice it regardless of age, weight, occupation, place of residence, or religious affiliation. Yoga is available to almost everyone, even if you are a beginner. You can start with mild practice if you are unfit or inflexible until you have developed the flexibility and strength for more challenging routines.

You should be able to join a regular hatha yoga immediately away if you are a reasonably flexible and fit individual. When you are comfortable with the fundamental positions, you may consider vinyasa. Ashtanga, Bikram, and hot yoga are not advised unless you have developed some physical stamina and endurance.

What Are the Health Benefits of Yoga?

Yoga has several health benefits, particularly to the body and mind. The benefits will be laid out below.

Physical Health Benefits:

Yoga has the following physical benefits:

  • It helps to improve flexibility
  • It helps to relieve stress
  • It helps to improve respiration and vitality
  • It helps in weight reduction
  • Improves the heart and circulatory system’s health

Mental Health Benefits: 

Here are the mental benefits of Yoga:

  • It helps to induce calmness
  • Improves self-confidence
  • It helps to improve focus
  • Relieves chronic stress pattern
  • It helps to sharpen concentration
  • It helps to improve cognitive functions such as learning, thinking, memorizing, etc.

How Does Yoga Affect Mental Health?

The benefits of yoga extend to mental health in the following ways:

Regulates Your Nervous System Response

The yoga practice encourages you to return to the strength of your mind-body connection while gently calming the nervous system, releasing tension and fear.

Yoga Helps With Stress Relief and Reduces Anxiety

Eighty-four percent of American adults suffer from chronic stress, according to data from the American Psychological Association. Meditation, breathing exercises, and auditory rituals, such as chanting and sound baths, have all been confirmed to reduce tension and relieve stress and anxiety considerably.3

Yoga For Depression

Yoga can be used as a therapy for mental and emotional issues, which includes depression.

How Can Yoga Help You Burn Out?

Yoga can help people who want to be fit to burn excess fat in the body. Because it includes strength and endurance, which helps to improve the body’s flexibility, it may help to burn fat and shed excess weight.

How Does Yoga Compare With Other Forms of Exercise?

Exercise and Yoga contribute to the body's overall well-being in different ways. These differences are explained below.

Involvement of The Nervous System in Exercise And Yoga

Exercise focuses on increasing muscle mass which may decrease flexibility. However, Yoga aids in the equal distribution of muscle growth along the surface of the bone, enhancing flexibility.

Requirements For Exercise and Yoga

Yoga Involves Meditation, Breathing Exercises, and Auditory Rituals. It also consists of some sort of spiritual activity which is not only necessary for exercises.

Energy Conservation

We expend a lot of energy during exercising. This is mainly because the muscles contract and shorten in exercise, which involves a lot of energy. In contrast, yoga is extremely energy efficient.  

How It Works and The Risks Involved

Yoga might be risky for new yogis. This is simply because it can aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome, cause joint instability, and aggravate strains, sprains, and tendinitis. 

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga Improves the Quality of Life

Yoga may help improve the quality of life through improving brain functioning, better sleep cycle, and other benefits, which are discussed below.

How Do You Improve Brain Functioning?

When one practices yoga, the brain cells form new connections, and both structural and functional changes occur, improving cognitive abilities like learning and memory. Memory, attention, awareness, cognition, and language-related brain regions are strengthened by yoga.

Better Sleep Cycle

When our body is calm and our mind is unburdened from stress and anxiety, we tend to fall asleep pleasantly. Yoga aids in this process.

More Energy and Better Mood

After establishing a regular yoga practice schedule, one could experience improved mental and physical energy, increased attentiveness and excitement, and fewer negative emotions.

Long-Term Health Benefits

Constantly practicing yoga may help keep one’s fitness and health in check. It has the long-term benefit of helping one relax, which can improve heart health. 

What Does Research Show About Yoga for Wellness?

Yoga is not a remedy for all physical or mental issues. Still, a growing body of evidence supports the claim that yoga therapy can ease the pain brought on by several chronic and crippling ailments.5

Improves Balance

Since yoga focuses on flexibility and mobility, it can aid in improved alignment by relieving often stiff muscles, including the hamstrings, and enhancing the spine's movement.6

Learn What Anew Treatment Center Has to Offer

With the information discussed above, you’ve learned how yoga can help improve mental and physical wellness. At Anew Treatment Center, we are concerned about your well-being, and we have yoga professionals who will help you and guide you on your yoga journey.  

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