Yoga is widely known to benefit bodily strength and flexibility. However, therapeutic yoga also provides a host of mental health benefits that aren’t as commonly known. By regularly practicing yoga, you can find relief from stress, anxiety, sleep problems, and other mental health concerns.
A Calmer Mind Through Breathing and Meditation
Therapeutic yoga includes guided breathing and meditation, both of which are known to support mental health. Breathing and meditation support a calmer and more present mind. The centered sensation that you can achieve during a therapeutic yoga session can help you feel more relaxed and grounded in your time outside of the yoga studio.
A Powerful Mood Boost
One of yoga’s key benefits for mental health is its ability to boost your mood. Yoga is a form of exercise, which stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” chemicals. Alongside the mood-boosting effects of endorphins, however, yoga can enhance your mood by increasing the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, in the brain. GABA is a brain chemical that’s been linked to reduced anxiety and improved mood.
As you learn new yoga poses, your brain cells form new connections. When you practice these poses and hone your skills, these brain cell connections become stronger. This results in improved cognitive function, along with better memory, concentration, and awareness. So, with each therapeutic yoga session that you complete, you’ll be strengthening your brain and combating age-related cognitive decline.
Alone and combined with other relaxation methods, such as massage therapy and music therapy, yoga can serve as a powerful coping mechanism for mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specifically, yoga promotes calmer breathing and helps manage emotional arousal, both of which are helpful tools in managing mental health conditions.
At Mind Body Spirit Care, we offer therapeutic yoga so that you can reap the physical and mental benefits of this ancient practice. Contact us today to learn more!