The ancient Indian discipline of Yoga is a great tool for holistic well being with more than 35 million people practicing it in the US alone. Here in this article we focus on how Yoga does wonders for one’s mental health by reducing and eliminating anxiety and stresses at all levels. There is a growing body of research to backup the mental health benefits of Yoga.
Yogic practice reduces stress and muscle tension, develops awareness and sharpens attention besides calming the nervous system. Yoga Asanas combined with Pranayam and meditation help in treating depression and anxiety. In many other studies, Yoga has shown to promote feelings of well being and increasing the endorphin levels.
Yoga has become an important tool in Psychotherapy with an increasing number of psychologists incorporating Yoga in their treatments. Besides enhancing the overall quality of life, Yoga also helps improve the quality of Sleep. Practicing Yoga also promotes the feeling of belongingness and helps in social wellbeing.
The most common form of Yoga – Ashtanga comprises of eight limbs which are as – Yama (moral codes), Niyama (self-purification and study), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense control), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption into the Universal).
“The deep, physiological state of rest induced by such practices produces immediate positive change in the expression of genes involved in immune function, energy metabolism and insulin secretion”– Research in Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC)
Yoga is a universal wellness tool available to everyone. It is upto us to derive the maximum benefit from it by inculcating it in our daily routine and being regular and disciplined about it. Only then we will be able to truly appreciate the wonderful blessings that Yoga has to offer. Read more about how Yoga helps you live longer, Boost Immunity and increase Lung capacity.
This article is part of a series on the Health Benefits of Yoga.
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