Yoga has been the gift of ancient India to the modern world, which has managed to catch the attention of people looking for internal peace. It was been described as an activity that not just cleanses the body but helps detox the mind as well. Yoga is an endless subject of study and the application of it in the lives of people, varies from person to person.
Despite that, here are ten key mental benefits Yoga provides to the person who practices it regularly-
Helps Deal With Stress
In a life full of stress, the world is running after methods of tackling it and living a better life. Yoga is one such method of reducing stress, as it decreases the secretion of cortisol, the primary hormone that is responsible for stress. A three-month program proved this in women, who had lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Another study of 131 people showed the same result. Meditation is the best solution to these problems, which is part of Yoga. There are a lot of mental benefits of Yoga poses and reducing stress is one of them.
Anxiety and stress are two things that can be inter-related at times and the absence of one, can mean the absence of the other. Many people who have problems like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) use Yoga to curb their demons. In a study of 34 women suffering from anxiety, it was seen that a couple of weeks of Yoga showed much better results, with regards to reduced anxiety.
To add to that, a study of 64 women showed reduced PTSD after 10 weeks of Yoga. Thus it is clear that Yoga helps reduce the problem of anxiety.
Can Reduce Inflammation
Many individuals suffering from disorders which cause their body to have unnecessary inflammations, utilize Yoga to curb these reactions. A study from 2015 divided a total of 218 participants into two groups. One of those groups practiced yoga regularly and the other did not.
Both groups were then asked to perform moderate and strenuous exercises to induce stress and see the results. The group which had utilized Yoga had much better results than the ones that didn’t. Further, a study from 2014 showed that 12 weeks of Yoga helped breast cancer survivors reduce inflammation, despite persistent fatigue.
The functions of the heart include pumping blood throughout the body, along with supplying tissues with important nutrients. The overall health of the heart is an essential component that helps maintain good health. Studies indicate that Yoga can help improve the health of the heart and reduces the chances of heart disease.
A study of participants of over the age of 40 who had practiced Yoga for five years, showed positive results. They had lower blood pressure and pulse rate than those who did not. High blood pressure is a major problem in a country like India and it instigates problems leading to heart attacks and stroke. Lowering the blood pressure reduces the risk of these problems and Yoga can surely help in doing so.
Improves Quality Of Life
Yoga is a way of everyday life, which brings about a lot of positive changes that help live a better life. Various experiments have shown that Yoga brings about a positive change in the way that people live. In a study, 135 seniors practiced Yoga for six months. The results were really good and it helped their mood and fatigue, along with a better feel about life than the ones who didn’t do it.
There are various other instances where Yoga has provided mental benefits in the field of sports, where the stress levels are rather high. The positive impacts are endless and the people who practice it, feel a positive change.
Helps Fight Depression
With all the positivity that Yoga brings to people’s lives, it is no surprise that it helps fight depression as well. Yoga reduces the levels of cortisol, which is also responsible for depression. Participants in an alcohol dependence program practiced a breathing exercise called Sudarshan Kriya for a couple of weeks. They reportedly had fewer symptoms of depression and lower levels of cortisol. The levels of ACTH had also dropped, which is a hormone responsible for stimulating the release of cortisol.
Could Reduce Chronic Pain
This is a serious issue that impacts millions of people across the globe and the reason could be either injuries or arthritis. There are a series of studies that support the fact that chronic pain can be reduced by Yoga. In a study of 42 individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome, the participants either received a wrist splint or did yoga for eight weeks. The ones who did Yoga had better results in reducing pain and improving grip strength than wrist splinting.
Helps Improve The Quality Of Sleep
When the mind is peaceful, the quality of sleep always improves. Poor sleep has been associated with obesity, high blood pressure, and depression. Yoga helps reduce these ill-effects on the body and thus improves the sleep. In a study in 2005, 69 elderly patients were given the option to either practice yoga, take a herbal preparation or be part of a. control group. The ones who chose Yoga slept faster, slept for long hours and felt better rested.
Improves Flexibility And Balance
A lot of Yoga poses help work on the entire body and improve flexibility. Many of these postures and poses which bring stability to life are added to the light workouts of people. According to a recent study, research was done based on 10 weeks of yoga on 26 male college athletes. Doing yoga significantly increased up to several measures of flexibility and balance for them, as compared to the ones part of a control group.
Helps Improve The Breathing
Since Yoga relaxes both the body and the mind, it also improves the breathing. The Pranayama, or yogic breathing focuses on controlling the breath through various techniques. This has positive impacts on the ability of the lungs to take in more air and many big companies inculcate such values.
A study of 287 college students took 15 weeks of Yoga classes (posing and breathing exercises). At the end of it all, they had a huge increase in their vital capacity.
Overall, there is no doubt that Yoga has several benefits. However, one of the key ones involves better mental health, which is a matter of concern in today’s life. Yoga has done more good for the society than various alternative solutions can and it is up to the people now, how they wish to apply this gift to humanity in their day-to-day lives.
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