29 Apr 5 Positive Ways Yoga Affects Your Mind

Although many individuals relish in their yoga practice for physical health benefits, there is just as much of a reason to love yoga for its mental health benefits.


Through research, yoga has been proven to help decrease stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and many other mental health issues. Yoga works by reducing activity in the sympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the “fight or flight” response; this is typically responsible for constricting blood vessels and raising heart rate and blood pressure. The breathing practices in yoga calm the nervous system overall and give us the time to reset.


Here are a few psychological qualities that yoga can cultivate:


1. Mindfulness

A lot of yoga practice focuses on using the breath as the primary guide through movement which gives us the experience of tuning into the present moment and increasing overall awareness. In this, we are practising ways to be mindful both on the mat and in our daily life.


2. Self-compassion

Because yoga requires commitment, it teaches us the importance of self-care and self-love. Along with letting go of judgment, it encourages us to love where we are and who we are. Yoga teaches us to appreciate that we are each perfectly imperfect and to embrace the diversity that we each bring to our yoga classes.


3. Resilience

Yoga teaches us to take a step back, let go of our ego, and stick to our goals. The best way to improve in your yoga practice is through patience, especially for those who are just beginning their practice. It teaches us to breathe through difficult postures as we would through life challenges.


4. Insight

One of the most impactful qualities to gain from yoga is the appreciation that you’re always learning and growing. Yoga gives you the opportunity to pause, reflect and set intentions for your practice that are parallel to your life intentions. Yoga encourages us to always work toward being the best possible version of ourselves.


5. Purpose

Yoga classes help build community and make people feel that they are part of something bigger; this is also applicable to the spiritual practice that comes from yoga that reminds us of elements of gratitude and aliveness. So, don’t be afraid to say hello next time you place your mat next to someone in class.


Written by Aerial Cetnar of Mind Body Green

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