8 Impressive Mental Health Benefits of Yoga

Young women doing yoga in gym

Yoga can be a great way to calm both your body and mind. Keep reading to learn more about the mental health benefits of yoga.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s harder than ever to find ways to relax. One study found that 84% of adults experienced emotions related to prolonged stress in 2021. 

Did you know that yoga is one of the best ways to relax and overcome this stress? Have you heard about the extent of the mental health benefits of yoga? Continue reading to learn how yoga can help improve your mental health and more.

1. Boost Your Mood

One of the chemicals in your brain that affects your mood is called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Yoga can help boost your mood by increasing the levels of GABA in your brain. It can also help relax your limbic system.

The limbic system helps manage your body’s emotions. By reducing the level of activity in this part of the body, yoga teaches you how to relax and not feel so tense. 

2. Increase Concentration and Memory

A clear mind is key in learning how to relax as well as improving one’s ability to concentrate. One of the benefits of yoga for beginners and seasoned experts is the ability to focus on your body and what you need to do.

This involves maintaining your balance, calming your senses, and keeping your mind clear. By doing this during your yoga sessions, you not only learn how to relax but also how to apply these techniques to other areas of your life.

3. Anxiety Relief

Yoga is one of the most effective methods for anxiety relief. One of the reasons is its ability to remove you from your sympathetic nervous system, which is often associated with anxiety and the fight-or-flight response.

Instead, it moves you to your parasympathetic nervous system. This system conserves energy and allows a person to rest and rejuvenate. These types of yoga benefits lessen stress hormones and regulate the nervous system better. 

4. Reduce Stress

Just as with mood, a boost in GABA can help in reducing stress. Any type of exercise, including the different types of yoga, improve the oxygenation of your blood. This brings more oxygen to your brain as well as increases the production of endorphins. 

Endorphins are considered the feel-good chemical in your brain. Combined with a better mood, the mental health benefits of yoga in terms of stress are significant. They can help improve your quality of life and learn to cope with stress outside of yoga.

5. Depression Relief

If you’re looking for ways to relax and overcome your depression, the mental health benefits of yoga can help you. With reduced stress and a boost in your endorphins, you can quiet your mind and focus on your breathing.

One of the focuses of certain types of yoga is to clear your mind of thoughts, especially negative thoughts. This helps you be in the present moment instead of in the past or future. Your heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure reduce as a result.

6. Improve Sleep

If you’re experiencing difficulty sleeping, doing yoga right before bedtime can help. Certain types of yoga poses help alleviate tension and stress that can make sleep difficult. Staying in these poses for 3 to 5 minutes is best. 

The key to achieving these yoga benefits is to practice them frequently. The more you practice, the longer you can remain in the poses, and the more relaxed your body becomes. Plus, the more sleep you get, the better your mental health.

7. Self-Esteem Boost

An important aspect of yoga for beginners is understanding that it’s not just about exercise. Yoga is a type of lifestyle and it emphasizes physical health, mental health, and spiritual health. Part of this is getting to know yourself.

Yoga requires you to build self-trust and encourages cultivating a nonjudgmental mindset of yourself. Instead of focusing on things you should be doing, you learn to focus on yourself. This helps build confidence and self-esteem.

8. Maintain a Healthy Brain

Learning new things or developing your skills in your favorite hobbies is an important part of maintaining good brain health. Yoga for beginners develops new connections between different areas of your brain. 

As you develop your skills in yoga and alter your mindset, the structure and function of your brain change as well. You’ll start to experience improved cognition, learning, and awareness. This is especially helpful in the older population.

Types of Yoga 

There are many different types of yoga to choose from. Some yoga classes offer a generalized approach and combine different elements of yoga for beginners and experienced yogis alike. Others focus on one style.

Best Yoga for Beginners

Hatha yoga is the most common type of yoga practiced in the United States. It offers a comprehensive approach and ways to relax and learn about yourself and your body. It also offers all of the above yoga benefits.

Due to its comprehensive nature, this is the best way for beginners to enjoy the mental health benefits of yoga. The positions are the easiest to follow while also teaching you how to relax, breathe, and meditate. 

Group Yoga vs Private Yoga

One of the bonus benefits of yoga is the ability to practice in private or with a group. This means that yoga can be completely focused on personal growth or it can be a shared experience with those closest to you.

Private Yoga

With private yoga, you can transform your home into a yoga studio and learn from an experienced professional. They travel to your home to help you learn proper techniques and embrace the program to its fullest potential. 

Group Yoga

Group yoga is a great way to connect with friends, family, or even coworkers as you relieve pain and improve your mental faculties. Corporate yoga, for example, teaches employees about self-care and improves team morale. 

Start Enjoying the Mental Health Benefits of Yoga

Whether you’re looking for yoga for beginners or seasoned yogis, the practice offers something for everyone. The mental health benefits of yoga alone are a great reason why you should get started immediately. 

If you’re ready to start learning how to relax and enjoy the benefits of yoga, contact us today to schedule your session or get a quote.