Yoga for the Head: Mental Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga never fails to amaze.

As if this miraculously advantageous discipline did not have enough benefits already, here’s one more; mental health.

Studies suggest that yoga is an effective tool to improve overall mental health in both adults and young people. Well believe it or not, it is possible that taking up a beginner’s yoga class and building a regular practice will massively benefit your mental health.

We’re going to elaborate a little on how this works over the course of this blog. We’re also going to address certain psychological conditions that yoga is particularly effective at addressing.

Foreword

All manner of exercise where you physically exert your body is beneficial. Exercise does not just keep you toned but prompts endorphin release. To keep things simple, endorphins are neurochemicals that make us happy! GABA is another neurotransmitter however along with endorphins is released during yoga. GABA is what helps us pull back and unwind. These are just two small perks. Here’s the whole hog (or some of it!):

Depression

Yoga encourages production of a substance called BDNF. Apart from facilitating production and growth of fresh brain cells, BDNF helps combat depression. A regular yoga practice has also proven to be more effective in fighting depression than many other mind body techniques suggested today!

Focus and Memory

Yoga slows you down to a point that you are still. When you are still, you train yourself to focus. A regular yoga practice is considered critical in helping one build focus and concentration for this reason. Hatha yoga in particular is said to help improve memory as well!

girl doing Hatha yoga on the shore

PTSD

There is a whole group of yoga poses that are extremely effective in helping the body rid itself of the aftereffects of emotional trauma. Though there are other more modern techniques for trauma relief such as T.R.E. yoga still has an upper hand. This is because of its simplicity as well as ease of access.

Major Psychiatric Disorders

Studies have also been conducted on the effect of Yoga on patients suffering from schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. Though yoga alone did not constitute any kind of a cure, a regular practice did help induce a level of basic emotional stability. It seemed to alleviate some of the more unpleasant symptoms associated with the two ailments.

 Rage

Of course a regular yoga practice will help with anger management. Between the patience needed to hold poses and the rhythmic breath work, you already have two of the four standard anger management tools at your fingertips!

Immortality

Just kidding— yoga does not make you immortal. It does however slow down the aging process that naturally occurs in the brain after a certain age. In other words; it is an effective preventative measure against ailments like Alzheimer’s and dementia. It also helps keep the brain sharp and efficient well into one’s old age!

Endnote

The benefits mentioned above are merely a fraction of all that yoga has to offer. Why wait? If you’re looking for yoga exercise classes near NYC give us a shout! We have lots to offer you!

Fitengine is the leading provider of fitness classes, workouts and physical health information in NYC.

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