The Link Between Yoga and Mental Health

For over 5,000 years, practitioners have known the secret that yoga makes you feel better. It has become a popular way to increase strength, improve balance, and enhance flexibility. We know that yoga is good for your body, but it is also very good for your mental health. Yoga practices can reduce the impactof exaggerated stress responses and may be helpful for those with depression and anxiety.

Natural Anxiety Relief

It is no surprise that yoga can reduce anxiety. Studies show that yoga can be a powerful tool for calming your nervous system. Yoga lowers tension and promotes relaxation. It also helps regulate the breath and increase body awareness. In addition, yoga encourages mindfulness which in itself is effective in reducing anxiety. The breathing and meditation associated with yoga can take you out of the “fight or flight” mode that anxiety and panic bring about and help focus you in a more relaxed state.

Yoga postures, known as asanas, can also help ease the physical discomfort associated with anxiety. Strengthening, lengthening, and balancing the muscles can help relieve the tension in the body that builds up as a result of anxiety.

Help with Depression

A recent study showed that taking yoga classes twice a week could help relieve the symptoms of depression. Yoga postures coupled with controlled breathing had a mood-altering effect. Yoga can also help with depression because it can help you cultivate a more non-judgmental relationship with yourself. When you’re depressed, it’s easy to stop doing things for yourself, like eating healthy and exercising. Devoting even a small amount of time to yoga on a regular basis is an act of kindness towards yourself and treating yourself as someone worthy of being taken care of. You also learn to accept your body and its abilities. In addition, practicing yoga can help establish a sense of community and increase social attachments. This can lead to a better support system and help with feelings of loneliness associated with the symptoms of depression.

If you or a loved one has a mental disability and has been arrested or convicted of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Elizabeth Kelley specializes in representing individuals with mental illnesses. To schedule a consultation call (509) 991-7058.

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