Blog
20
09
2018

Yoga – Relaxing The Body To Heal The Mind

There is much more to yoga than simply twisting your body into unusual positions.

It is a powerful physical practice that can dramatically change your body.

Not only will yoga make you stronger and more flexible, it can strengthen your immune system, help you heal faster, and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.

In addition to all of these wonderful physical benefits, regular yoga practice can also heal your mind.

Researchers have discovered that yoga can cure or reduce the symptoms of conditions like stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

How yoga heals the body and the mind

The term “Yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuji” which means “union”.

This term is used to describe yoga because it brings together mind and body in a sacred union.

This union is brought about by combining physical exercise in the form of yoga poses (asana) with regulated breathing (pranayama) and meditation.

As you practice yoga, you will notice how much of a calming effect it has on your mind.

This is caused by the mind being solely focused on body and entering a mindful or meditative state.

This is very relaxing mental state that helps the mind to heal.

Researchers have discovered that entering a mindful state while practicing yoga can help the following mental health conditions:

Stress

Multiple studies have found that regular yoga practice reduces the production of stress hormones including cortisol and adrenaline.

Overproduction of these hormones can cause many serious side effects including anxiety, digestive problems, weight gain, sleep problems, and depression.

One study confirmed how yoga can reduce stress levels by following the progress of 24 women who were experiencing high levels of stress.

The women were placed on a three month yoga program.

At the completion of the program, the test subjects all had lower levels of stress, fatigue and anxiety.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a very common mental health condition in the UK, with about 8.2 million cases of anxiety occurring in 2013.

Researchers have found that yoga is very effective at reducing the level of anxiety that a person suffers from.

Yoga can also be used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with one study find that 52% of participants no longer met the criteria for the condition after practicing yoga for 10 weeks.

Depression

Several studies have found that practising yoga can give the same effect as mild antidepressant medication.

There are multiple reasons for this effect.

The first is yoga’s ability to reduce cortisol levels in the body (cortisol is a powerful “stress hormone”).

Having high levels of cortisol can affect the levels of serotonin in the body and increase the risk or severity of depression.

Secondly, practicing yoga releases endorphins.

They are powerful hormones that act as an analgesic and positively affect a person’s mood.

The presence of endorphins may be partly responsible for reducing the symptoms of depression.

Self esteem issues

Anyone who has attended a yoga session can tell you how wonderful they feel afterwards.

Not only do they have the pleasant feeling of endorphins flowing through their body, they will feel great about themselves.

The feeling of strength and flexibility in your body after a yoga session is quite intoxicating.

Feeling this way can eventually lead to a boost in a person’s self-esteem —an effect that has been confirmed by researchers.

Yoga helps you sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is a crucial part of maintaining good mental health.

That’s because sleep is when the body balances hormones that affect the brain, builds new neural connections in the brain, and looks after brain health.

You can use yoga to improve how well you sleep and give your brain a chance to heal.

Yoga’s capacity to improve sleep is backed up by a study that found sleeping is much easier for patients with sleep disorders after they have performed yoga.

Perform yoga daily to get a good night’s sleep and heal your mind.

Thanks for reading Yoga – Relaxing The Body To Heal The Mind.

If you want to experience how much yoga can relax your mind and body, give it a try!

Stephen Coleclough

author: Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a leading international and domestic tax consultant who specialises in solving complex problems. As well as advising on tax matters, Stephen also enjoys exploring topics relating to physical and mental wellbeing. You can follow him on Twitter at SColeclough.

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