Yoga has seen steady growth in popularity over the last few decades – and for plenty of good reasons! It’s a wonderful way to exercise. It helps to keep you active while being easy on your body and improving your flexibility.
Yoga also helps people focus on their breathing and can even allow you to tap into a state of mindfulness. Because of that, yoga is a wonderful resource for your mental health. Whether you struggle with depression or anxiety, or you just want to maintain a positive mental health state, yoga can help.
Have you been on the fence about trying yoga for yourself? Let’s cover a few of those mental health benefits to help make your decision clearer.
1. It Improves Your Sense of Self
Negative self-talk and a judgmental relationship with yourself can fuel the fires of depression and anxiety. Yoga lets you get to know yourself on a deeper level. Beyond that, it teaches you to appreciate and love yourself, showing self-compassion daily. It encourages you to trust yourself again, and it lets you know that you’re worthy of self-care.
Plus, yoga can lead you to other healthy habits, like changing your diet or taking care of yourself in other ways. That can snowball into greater self-confidence and self-love. The stronger you are in your personal convictions, the less wavering you will be when anxiety comes knocking.
2. It Reduces Anger and Improves Your Mood
Multiple studies have been done on the effects of yoga and its benefits. Several have found that practicing yoga regularly can reduce your anger. If you find yourself overly stressed and often frustrated, it’s not uncommon to be angry. Unfortunately, that can lead to lashing out at friends and family or other behaviors you’ll later regret.
Yoga can help you to manage your feelings of anger and frustration while boosting your mood all at once. You’ll feel more in control of your emotions, which will continue to reduce stress levels and make you feel better, in general.
3. It Helps You Sleep
There are several links between mental health and sleep. Those who struggle with sleep deprivation are often at a greater risk of developing depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders. Yoga can improve your sleep health in a few different ways.
First, it’s a physical activity that can literally tire out your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. It also helps to clear your head from anxious thoughts so you can fall asleep easier. Because yoga is so focused on breathing, you can use the techniques you learn in a class or on your own to practice deep breathing every night. Doing so can help you to feel more relaxed before getting into bed.
Getting more sleep at night can help to reduce depression and the effects of that “cycle” that is often caused by insomnia.
Yoga is so much more than stretching and flexibility. It bridges the gap between meditation and exercise for an experience that is truly unique. While there are many physical benefits, it’s important to remember the mental health perks, as well.
If you’ve never given yoga a try before, now is the perfect time to start. You don’t need to be athletic or flexible. You don’t need to have any prior knowledge of what to do or how to be a part of a class.
Find a local yoga studio like Evolve Yoga in New Milford or show up to a class. They are incredibly inviting places that will work to make you feel comfortable and “at home” right away. That sense of belonging is just the icing on the cake when it comes to your mental health.