Yoga has as much impact on our mental health as our physical health. A recent medical study found it reduces common mental health difficulties like depression and anxiety.
Why is yoga so good for our minds? Here are five ways it boosts mental health.
Physical illness, especially conditions such as chronic pain, can trigger depression and other mental health issues. Yoga is a powerful tool to support your immune system. Research shows it reduces inflammation, helping protect the body against injury and disease. Learn more from these yoga tips for your immune system.
Humans need to connect to feel happy, and yoga is a wonderful opportunity to be with a like-minded community. The physical act of going to the studio and participating in a class is a great way to bond and be part of a supportive group. Read more about yoga and friendship here.
Having the ability to direct and guide your own life is agency. Often in the modern world we feel swept along, like our decisions don’t matter, or that we are unable to make positive changes. Yoga cultivates our agency by showing us that we can direct ourselves — physically and mentally. Regular yoga practice develops confidence and purpose.
Yoga means unity and regular practice helps cultivate a sense of connection within and around our lives. We experience unity in the studio as we link our movements to the teacher’s voice, and as we explore how our mind and body move together. Being able to perceive and practice unity enhances our mental well-being by helping us see life as connected and meaningful.
Yoga works to cultivate mindfulness, which is an important means of fighting depression. When we do yoga, we gain awareness of our thought processes and reactions. Instead of succumbing to every thought, we learn to literally move through them, acknowledging them without becoming stuck. This can help us face emotional challenges and difficult situations. Read more about mindfulness here.
How does yoga boost your mental health? Share in the comments!