Yoga increases strength, stability, and can be used as part of a weight-loss routine. But did you know yoga can help with the mental aspects of health too? Today I am offering three ways yoga can help anxiety.
Yoga is often referred to as a mindful practice, and research has now linked yoga to decreased stress, depression, and anxiety. If you are experiencing high or prolonged levels of anxiety performing 20-30 minutes of yoga each day could greatly reduce your symptoms.
Check out Three Ways Yoga Can Help Anxiety
1. Controlling the breath:
Yoga encourages practitioners to turn their attention to the breath. Rhythmic breathing is an effective way of calming the body and creates a feeling of being more in control of the body. This is huge for someone in the midst of anxiety which can make one feel extremely out of control.
When we experience stress or anxiety our body turns on the fight or flight portion of our nervous system or what is called the sympathetic nervous system. This can cause our heart rate and our breathing rate to increase. Taking slow deep breaths directly combats these reactions, allowing the body to calm and reducing the feelings associated with anxiety.
Yoga postures encourage the elongation of muscles. This can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the rest and digest system of the body. The muscles react to the stretching during postures and relax the muscles so an injury doesn’t occur. The relaxation of the muscles also helps release tension throughout the body. Engaging in yoga postures that promote elongation of the muscles will help trigger the rest and digest system of the body, naturally creating a sense of calmness.
3. Creating a Positive Mindset:
The practice of yoga helps elevate mood and increase energy. The other benefit of continuously engaging in a yoga practice how great you can feel while making progress. Poses that once seemed difficult to achieve soon become common practice. When this happens you could experience a sense of accomplishment that triggers the brain to release the “feel good” hormones of dopamine and oxytocin; both of which combat the hormones responsible for anxiety and depression.
Yoga is more than a series of complicated movements. It is more than a stretching routine. It is a spiritual practice that affects the brain and the soul, as much as it does the limbs, arms, and torso.
These are only three ways that yoga can help anxiety, but the benefits are many!
Yoga is a practical tool to aid those experiencing mental stress. Utilize this powerful mental tool to help reduce your stress by engaging in a yoga class today.
*This is my own personal experience. If you are experiencing anxiety, I urge you to see a healthcare professional for help and guidance.
Meditation is a great way to help with anxiety too! HERE are my free guided meditations that you can try to use a tool for managing your stress and anxiety.