Various studies have been conducted to prove the positive relationship between Yoga practicing and mental health. It is apparent that Yoga improves our physical health- when you do Yoga, you move, you exercise, you sweat. Simple as that. However, mental health wise, how does Yoga contribute to our overall psychological well-being exactly? Let us now point out 10 ways by which Yoga can improve your psychological well-being.
1. Yoga can calm your mind and relieve worries
According to the British Psychological Society, Yoga gives one a calming effect due to the strong emphasis on the breath and body.
According to a study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrics, teens engaged in Kripalu Yoga had shown to display better moods, better anger management, lower level of stress and anxiety, higher level of residence and enhanced mindfulness.
3. Yoga has been proven to be effective in reducing PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a form of mental illness developed due to exposure to traumatic experiences. Sufferers of PTSD typically experience frequent nightmares and flashbacks which results in psychological turmoil. According to the American Psychological Association, a positive correlation between Hatha Yoga and recovery from PTSD has been shown.
4. Yoga improves memory and concentration
Techniques to improve memory are something that have always been highly sought after. The Women Fitness Net, there are several Yoga techniques that can help to stimulate the brain and nervous system to improve memory and concentration. (http://www.womenfitness.net/memory-yoga/)
Furthermore, studies have also shown that meditation helps in improving concentration.
5. Yoga helps with depression and anxiety
Based on a report published by the Harvard Health Publications, Yoga has been proven to modulate the stress response. In particular, the Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) had been pointed out to provide promising results in providing relief for depression. SKY involves several forms of cyclical breathing patterns which ranges from slow to calming to rapid.
6. Yoga helps you in increasing self-awareness
Awareness is something that is highly emphasised in almost all kinds of Yoga, some more than the others. For example, in Hatha Yoga or Chakra Yoga, the flow of energy within oneself, as well as our consciousness, is being highlighted. Spirituality is also an important aspect in the practice of Yoga. Most importantly, Yoga helps us in the enlightenment of the self. We focus on our breathing, focus on our connections with our surroundings and ultimately, channel energy into observing our own minds.
7. Yoga improves sleep quality
Yoga has been scientifically proven to relieve sleep problems like chronic insomnia and sleep disturbance. Participants of a study were instructed to perform Yoga before bedtime consecutively for eight weeks and researchers found significantly improvement in sleep efficiency, total sleep time, total wake time, sleep onset latency, and wake time after sleep onset at the end of treatment.
8. Yoga reduces menopausal symptoms
There has been various scientific studies which have proven the positive correlation between Yoga and sleep quality (as mentioned above). However, a group of researchers explored the topic further by focusing on postmenopausal women. The results showed that Yoga indeed contribute to the improvement of quality of life for postmenopausal women.
9. Yoga motivates greater creativity
Yoga allows us to find uncover new perspectives as we create a sense of space through Yoga. In addition, the emotional stability brought upon by Yoga allows us to shut out distractions and focus our mind on inspirations.Furthermore, through the sense of empowerment from Yoga, we learn to trust our instincts and not be afraid of expressing new ideas.
10. Yoga provides therapeutic effects and improves quality of life
Therapeutic Yoga is defined as the application of Yoga techniques to prevent, reduce or alleviate structural, psychological, emotional and spiritual suffering, pains or discomfort. Yoga is not merely a form of physical exercise. The effects brought upon by the performance of Yoga is immense. It has been proven in studies that Yoga can enhance overall well-being and ultimately, the quality of life.