The Mental Health Benefits of Yoga
We all know yoga keeps us flexible and strong, but what else can it do for us? If you’ve never practiced it, then you might not be aware that yoga is actually a full-body and mind experience, and it’s something that can benefit us in a lot more ways than just helping us bend further. It’s one of the top picks for beginners who need a workout that’s good both for their physical and their mental health, but it can also help professional athletes who are searching for something to soothe them.
Wondering how yoga can help you and how you can get started? We’re here to help.
Self-discipline and consistency
The thing you need to do any kind of exercise, but especially yoga, is simple self-discipline. However, this doesn’t mean you have to get stubborn and vow to go to the studio across the town each day to exercise. This will simply fail after a while because it’s not a very sustainable plan, and you do need a good, sustainable plan if you want to work out consistently. Make it easy on yourself and learn yoga from a guru who’s nearby, and if you can’t make it in time for class, stay home and do simple poses. Take small steps and exercise a little each day, make yoga a part of your routine, a part of your life. This way you’ll learn incredible self-discipline and have more willpower to live a healthier life.
Beside that self-discipline, yoga doesn’t require that much in the way of equipment. Invest in a nice, roll-up mat to make the poses more comfortable, and make sure you exercise in clothing that won’t hinder your movement. We also recommend wearing something that simply makes you look and feel good. You could get yourself a pair of cute Ivy Park joggers and a loose shirt or a crop top, and even find a pair of colourful socks. Cool workout clothes is actually a powerful motivator, especially once you start making progress and actually look at yourself in the mirror to see your body becoming stronger and firmer. This will give you confidence and motivation to push on.
Fighting depression and anxiety
Speaking of confidence, yoga is one of the best ways to fight your eroding sense of self if you’re struggling with depression and anxiety. But it’s not just about looking better, it’s about the fact that exercising releases endorphins and can lift your mood almost instantly. It also gives you a sense of purpose and something to ground you, something good that you can do each day when you’re feeling like sadness is about to overtake you. Yoga promotes neural growth and reduces inflammations in your body, and it can help you break that cycle of negative thoughts. As long as you do it safely and follow what your instructor is telling you, there are no side-effects either.
Tense, coiled muscles and stress that’s clanging around your head is no way to live your life. Yoga is fantastically good at relaxing a person and making all that tension melt away, and once you start going through your poses you’ll feel those negative thoughts slowly dissipating.
Sharpening your focus
If you are feeling too anxious and irritated to finish a task, yoga can actually help you. Through exercise, you can actually learn to sharpen your focus and use all the negative energy inside you to push you through something very positive. Once you finish your workouts, you’ll feel the clarity of mind returning and you’ll be able to get back to work without feeling nearly as nervous anymore.
For a mind that’s constantly rushing and jumping from thought to thought, yoga can be a marvellous way to learn how to simply slow down. It’s definitely not a quick workout, and it pretty much forces you to actually stay in the moment, to feel your whole body, to think of what’s happening right now rather than to try and run through everything. If you’ve been hoping to start meditation but just can’t get your mind to quiet, yoga can actually be a great way to ease yourself into a new way of thinking.
Anyone can benefit from yoga, and if your mind is troubled and you need something to relax you, this is definitely the kind of exercise that can help you. It will soothe you and make it easier to deal with everyday stress, so give it a try and enjoy the journey.