Yoga is believed to hold incredible healing powers, with mind-body practices dating back thousands of years. It aims to help you relax through a combination of meditation and breathing with strengthening and stretching poses. More than 36 million people in America practice yoga regularly due to its physical and mental health benefits.
Here’s how this health and fitness exercise benefits your mind:
Releases relaxing brain chemicals
Exercise triggers your brain to release “feel-good” chemicals such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. While yoga movements might be controlled and slow, they still increase your heart rate and force your muscles to work harder, which stimulates the release of these helpful chemicals. Hence, yoga can make you feel happier!
Yoga is great for easing the harmful effects of depression. When it comes to mental health benefits, it’s comparable to treatments such as psychotherapy and medication. Yoga is relatively inexpensive and has no harmful side effects.
Most people practice yoga to deal with their stress. The relaxing and tightening of your muscles can reduce your tension, and you can also gain the benefits of the serene environment and calming music that you’ll find in many yoga classes.
According to research, yoga can help you improve the quality and duration of your sleep. This is particularly true for older adults who want to increase sleep efficiency, which can further improve overall mood and increase the feeling of being well-rested.
Lifting weights makes your muscles grow bigger and stronger. Doing yoga helps your brain develop more connections, which improves brain structure and function. Yoga can strengthen certain parts of your brain that have a key role in awareness, memory, thought, attention, and thought. It’s almost like weightlifting for your brain!
Many studies using brain imaging techniques such as MRI scans have shown that people who practice yoga regularly have a thicker hippocampus and cerebral cortex. These areas are responsible for memory and information processing. This might suggest that yoga can help you counteract any declines in cognitive skills as you age.
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