Research shows that yoga has many mental health benefits, including better sleep and fewer depression symptoms.
Yoga offers many mental and physical health benefits.
This is partly due to yoga’s meditative aspect, where participants are encouraged to concentrate on their breathing.
Hatha yoga is one the most well-known styles of yoga in the West.
Hatha yoga, an ancient spiritual practice, involves a series of postures and meditation.
The term ‘Hatha” means ‘force,’ ‘violence,’ and it refers to the various physical techniques used in this form of yoga.
This form of yoga is easier to learn than it sounds. It’s also the easiest to understand.
These are nine benefits that yoga has on the mind.
Yoga is good for sleep
Twenty-two studies have shown that yoga can improve sleep quality and symptoms of depression ( Sivaramakrishna et al., 2019).
Yoga can improve your energy and mental health.
Yoga is associated with better balance, flexibility, and greater muscle strength, in addition to its mental benefits.
Researchers reviewed 22 studies that examined the effects of yoga on physical and mental health.
The reviewed yoga programs ranged from 30 to 90 minutes for each session and lasted between one and seven months.
Yoga was found to improve depression, sleep quality, and flexibility, as well as overall mental and physical health.
Yoga was better than light exercises, such as walking, for improving depression and lower-body strength and flexibility.
Yoga improves body image
Research shows that yoga can have a positive effect on body image ( Neumark–Sztainer et al. (2018)).
Yoga improved the way that 83% of participants felt about their bodies, according to the study.
After practicing yoga, people felt accomplished and had more self-confidence.
Weight gain is a common cause of body dissatisfaction, as well as psychological problems like eating disorders.
Yoga may be a good way to see your body in a different light.
Yoga can improve your mood
Mental health research has shown that yoga increases brain levels of GABA. This chemical regulates nerve activity.
Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine led the study. They compared yoga to a metabolically matched walking condition ( Streeter and al., 2010).
For twelve weeks, it was enough to do yoga for one hour and a half each week. It also helped increase GABA levels.
The GABA levels were not as high in the control condition for those who walked the same amount.
GABA levels that are low, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, have been shown to be associated with lower mood and anxiety.
GABA, a neurotransmitter that is generally inhibitory in mature brains, tends to calm the mind.
Yoga is good for the brain
Yoga improves many brain structures, as well as aerobic exercise. A review of mental health research has shown this ( Gothe and al., 2019).
Yoga, which increases the volume of the hippocampus — an area of the brain that is crucial for memory — works in the same way as aerobic exercise.
Yoga practitioners also tend to have a greater amygdala and a larger cortex of the cingulate.
These structures form part of the limbic System, which regulates emotions.
Brain scans also suggest that yoga improves efficiency in the prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex, located behind the forehead, is responsible for decision-making and planning.
Yoga benefits depression — given time
A study has shown that yoga can reduce the symptoms of persistent depression in people who have it ( Uebelacker and al., 2017).
Although medication and psychotherapy are effective in treating depression, some people have more difficult cases.
Participants in the study who were taking antidepressants for their depression went to weekly yoga classes.
Yoga made no difference in the first ten weeks, but people’s depression levels improved three to six months later.
They were also more socially connected and felt better about themselves.
Yoga sharpens your mind
According to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a single session of 20-minute yoga can sharpen the mind more than comparable amounts of running or walking.
Participants were asked to do moderate aerobic exercise for 20 minutes or to take a 20-minute class of yoga.
However, when tested afterward, people who have been practicing yoga do better on cognitive tests.
These results confirm the extraordinary benefits of yoga for the brain.
Yoga can help you control your emotions and habits
Research shows that just 25 minutes of meditation or yoga per day can boost cognitive abilities.
Both of these practices resulted in an improvement in executive functioning.
This allows people to control their behavior, emotions, and how they set and achieve their goals.
Yoga is good for the immune System
A study found that three months of yoga practice can reduce fatigue and inflammation in breast cancer survivors.
Participants reported a reduction in fatigue of 57% and 20%, even three months after their yoga practice was over.
Janice Kiecolt – Glaser, Ohio State University professor of psychology and psychiatry, was the study’s principal author.
This study showed that even a modest amount of yoga over a few months could have significant benefits for breast cancer survivors.
The results could also be applied to other people with issues such as fatigue or inflammation.”
Yoga-addicted people had lower levels of protein levels, which can indicate inflammation.
Comparable to the non-yoga yoga group
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) was decreased by 11%
Interleukin-1 beta was decreased by 15%
TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor-alpha) was decreased by 10%
Yoga improves memory and attention
A randomized controlled trial found that practicing hatha yoga three days per week for eight weeks increased brain function and performance in older adults.
Sixty-one adults aged between 55 and 79 years old had their cognitive test scores and reaction times measured before and after an eight-week-long yoga course.
The results were compared to a group that met on the same schedule but did stretching and toning instead.