I have been practicing yoga for the last 12 years, and I could write blogs and blogs that shout its praises from the mountaintops. But today, I will use this month’s focus on Mental Health to highlight yoga’s benefit on it.
We know that all exercise can boost your mood by lowering levels of stress hormones, increasing the production of feel-good chemicals, and bringing more oxygenated blood to your brain, but yoga may bost even additional benefits.
An article from Harvard Medical School states that yoga can affect mood by elevating levels of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is associated with better mood and decreased anxiety, two big wins for your mental health.
Furthermore, with its emphasis on breathing practices and meditation—both of which are calming and centering for the mind—yoga also brings mental benefits, such as reduced anxiety and depression. Finally, meditation that is integrated into a yoga practice also reduces activity in the limbic system (the part of the brain dedicated to emotions). As your emotional reactivity diminishes, you have a more tempered response when faced with stressful situations. Now we see why yogis have the reputation for the calm and peaceful facade.
Looking for holistic ways to improve your mood? Look no further than your yoga mat.
Yoga studios are ubiquitous these days, but you don’t need to shell out a lot of money or fit your schedule to the studio’s offerings. Yoga can be practiced from the comfort of your home thanks to the plethora of offerings online.
I hope this plants the seed to get on your mat and practice your way to feeling better. Our Health Advisors and Personal Trainers can assist you in starting your practice if you need additional guidance.
Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– Keeley Mezzancello, MS, RD, LDN, CHWC
Health Advisor, Registered Dietitian | Email Keeley