Practicing yoga is good for your body - it can help improve your flexibility, protect you from injuries and lower your blood pressure. But what about the many other benefits yoga has for you? From improving your concentration and focus to relieving anxiety, here’s how taking up yoga can benefit your mind.
When sat at a desk all day tension can start to build up in the shoulders, back etc. When the body is tense, the mind is tense and vice versa. Therefore by relieving tension in the body, you are also helping to relieve the mind. Learning poses to give the body an amazing stretch out can leave you walking off the mat feeling like a different person.
It calms your mind
Usually during the day, no matter what we’re doing, our minds are filled with thoughts racing around at a million miles an hour. We’re thinking about what we’re going to do for dinner, where we need to go and when, and what we need to do tomorrow. With yoga, because of the concentration and attentiveness to your breathing that’s required, you’ll find that your thoughts slow right down - something that we could all stand to practice more often!
We cannot always control our external stimulus but through yoga we can teach you to reduce the physiological impact of stress. Through yoga you will practice slowing down the breath. We can't breath slowly and feel a sense of panic at the same time, so we naturally enter into a state of calmness, therefore having a profound positive effect on the stress/ fight or flight response in the body. This in turn leads to reduced levels of stress and anxiety and their impact long term on the body.
It helps with productivity
Because yoga encourages mindfulness and helps you to stay present in the moment, it also helps you to be more productive. If you’re working on a task, and your mind is focused solely on that task in the present moment, you’re more likely to get it done quicker and better. Although multi-tasking has been said to be a highly desirable trait, it actually can lessen your ability to get each job done well as you’re splitting your task and your mind up into smaller bits.
Yoga promotes positivity
When you practice yoga, all sorts of positive brain hormones are released, including dopamine and oxytocin, which help you to be happier and maintain a positive mindset. If you’ve ever practiced yoga, you’ll know what we mean as your practice often leaves you feeling happy and relaxed. Unlike typical exercise practices, yoga isn’t done primarily to increase fitness or attractiveness - it’s actually been shown to promote positive body image as you’re focused more on how your body feels as opposed to what it looks like.
What a wonderful tool yoga is for both your body and your mind!
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