Yoga can be an incredible tool in well-being and recovery, why not check out the five reasons to start a yoga practice below!

1. Stress Management

Stress management is a huge factor in managing mood and well-being. Increases in stress can lead to disrupted sleep, weakened immune systems, and mood episodes. Yoga has shown to help people manage stress on the genetic level.

“Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don’t simply relax us; they can ‘reverse’ the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression…These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed.” (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170615213301.htm)

2. Improved Mood

Yoga can also impact the neurotransmitters in the brain the impact mood. Studies have shown the yoga increases the presence of GABA levels in the hypothalamus that leads to improved mood and decreased anxiety. (http://www.naturalnews.com/042810_yoga_improved_mood_anxiety_treatment.html)

3. Better Sleep

Yoga practice has been shown to improve sleep. Sleep can be essential in managing mood and well-being and therefore seeing yoga as another tool to help improve is one more reason to check out your local yoga gym. A national survey found that over 55% of people who did yoga found that it resulted in better sleep. Check out ther research here: https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012/wellness?nav=chat

4. Increased Awareness

Increased awareness can help identify changes in mood, early warnings signs, and aid in engagement in self-care. If you are aware when you are experiencing an early warning sign of depression or elevated mood, you are better able to address your needs at that time. After Julia Belluz’s review of 50 studies of the impact yoga has on well-being, she found the following:

“Emerging research suggests yoga can increase body awareness, or attention to the sensations and things going on inside you. That’s no small matter: Researchers think heightened body awareness can improve how well people take care of themselves.” (https://www.vox.com/2015/7/22/9012075/yoga-health-benefits-exercise-science)

5. Physical Wellness

It’s also not surprising that yoga practice has benefits for physical health. As physical well-being is greatly linked to our psychological well-being, making sure you take care of your body is essential when supporting your mood.  Yoga can help improve flexibility and posture, strengthen muscles, reduce cartilage and joint breakdown, increase blood flow, boost immunity, help with digestion and so much more. (https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit)

-Gina

For More Information

Yoga for Mood and Health

Yoga Nidra as a Strategy to Cope with Insomnia

Yoga

Breathing Practices for Stress Relief

References

Belluz, J. (22 July 2015). I read more than 50 scientific studies about yoga. Here’s what I learned. Retrieved from: https://www.vox.com/2015/7/22/9012075/yoga-health-benefits-exercise-science

Coventry University. “Meditation and yoga can ‘reverse’ DNA reactions which cause stress, new study suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170615213301.htm>.

McCall, T. (28 August 2007). 38 Benefits of Yoga. Retrieved from: Rhttps://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit

Ram, N. (7 November 2013). Yoga improves mood, reduces anxiety and depression. Retrieved from: http://www.naturalnews.com/042810_yoga_improved_mood_anxiety_treatment.html

Stussman BJ, Black LI, Barnes PM, Clarke TC, Nahin RL. Wellness-related use of common complementary health approaches among adults: United States, 2012. National health statistics reports; no 85. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015. [402KB PDF]