Staying physically fit is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to your health. However, your quality-of-life will suffer, no matter how in shape you are, if you don’t take care of your mental health too. Luckily, practicing yoga delivers the double-whammy we’ve all been looking for! Yogis believe in holistic health, meaning our emotions and our physical bodies are intertwined. Yoga is one of the best ways to stimulate your body while calming your mind, and we’re sharing four benefits of yoga for mental health.
4 Benefits of Yoga For Mental Health
#1 It Gets You Out of Your Sympathetic Nervous System and Into Your Parasympathetic Nervous System
A fancy way of saying that yoga reduces your stress and brings a sense of serenity. When you’re constantly bombarding your nervous system with stress and anxiety, it releases the stress hormone, cortisol, and creates a fight or flight response in your body. Yoga calms this reaction and helps create equilibrium in your body that puts you back into a more relaxed state.
#2 It Builds Self-awareness and Self-acceptance
Yoga pushes you outside of your comfort zone, where you have to dig deep inside yourself, face your fears, and understand how you react to challenges. Whether it’s noticing that your hips are out of alignment in your warrior one or how your mind responds to poses that make you feel discomfort, you gain self-awareness in your body and mind you may have not had before.
With this self-awareness, you can then find self-compassion, realizing that we all have negative thought patterns that can hold us back. You then have the option to accept and love yourself through your growth until you can begin to break these limiting beliefs.
#3 It Brings You Into The Present Moment
By focusing on your breathing, the position of your body, and challenging yourself, yoga leaves little room left for other thoughts. This puts you in the “now,” which is extremely beneficial to fight stress, anxiety, and depression — this is one of the most impressive benefits of yoga for mental health.
When we learn how to be more present in our yoga practice, we can start to bring the same emotion into our everyday lives.
#4 It Helps You be Less Reactionary
When you come from a calmer state, have more self-awareness, and become more present, daily conflicts in life become easier to handle. You can start to observe others’ actions and have compassion for them the same way you’ve found it for yourself in your yoga practice.
This can greatly reduce drama in your life that negatively affects your mental health and build stronger relationships that add to your well-being.
5 Yoga Routines That Will Leave Your More Energized and Centered
There are many different forms of yoga, so whether you want to work up a sweat to start your day, need an afternoon pick-me-up, or want to prepare for sleep, it’s important to pick the proper routine for your goals.
In a slump? Didn’t sleep well? Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted at the same time? These five yoga routines are designed to give you a little energy boost without any of the jitters or crash.
#1 Rise & Shine Yoga
The perfect yoga routine to get a jumpstart on your day. This flow sequence with trainer Sydney Benner brings your body and mind into alignment with opening poses and traditional sun salutations.
#2 Full Body Flow
Trainer Vytas takes you through creative variations like Falling Star, Chair Pose, and dynamic push-ups to get your heart rate up and blood flowing. You’ll strengthen your entire body while calming your mind — the perfect combination for leaving you refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day.
#3 Intermediate Yoga
Want to know how Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye is always so fabulous? A huge believer in the power of daily yoga practices, he takes you through an Intermediate yoga flow that’s going to leave you feeling gorgeous and glowing. Still a beginner? Try his Beginner yoga class to start!
#4 Get up and Flow
In just 15-minutes, trainer Elise Joan takes you through a flow that will energize your body, heart, and mind. This empowering yoga routine focuses on finding space in your body, firing up your core, and lengthening your muscles while awakening your mind with a variation of opening exercises like Triangle Pose, Reverse Warrior, and Wide-Leg Fold.
#5 Daily Yoga
Say hello to your new go-to daily yoga routine when you need a release. Improve your flexibility, strength, and power with trainer Sydney Benner who takes you through a number of challenging flows.
Ready to experience the benefits of yoga for mental health? With results that can be rather immediate, it’s time to press play!