We all know yoga has physical benefits, but it, along with meditation, can also be beneficial for your mental health. As yoga increases in popularity in the United States, more and more women are falling in love with the way it makes their minds and bodies feel. The physical health benefits are pretty obvious, but many are unaware of the mental benefits of yoga and meditation. So, just what do yoga and meditation do for our minds? Girl, let’s find out!
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Meditation—along with many yoga poses—is associated with stress relief, which all of us ladies need on occasion. Regardless of the source of stress, yoga and meditation can provide calming outlets that reduce anxiety that builds up in our daily lives. Meditation also limits the amount of cortisol released into the body, and cortisol is the hormone that causes stress.
Since yoga involves the stretching of various muscles in the body, many poses can also help relax tense muscles and relieve stress. Along with meditation, yoga can help you relax both your body and your mind.
According to an article by Harvard University, yoga can help regulate your stress response system, which can help you combat anxiety and depression. Plus, it can lower both the heart rate and blood pressure to prevent the need for medication for high blood pressure and possibly anxiety.
Ladies, a bad mood can ruin your day and the days of those around you, so don’t let that bad mood get to you. Instead, do a little yoga! One of the most instantaneous mental benefits you can get from yoga and meditation is a better mood. Participating in these two activities can prevent sadness, according to research conducted by the University of California – Los Angeles. Plus, research from the University of Exeter has found that meditation is more beneficial for individuals with depression than medications and therapy.
You need to be able to focus on your daily to-do list, and yoga and meditation can help! The practices of meditation and yoga cause you to focus on breathing and your body. These acts can also help you learn to focus in other aspects of your life, too. Being able to clear your mind makes it easier to focus on the tasks on that to-do list.
If you have noticed that your memory isn’t as good as it once was, which happens to all of us, consider taking up yoga and meditation. According to Women’s Fitness, improving focus and clearing your mind can lead to better memory performance. In addition to improved memory, meditation can also improve verbal reasoning skills and cognitive function.
Reduces the Effects of Trauma
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that affects people who have been through a traumatic experience. PTSD can cause people to suffer from nightmares and flashback that can be very intense. The relaxing nature of yoga and meditation can help those with PTSD even in times where medications and other treatments have failed. The American Psychological Association has stated that Hatha Yoga has proven to be effective in reducing the symptoms of PTSD.
Prevents Mental Health Problems
While there aren’t many ways to prevent mental health problems from arising, yoga is one way that teenagers and adolescents can be protected from psychological disorders. According to a study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, adolescents that participate in Kripalu Yoga are less likely to have high levels of anxiety, outbursts of anger, and tension. In addition, these children have enhanced mindfulness and improved resilience.
Delays Degenerative Mental Disorders
In some cases, physiologic changes in the brain that lead to mental disorders can be delayed with the help of meditation. Even though these conditions can’t be prevented, meditation can help delay their onset. A study conducted by the University of Oregon shows that meditation improves axonal density, the linkages that connect different parts of the brain to each other, and myelin, a tissue that helps protect the brain from diseases.
How to Get the Most Out of Yoga and Meditation
Since meditation and yoga can change your mood, it is best to perform them in the morning. We know that you are tired and groggy, but the best time is actually immediately after you wake up. Not only will this help you feel better physically, but you will also be better able to focus, and you will feel more relaxed and stress-free during your day.
If you are just getting started, even five minutes four to five times a week can benefit your mental health. Ideally, these mental health yoga sessions will last between ten and 12 minutes every morning but being consistent is the real key. Daily yoga and meditation practices work on changing your brain, and it takes repetition and consistency for those changes to stick.
Experts recommend trying group yoga and meditation classes if you are struggling to make it work for you or you are having a hard time staying motivated. For those who feel more comfortable practicing yoga and meditation at home, that works just fine, too.UNFNSHD makes quality clothing that is perfect for a relaxing yoga and meditation session. You will want to be comfortable while you make the most out of your session, and a pair of leggings from UNFNSHD can keep you from focusing on uncomfortable clothing. With the ability to move freely in your clothing (which you will thank us for!), your yoga and meditation session will leave you feeling happier and healthier than before—both physically and mentally.