Yogis have been publicizing and sharing the benefits of consistent yoga practice for thousands of years and finally scientists are now confirming much of what yoga practitioners have known all along. There are broad mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of consistent yoga practice. Many of the yogic theory and practice lead to increased self-knowledge.
Many of these benefits have been researched and confirmed through scientific study while others are purely anecdotal, having been upheld by those who regularly practice and experience the benefits of yoga practice. The emotional advantages of the practice are most fulfilling and long lasting.
The Mental and Emotional Benefits of Practicing Yoga
In an overview, regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness, relieves chronic stress patterns, increases body awareness, centers attention, relaxes the mind and sharpens concentration.
Yoga strives to increase self-awareness on both the physical and psychological levels. Practicing it can provide those with chronic pain useful tools to deal actively with their pain and counter the feelings of helplessness and depression. It releases the buildup of lactic acid to steer an improved self-awareness.
A common technique used in yoga is breathing through one nostril at a time. Studies about electrical impulses of the brain have shown that breathing through one nostril results in increased activity on the opposite side of the brain. This helps in improving communication between the right and left side of the brain.
Mood change and vitality
Mental health and physical energy may be difficult to quantify, but those who participate in yoga over a period reports a positive effect on their energy levels. There is increased brain activity and enhanced cognitive performance. It helps one heal mentally and physically towards a healthy and happy life.
Activities such as relaxation, socialization, meditation, and exercise are helpful in reducing the anxiety and depression levels. Yoga enables the accomplishment of these by helping regulate a person’s stress response system. It has the ability to lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as improving respiration resolving anxiety and depression.
Boosts memory and improves concentration
The practice of yoga has been documented to be effective in improving one’s memory and concentration. It offers a perfect way of clearing the mind and calming one’s senses. As one removes the static noise in their head and focus the mind, you get in a position of remembering things, you get a better concentration and better performance.
Yoga reduces the effects of traumatic experiences
People who have been abused or involved in violence/combat develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Patients who are suffering from this mental illness frequently experience nightmares and flashbacks. Hatha Yoga has been known to provide an adequate remedy for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
Considerations in adopting yoga practice include the style of practice, instructor credentials, experience, style, and level of ability, schedule, and the desired outcome. Yoga can be practiced in many styles from more aggressive and active forms such as Ashtanga and power yoga to more meditative ones such as Hatha.