Yoga & The Mind

Sep 10, 2018

person doing yoga pose on top of a mountain with sun in the distanceWith an average annual increase of 14% in the number of people who practice yoga, more people are embracing the benefits that come with harnessing the power of “mind and spirit,” according to yoga industry growth statistics from the Statistic Brain Research Institute.

Understanding The Mental Benefits Associated With Yoga Practice

Yoga helps us work with the nature of our minds, the nature of being human and how emotions affect our mind and behaviors. From emotional and psychological healing to improving self-confidence and relationships, and helping battle pain and stress, yoga is well-known for its mental and emotional benefits. Here are three ways that yoga can benefit your mental health and well being:

1. Yoga helps us enter a more relaxed mental state

Unlike other forms of exercise, the more relaxed state of practicing yoga helps bring more balance and clarity in everything related to your mental well-being. By moving you from a “busy lifestyle” state of mind to a “rest and digest” state of mind, yoga helps you experience less anxiety and enter a more relaxed mental state. The majority of yoga devotees will attest to the fact that a session of yoga practice results in a feeling of calmness and positivity, with an overall sense of being able to easily cope with whatever stresses that life has to throw at you.

To ensure you’re benefiting from your yoga exercises, creating the perfect yoga environment for a relaxed mind is critical. It’s advisable to find a small but inspiring space where you can practice yoga. For instance, turning your backyard shed into a space where you can meditate and even relax after having a great yoga session is a great idea. You can have your yoga sessions in a garden shed, secluded outdoor space, home office space and any other private hangout where your mind and soul become one.

2. Yoga helps build a sense of self

By engaging in yoga, you get to understand yourself better and cultivate a deeper relationship with yourself. Every private session helps you build self-trust. With more confidence in yourself and a sense of self, you get to develop a healthier willpower to handle difficult situations or challenges – because you know you’ll still be OK at the end of the day. As you engage in yoga exercises more and eat healthier, your unconscious mind tells you that “I’m worthy of some me time, and this effort.” This results in a self-appreciating relationship that improves your overall mental health and well-being.

3. Yoga helps improve concentration and boost memory

Almost everyone has experienced instances where they find it difficult to focus on their day-to-day tasks at work and even at home. For instance, you might find yourself procrastinating in your workplace every time you find yourself alone in the office. Thankfully, yoga has been proven to be effective in improving memory and concentration levels. In such cases, Dharana, also known as the practice of concentration, is the ideal yoga exercise to help you clear your mind and calm your mental state and senses. As you focus your mind, you’ll be able to remember things, perform much better and even improve your levels of concentration.

Yoga is a gentle and relaxed art that should be practiced with a level of great care and gratitude towards your body. By doing so, the effects on our mental health are immeasurable. Whether you’re dealing with stress, depression, anxiety disorder or other mental issues, yoga is one of the most effective ways to manage and improve your overall mental and psychological health.

By freelance writer Jane Sanwood