21st June is World Yoga Day, and if you don’t practice Yoga it is a day where the world is busy performing Asana and you find yourself wondering what the hype is all about. You never understood the spiritual and beneficial aspect of practicing Yoga. But a recent Harvard study has revealed that practicing yoga modulates the stress response in individuals. Available reviews of a wide range of yoga practices suggest they can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses and may be helpful for both anxiety and depression. In this respect, yoga functions like other self-soothing techniques, such as meditation, relaxation, exercise, or even socializing with friends.
When perceived stress is reduced the physiological arousal associated with it is also managed controlled heart rate and hence the body’s ability to respond to stress is also increased. Yoga has the ability to make us feel one with our body; it offers a liberating feeling where we can feel calm, connected, clear and centered. One’s negative emotions, thoughts that you may find occupying their mind, take a backseat because of yoga. You float away from your practice, and no unwanted experience can detract from your calm and peace. This is why yoga is famous for its calming and relaxing effects on both mind and body.
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
Yoga emphasizes on purposeful movements and the use of breath to guide us through asana(s). It increases awareness of present-moment experience and as a result, can help individuals become aware of negative moods and the dwelling in negativity. Through these pathways, individuals can begin to separate from evaluative thinking and “mental chatter.” Yoga can also increase our self efficacy as we become more active and help us nurture and support participation in social, work, and intimate relationships.
Yoga is a mind-body practice provides a gateway to accessing the part of the brain responsible for survival and maintenance, which helps individuals with trauma to relearn how to deal with unpleasant internal experiences in a safe environment.
Yoga functions like a self-soothing technique in that it alters the stress response system, helping to “tame” and quiet down the nervous system. In yoga, you hold a particular asana for long durations; balances our nervous system’s fight-or-flight response and move into a more relaxed space with increased work efficiency.
Bring out your yoga mats, and enjoy the mental health benefits of yoga. Calm your senses and just breathe!