Psychological Benefits – Overview
- Concentration improves
- Memory improves
- Attention improves
- Learning efficiency improves
- Mood improves
- Well-being increases
- Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increases
- Self-acceptance increases
- Social skills increase
- Depression decrease/elimination
- Anxiety decrease/elimination
- Hostility decrease/elimination
- Balance improves
- Depth perception improves
- Steadiness improves
- Mind/Body neuro connection improves
- Cognitive function improves
Due to the strong mind-body connection of yoga, there are many emotional benefits to be gained from a consistent yoga practice.
■ Mood. Overall well-being improves with yoga practice. The combination of creating a strong mind-body connection, creating a healthy body, and focusing inward can all lead to improvement in your mood.
■ Stress Reduction. The concentration required during yoga practice tends to focus your attention on the matter at hand, thereby reducing the emphasis you may have been putting on the stress in your life.
■ Anxiety. One benefit to the controlled breathing used in yoga is a reduction in anxiety. Yoga is a combination of slow physical movements, meditation, relaxation with gentle and deep breathing exercises that help in lowering muscle tension, relaxing the nervous system and lowers heart rate, thereby relieving anxiety.
■ Depression. some believe the negative feelings that you may be repressing are brought to the surface during some types of yoga exercise. When this happens, the negative energy is no longer stuck within you, but released through exercise. Regularly releasing this negativity leads to a reduction of depression in many people.
■ Self-acceptance. Focusing inward and realizing through your yoga practice that perfection is not the goal, self-acceptance begins to take over.
■ Self-control. The controlled movements of yoga teach you how to translate that self-control to all aspects of your life.
■ Mind-body connection. Few other exercises offer the same mind-body connection that yoga does. As you match your controlled breathing with the movements of your body, you retrain your mind to find that place of calm and peace that long-time yogis know.
■ Positive outlook on life. Continued practice of yoga results in a balance of many hormones and nervous system, which brings about a more stable, positive approach to life.
■ Hostility. Most yogis report a huge reduction in the amount of hostility they feel as well as a sense of control when anger flares. This calm effect is likely from the relaxation and meditation that is incorporated in their yoga practice that leads to an overall calming of the nervous system. Less hostility means lower blood pressure and stress and a healthier approach to life.
■ Concentration. Researchers have shown that as little as eight weeks of yoga practice can result in better concentration and more motivation.
■ Memory. Improved blood circulation to the brain as well as the reduction in stress and improved focus results in a better memory.
■ Attention. The attention required in yoga to maintain the structured breathing in conjunction with yoga poses sharpens the ability to keep a sharp focus on tasks.
■ Social skills. In yoga, you learn the interconnectedness of all of life. Your yoga practice soon evolves from a personal journey to one connecting to the community at large where your social skills improve along with your yoga practice.
■ Calmness. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing calmness. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind.