There are countless benefits of yoga. It makes you more flexible, reduces tension, and keeps you active. But yoga has several therapeutic benefits as well.
Yoga is a powerful mental health tool. As such, thousands of people turn to yoga for stress relief. Moreover, NIH research shows that yoga can help treat a range of psychiatric disorders. They also found yoga to be effective in treating physical health issues.
Yoga therapy has surged as researchers continue to discover its benefits. As such, many people report positive results from yoga therapy. But like any treatment, it is important to understand how yoga therapy works.
What is yoga therapy?
Yoga therapy is, simply, the use of yoga to treat health conditions.
Research shows a strong connection between our body and mind. So, we must nurture both to maximize our health. Yoga’s emphasis on the mind-body connection makes it the perfect tool for this.
Through breathing exercises, yoga postures, and meditation, yoga strengthens both your body and mind, boosting your overall wellbeing.
Let’s explore some of the therapeutic benefits of yoga.
Yoga can improve mental health
Yoga therapy is widely used to treat mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Yoga calms the mind, which is key to your mental health. Specifically, yoga helps you relax, slow your breathing, and focus on the present. When you do this, your brain tamps down your sympathetic nervous system and activates your parasympathetic system. This decreases your heart rate and blood pressure, lowers your cortisol levels, and increases blood flow to your organs. As a result, you feel relaxed.
Moreover, yoga inhibits the hypothalamus’ sympathetic area. This region of your brain drives fear, rage, and stress. Further, yoga activates your brain’s pleasure centers. It also boosts your serotonin levels. Therefore, a consistent yoga practice can improve both anxiety and depression.
Yoga reduces pain
As you know, yoga involves a lot of bending and stretching. This of course improves your flexibility. Over time, you’ll slowly loosen the muscles and connective tissues around your bones and joints. This in turn reduces aches and pains.
Yoga also helps build and maintain muscle. Doing this protects you from conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. So, you can think of your muscles like body armor!
Additionally, yoga uses your joints’ full range of motion, activating often-neglected areas of cartilage. When you stimulate these areas, you flood them with nutrients, oxygen, and blood. Without this level of care, your cartilage will eventually give out and expose the bone. As such, yoga can help prevent and manage a range of chronic pain conditions.
Yoga helps you sleep better
If you have insomnia, you know how awful it is. Missing out on sleep can severely affect your daily life. But don’t worry—yoga can help you get your zzz’s!
Although it’s good to have an active mind, you need to turn it off to sleep at night. Overstimulation, like stress, makes this difficult. Yoga encourages pratyahara, an inward focus of your senses. This gives your nervous system a break, often improving sleep.
Due to the many side effects of sleep medication, yoga can be a solid alternative for treating insomnia. By increasing relaxation and balancing your mental state, yoga addresses insomnia’s root causes.
Yoga boosts your immune system
Feel like you’re always getting sick?
Stress can severely weaken your immune system. By reducing stress, yoga can boost your immune system, according to NIH. Further, yoga strengthens your respiratory and lymphatic systems. As a result, your body can more readily expel toxins, keeping you healthy.
Want to give yoga therapy a try?
If you’d like to try yoga therapy, look no further than Flowell. With instructors specializing in different areas of therapeutic yoga, we’re sure to have the right class for you. Sign up for free at www.flowell.co today!