How Yoga Benefits Your Mental Health


Over 36 million Americans and several million more worldwide reap the benefits of yoga. Its spiritual and philosophical origins date back thousands of years and are a common practice, especially for Americans seeking physical benefits. Improvements in mental health are also abundant with yoga.

The Psychological Rewards of Yoga

Although there are many variants, hatha yoga is the most widely practiced type of yoga, a fusion of physical stretches and mindful breathing exercises. This, in turn, benefits flexibility, coordination, range of motion, and strength. As indicated by numerous studies, yoga can also:

  • Release beneficial brain chemicals: Brain messengers include serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Despite yoga's gradual and calculated movements, your heart rate still rises, your muscles become highly active, and your brain is stimulated to release chemicals. These benefits can make you feel happier as a result.
  • Combats depression: Depression symptoms are reduced by yoga, according to studies. In addition, alternative treatments, including psychotherapy and medication, have been comparable to yoga, according to researchers. In addition, yoga doesn't come with the adverse side effects of various drugs and can be practiced on a low budget. Individuals suffering from major depressive disorder may even reap the benefits of yoga.
  • Manages stress and anxiety: 86% of Americans, according to a survey, reported that yoga was beneficial in combating stressors. This is because tension is lessened by muscles tightening and relaxing. Relaxing music, a tranquil ambiance, and a positive mindset are also beneficial in most yoga classes. The controlled breathing practices associated with yoga can also help manage anxiety since breathing problems and anxiety tend to correlate. However, if you've been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, yoga alone may not help but is supplemented with additional types of therapy by psychologists.
  • Enhances sleep quality: As research suggests, yoga benefits sleep quality, which may be especially true for older adults. As reported by yoga participants over 60 in one study, the quality and quantity of their sleep improved. In addition, the measurement of the time percentage spent in bed sleeping, known as sleep efficiency, is also enhanced by practicing yoga.
  • Promotes a more prosperous social life: Interacting with others in a yoga group may be beneficial if you attend in-person yoga courses. Emotional and physical well-being can be positively impacted by developing social bonds. Interesting social benefits may also occur during yoga synchrony or performing in unison with a group. A sense of unity and a deep connection with the group may occur as you move and breathe with everyone else.
  • Encourages other healthy lifestyle habits: A diet rich in wholesome foods is more likely if you practice yoga. You may explore different variations of physical exercises in addition to yoga as well. Beneficial lifestyle changes may also be encouraged by being around other health-minded individuals. For overweight people, smokers, and those battling chronic diseases, yoga may positively impact their quality of life.