Yoga can now benefit the mind as well as the body and soul.

Yoga is a great way to build strength and balance whilst also stretching your entire body to release stress and tension. Now it is being shown that stress is also being released in the mind due to a study  performed in the USA. Women who showed signs of depression, stress, and unhealthy diet patterns were split into two groups. One group attended two hot yoga classes a week for eight weeks while the other group acted as a control attending none.

This is what Jenny Cook has to say about the study,

It was found that those who had taken part in the classes saw vast improvements in their mental health and wellbeing, with participants reporting an average decrease in stress and emotional eating that was almost three times greater than that of the women in the control group.

There was then a similar study taken in Boston, a group of mostly women with depression or depressing thoughts attended hot yoga. All the participants showed a significant improvement in their health and Maren Nyer explains why. ‘Yoga may work by rebalancing two parts of our nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for rest and relaxation, while the sympathetic nervous system controls arousal and fight-or-flight responses. There’s some evidence that stress, which can induce depression, increases activity in the sympathetic nervous system, and reduces activity in the parasympathetic system.’

Yoga is a very calming exercise and this just proves how affective it can be to releasing stress all around you. Perhaps try finding a local yoga class to attend and see if it improves your mental health.


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