The 6 psychological benefits of yoga

the yoga is a very ancient physical and mental practice which has grown all over the world because of its advantages because it guarantees a firm body, a stable mind and a benevolent spirit.

It is an ancient art that has amply demonstrated that it can improve our quality of life, not only on a physical level but also on a mental and spiritual level.

Psychology and yoga

It consists of postures (asanas), relaxation (savasana), meditation (dhyana), breathing (pranayama), kriyas (cleansing), mudras (energy seals), kirtan (chanting), mantras or rituals. In addition to an exercise, for many it is a lifestyle that seeks well-being, inner peace and involves a lifestyle that is committed to respecting ethical rules, Principles of life and good nutrition.

Yoga achieves the integration of movement with the breath until these cease to be two separate entities and transform into one. Its practice becomes an extremely powerful transformative agent that causes profound changes in our health. In fact, its use is considered a preventive or rehabilitative medicine because it stimulates metabolic and anabolic processes and improves the circulation of energy, oxygenating the body. When we talk about yoga, we can not only refer to the physiological benefits (ex: increase in flexibility, decrease in muscle stiffness, etc.), but we must mention the positive consequences it produces on the mind, the body. emotional well-being and the brain.

Then Psychology and the mindWe present to you the six psychological benefits of practicing yoga.

1. Reduces stress

The lifestyle of Western societies can lead many people to suffer from stress, causing psychological health issues such as depression, anxiety, etc. A study of Thirthalli and Naveen (2013) proves that yoga treatment reduces cortisol levels, A hormone that is released in response to stress.

Cortisol is necessary for the body because it regulates and mobilizes energy in stressful situations, but if we have too much of it or if we increase it in situations where we do not need it, it produces many side effects. . By practicing yoga, we can lower the levels of this hormone, and therefore reduce stress.

2. Improves sleep

Serotonin (5-HT) is a neurotransmitter derived from an amino acid called tryptophan. It sends messages to the brain and through the nervous system, and is involved in many processes such as regulating mood and appetite. In addition, one of its main tasks is increase melatonin production, A hormone that regulates sleep cycles.

To get peaceful rest, also serotonin intervenes in the control of stress and body temperature. “The practice of yoga increases serotonin levels, which helps you sleep better,” says Dr. Murali Doraiswam, author of a Duke University study that included reviewing more than 100 research articles on yoga.

3. Improves mood

As we saw in the previous point, serotonin (5-HT) also regulates mood. Low levels of 5-HT are associated with depressive and obsessive behaviors. Research by Cabral, Meyer and Ames (2011) found that regular yoga practice produces significant improvements in patients with depression and anxiety in a similar way to exercise, due to an increase in serotonin.

Another neurotransmitter that seems to influence this aspect is GABA. A recent study from Boston University and the University of Utah has shown that there is also an increase in this neurotransmitter in yoga practitioners.

4. It prolongs life and prevents degenerative diseases

American researchers from Harvard University School of Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital have shown, after a study, that yoga and meditation increase the size of telomeres, structures located at the ends of chromosomes and which are directly linked to aging, to development of certain pathologies and even premature death.

The study concludes that there appears to be a positive correlation between healthy and large telomeres, and increased longevity, prevention of degenerative diseases and human health. Doing yoga for just 15 minutes a day is enough to produce biochemical changes in the brain and neurons.

5. Improves concentration

Yoga practitioners they improve concentration, coordination, reaction time, memory and learning show better problem-solving skills according to a study by Neha Göthe, professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. According to his research, published in The Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 20 minutes of yoga a day is more cognitively beneficial than a session of intense physical activity.

    6. Improves relationship and sexual relations

    According to Pete McCall, exercise physiologist and personal trainer for the American Exercise Council, “Yoga can lead to better sex because it will help your flexibility and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.” A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that yoga can treat premature ejaculation and improve sexual satisfaction.

    In addition, as another study from the University of British Columbia mentions, reducing stress through the practice of yoga increases libido and sexual vitality. Therefore, by improving the sex life in different ways, it is possible that the relationship will benefit as well.

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