Are mental and physical health related?
Yoga could play a greater part in protecting and promoting mental health.
For thousands of years, yoga has been used to maintain good mental and physical health. In our high-stress, always-on world, the practice is more relevant than ever.
The King’s Fund and the British Centre for Mental Health both state that poor mental health has been a major factor in the 12-18% rise in NHS expenditure annually on treating and managing long-term conditions. It’s a significant figure in a health service that is already straining to cope, and many scientists are quoting yoga as being a solution to dealing with the problem.
Here are some of the mental benefits of practising yoga:
Yoga relieves stress and tension
Stress and mental health account for around half of all sick days taken from work. It is detrimental to employees’ personal performance and also catastrophic for business owners. Yoga’s combination of breath, meditation and body work makes it a great way to soothe the mind and dispel tension. Find out more about our Meditation & Relaxation collection here.
Yoga helps with anxiety and depression
According to a Harvard University article, yoga is proven to be helpful in reducing anxiety and depression. Through treating the spirit and the mind through activities such as relaxation, meditation, deep breathing and exercise, yoga helps regulate the stress response system, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and produces seratonin, the feel-good hormone. Read more about Earth+Sky’s Zen Flow classes here.
Yoga boosts memory and improves concentration
According to a recent study by University of Illinois, yoga is ideal for improving mental focus through quieting the fluctuations of the mind; several brain areas benefit from yoga, including those that control memory, decision-making and planning.
Yoga reduces the effects of traumatic experiences
People who suffer from anxiety developed after traumatic events can benefit from yoga practice, according to a three-year study of yoga and trauma at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. Gentle yoga leads to a significant reduction in symptoms, calming intrusive thoughts and reconnecting people to their bodies.
Yoga improves symptoms of dementia
Research from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA states that yoga and meditation may help the brain form new connections and improve the quality of life of dementia patients. The breathing, movement, postures and concentration that go into yoga practice use different parts of the brain and can actually improve brain structure and function in the elderly. Some of our gentler classes are ideal for older people.
At Earth+Sky, we believe in that yoga could become one of the staple strategies in protecting and restoring mental health.