Keeping your brain in shape is an integral part of life in order to achieve optimal health and wellness. A majority of our time is spent making sure that our bodies overall Physical fitness receives the most attention, and for good reason. Having a healthy body helps to prevent us in most circumstances crippling conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and whilst helping us to maintain our independence as we age. Mental fitness however should be deemed just as important if not more than physical fitness, and shouldn’t be neglected.
Taking time to be considerate of our personal well-being is very important for the fact that it directly affects our actions and emotions. It is crucial that everyone achieve’s optimal wellness as doing so assists with subduing stress, while working to reduce the risk of illness and ensures we have more positive than negative interactions.
Yoga, is like most other forms of exercise great for ones physical health but it has also been found to be great for mental and emotional well-being. Here are 5 ways in which we are able to use yoga to benefit not only on a physical level but also on a mental/emotional level for those who practice it on a regular basis.
- Yoga improves your mood: the simple fact that yoga is a physical activity means that it will have a positive effect on your emotional wellbeing. There is definitive evidence from a range of studies conducted over time that indicates that any form of physical exercise is a mood-enhancer. Therefore it is recommended that if you’re feeling down, struggling to sleep, or lacking energy, on any scale whether that be mild or severe, having an active lifestyle is key to improving your mood, sleep and motivation.
- It is a form of moving meditation: The main elements of yoga are comprised of movement, breathing and meditation. Yoga emphasises on the importance living in the present moment, or being ‘mindful’, and maintaining ones focus and attention. Bearing that in mind, it is important to note that the benefits of mindfulness practices are well-researched and are now used as part of psychological treatments for anxiety, depression and other problematic behaviours.
- Yoga for goal setting and productivity: A majority of yoga classes begin with the students setting a positive intention for the practice. Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation practices can enhance emotional intelligence levels in those who partake. Studies have indicated that, “No matter what one’s personal intention is – the act of setting a goal starts a positive path that helps us improve your focus and productivity”.
- It is a great way to spend time and connect with friends: More often than not, for some it can be quite daunting to go to a yoga class by oneself, especially if you are a beginner. So why not make a social occasion out of it! Get your friends together for an hour of Downward Dogs and Sun Salutations, join in having a laugh with your mates as you master the techniques, before going out afterwards for a well-deserved juice break and catch up.
- Yoga highlights the mind-body: It is a holistic practice that helps one to acknowledge the importance of the mind-body connection and helps people feel and recognise this connection within themselves. Studies show that we are able to use our bodies to shape our mind to behave more confidently and perform more effectively in yoga and in life. While yoga helps us to stretch the limits of our body we will learn to notice how the different asanas we flow through positively affects our sense of self and your state of mind.
The benefits you will feel from partaking in any form of yoga are quite literally endless – whether it be to simply focus on yourself or to have fun with your friends, work on your fitness or to get back into shape, or improve your state of mind.