Yoga is often discussed as purely physical exercise. While yoga can definitely help you tone and strengthen your body, the mental health benefits outweigh the physical benefits for many people. In fact, a lot of advocates use and promote yoga much like sedentary meditation.

Keep reading to learn more about how practicing yoga regularly could improve your mental health as well as your physical body.

Stress Reduction

Stress can lead to all sorts of health problems over time, ranging from high blood pressure to diabetes. Most of us can’t just cut out the stresses that we face from work and family life, so finding ways to reduce stress internally is essential.

Through breathing techniques and regular exercise, yoga can help many people feel calmer and be better equipped to handle the day’s stresses. Many people also find that yoga helps them handle situations better in their daily lives, creating less stress overall.

Improved Concentration

Everybody has a laundry list of things to do these days. Getting everything done can feel like an impossibility when you’ve only got so many hours to cross chores off that list. Between work and family, you might feel like you’re just not getting enough done in general.

For many people, yoga helps to boost concentration levels by allowing them to relax at some point during the day. When you’re frazzled and feel stressed by all the tasks you need to take care of, it can actually become more difficult to do them efficiently.

As paradoxical as it seems taking twenty or thirty minutes for yoga can make your whole day feel more productive.

Anxiety and Depression

Unlike common stress, anxiety and depression can’t always be fixed by changing your circumstances or who you spend time with. Acute anxiety and depression often need professional treatment.

One thing you may find your doctor recommending to you is yoga. In fact, yoga is increasingly being recommended to people with other serious mental health disorders like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for two reasons.

Yoga is beneficial exercise overall. A healthy body tends to lead to a happier mind, and a regular exercise routine benefits many people.

  • Yoga also helps relieve stress and can help many people feel more in control of their lives. It may not be a cure, but yoga can people who suffer from anxiety and depression feel better on a day-to-day basis.

What Type of Yoga is Best?

If you’re new to yoga and you go to sign up for classes at a local studio, you’ll likely find yourself confused. Not all yoga practices and classes are the same, and choosing which one is right for you can feel difficult.

According to the American Psychological Association, Hatha yoga, which focuses on basic movements and proper breathing techniques, may be best for relieving stress and reducing symptoms of disorders like anxiety, depression, and even PTSD.

Other types of yoga can improve mental health as well. Vinyasa, Ashtanga, power yoga and Bikram yoga are all widely available. Try a few different types to see what works best for you.

Yoga isn’t a trend or some silly exercise routine. It’s a way of life for many people and the basic principles have been around for hundreds of years.

Try it for yourself and see if your mental health might be benefited. You might just find a new daily routine that makes you a happier, more productive individual.