We’ve all heard of yoga before. But do you really know what it is and what the benefits are?
The practice of yoga could lead you towards spiritual enlightenment. If you have the patience that is. And, knowing what to expect from spiritual enlightenment. That’s if you really put the work in.
For the short term, yoga could contribute to fixing back pain, help shift your beer belly, and add kilos to your squat. No surprise that some of the world’s fittest people turn to yoga to reach their full potential inside and out. In this article, we’ll explore the potential benefits of yoga on the brain.
What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice, originating in India, which has been widely developed and democratized in recent years in Western countries.
This practice is very popular because it has the unique characteristic of uniting body and mind by combining physical movements, breathing exercises, and meditation exercises.
The practice of yoga brings intense relaxation (through breathing and meditation) but also muscle strengthening and deep stretching (through movement).
Over the last few decades, research on this practice has intensified. Many scientists have been interested in yoga to try to understand its beneficial effects and how this practice could be integrated into the treatment of certain pathologies such as stress, anxiety, anxiety disorders, or depression.
Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the different effects of yoga on health through the modification of certain brain structures and neurochemical pathways.
Yoga would help to reduce stress, anxiety, and anxiety disorders, but it would also help to fight against depression and would improve, in a general way, the quality of life of people who practice it regularly.
But how does it all work?
Stress and anxiety translate into various states such as negative and parasitic thoughts, uncontrollable anger, floods of various emotions, or frustration.
Physically, it can also manifest itself through symptoms such as fatigue, sometimes even exhaustion, heart rhythm disorders, increased blood pressure, stomach aches, or muscle tension.
Depression, on the other hand, is characterized by a generalized sadness, a general lack of interest in many things, a loss of self-esteem, and great fatigue.
All these pathologies have one thing in common: a neurochemical molecule, called a neurotransmitter, Gamma AminoButyric Acid or GABA.
This neurotransmitter, released by neurons, is an inhibitory molecule whose role is to “calm” the nervous system by preventing excessive brain activity.
Decreases in GABA levels are observed in people suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression. According to some scientific studies, the regular practice of yoga would act on the levels of GABA.
It would seem, in fact, that this is associated with an increase in the levels of this neurotransmitter and thus an improvement in mood and psychological well-being.
However, yoga is not considered a treatment per se, but it can be a very good complement in the planning of mental health care.
How to practice it daily?
Here is an example of a very simple breathing exercise that you can do whenever you feel the need. Sit comfortably cross-legged or in any other position that is comfortable for you.
Let your hands fall to your knees, thighs, or wherever they naturally fall, and close your eyes. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose for 5 seconds, inflating your belly.
Then exhale, still through the nose, for 5 seconds, also pulling in the belly. Repeat this 6 times in a row for 5 minutes. This breathing exercise in frequency 6 allows, on the one hand, to naturally reduce your heart rate and, on the other hand, allows, by concentrating on your breath, to temporarily forget the anxious thoughts.
In summary, yoga is a practice that has many benefits for well-being in general, whether you suffer from these disorders or not, which has the advantage of requiring little equipment and is within the reach of all. So what are you waiting for to start?