Origin of yoga
Yoga is a holistic health system that originated in Northern India more than 5,000 years ago. Determining the exact date is difficult because the Indian tradition didn’t attach importance to the chronological aspects and because the teachings were orally transmitted.
The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means to unite, and its goal is to achieve the unity of body, mind, and emotions. Through a combination of various yoga postures (Asanas), breathing techniques (Pranayama), and meditation, yoga improves our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
The impact of yoga practice on physical and mental health is evidenced by scientifically verified experiences of many schools, teachers, and yoga practitioners in the world now and in the past. Their research shows a decrease in depression, aggression, and anxiety.
Mental benefits yoga can bring us
As our body slowly learns new postures, changes occur in both our minds and emotions. There are numerous benefits that regular practice of yoga and its techniques can have on our health, and they are the reason why this practice is so widespread in the world and practiced by many people. Let’s look at some of them.
Yoga helps with depression and anxiety
If you suffer from anxiety or have dark thoughts, choose yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises instead of antidepressants and psychotherapy.
Practice inversions like headstand, dolphin pose, plow pose, etc. They stimulate circulation in the brain, calm the mind, relieve stress and depression, and at the same time reduce the frequency of headaches.
Yoga reduces stress
Yoga is a great stress reliever by reducing the levels of Cortisol - a stress hormone. Every yoga practice, even a short daily one, can make a big difference.
Yoga alleviates the effects of traumatic experiences
People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, better known as PTSD, achieve psychological benefits with the help of Hatha yoga methods.
Yoga reduces the risk of mental illness in teenagers
Research has shown that yoga can protect teenagers from a variety of mental illnesses that most commonly occur during the sensitive period of adolescence.
Other benefits yoga can have on our mental health are: teaches us that taking care of ourselves is most important, calming our minds, improving our mental focus and concentration, calming the sympathetic nervous system, controlling emotional reactions, helping achieve greater self-awareness, strengthening our self-esteem, developing harmony in the body and mind, improving mood, and many more.
Simple 5-minute morning routine
Every morning before starting the day, I warmly recommend you to take 5-10-minutes and do some lighter basic asanas such as Cat/Cow pose, Cobra pose, Child’s pose, standing forward bend, Tree pose, and the Triangle pose. This way you will start the day focused and energized.
Then, sit back and try to focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Do it slowly and deeply. You will feel the effects very quickly, not only mentally but also physically.
We can conclude
Instead of reaching for something unnatural when we don’t feel mentally strong, it’s best to implement a few yoga postures and deep breathing. Both yogis and doctors acknowledge that yoga can be an exceptional practice for healing, especially if we add meditation. Today, yoga finds its place in many depression-relief programs and mental health improvement programs.
With good understanding and practice, yoga can be of great help in finding true happiness within us. It will help us to calm confusing thoughts and free the mind from the influence of illusions and ignorance. So, give this practice a chance - you will become more flexible, peaceful, and joyful.