Yoga is a form of exercise that has multiple unmatchable benefits that not only improve your health but also enhance your quality of life. It emphasizes physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, all of which are great for your overall well-being. It should come as no surprise that practicing yoga can increase flexibility, boost physical endurance and strengthen your core and limbs. But, it can also have a huge positive impact on your brain’s functionality and mental health. No wonder many people feel good even after the first yoga class. Yoga changes a lot of things for many people, but how does it specifically help your mind?

1. Improves Brain Function

While most people are aware of the physical benefits of yoga, not everyone knows about its fantastic brain-boosting powers. It is true that regularly practicing yoga can make your brain work in a much better manner, improving your focus and memory. If you find it hard to complete tasks without getting distracted, you should practice daily yoga to regain concentration and focus. This is made possible due to the focusing aspect of breathing exercises in yoga. Not only do you have to pay close attention to the movement of your diaphragm, but yoga postures also involve a single focal point. Moreover, you also need a focused mindset while holding a posture or stretching. This allows you to listen to your body’s needs closely. This ensures that you don’t go too far and injure yourself. In fact, it is difficult to get distracted while you’re holding a hard yoga pose. So, it allows your mind to clear its thoughts, improving your brain’s ability to focus.

2. Boosts Mood

Most yoga poses and postures focus on meditation and following a specific breath-work. These two elements alone are enough to calm your mind in case of running thoughts and feelings of sadness and confusion. A lot of people experience a constantly negative mood that causes them to be easily irritable and short-tempered at all times. If you experience intense mood swings on a daily basis, practicing yoga may prove helpful. Like all other forms of exercise, yoga can reduce the levels of stress hormones in the body and increase the production of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals. But, yoga can do a lot more than that to improve your daily mood, as studies reveal yogis experience higher levels of GABA. Gamma Aminobutyric Acid is a brain chemical or neurotransmitter associated with reduced anxiety and better mood. Regularly practicing yoga can elevate levels of GABA in the brain to help you be more joyful. Furthermore, meditation reduces the activity of the limbic system, so you have a more tempered response in stressful situations.

3. Relieves Depression and Anxiety

Yoga involves stretching and relaxing the muscles that release both physical and mental tension and stress. It can reduce stress levels and increase the production of feel-good brain chemicals to promote a calm and happy mood. While GABA improves your mood, it also happens to be the neurotransmitter that mental health patients lack. So, yoga is a great approach for people who are suffering from psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. The calming environment and meditative effect of yoga can also help clear disturbing irrational thoughts while reducing your blood pressure and heart rate. Yoga plays a huge role in maintaining a healthy mind and body balance that can automatically reduce stress levels and other symptoms of mental health disorders. It proves beneficial for relieving depression, and many researchers also compare it to treatments like psychotherapy and medication. On the other hand, breathing exercises in yoga are highly beneficial for people with anxiety disorders who experience anxiety attacks. Yoga has many amazing benefits for the mind, from improved mood and reduced stress levels to enhanced focus and concentration.