Yoga is derived from the word "yoke," which means to bring together. And it does just that, bringing together the mind, body, and spirit. Here are five reasons why yoga is the biggest stress-buster of all:
1. It deepens your breathing
Yoga involves a lot of deep breathing, which slows your sympathetic nervous system. It uses slow and deep belly breaths to lower your body's level of the stress hormone cortisol. As a result, you feel calmer.
2. It teaches mindfulness
Yoga encourages people to pay attention to their feelings in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness techniques within your yoga practice and in everyday life can help combat stress over the long-term.
3. It improves sleep
Stress can throw off your sleep cycle, which, in turn, makes you even more stressed. Yoga can break this cycle. Studies have shown that people who have insomnia significantly improved the number of hours they slept each night after practicing yoga for two months.
4. It gets you moving
Exercise effectively treats stress and anxiety, but high-intensity exercise can temporarily increase your cortisol levels. Gentle forms of yoga use non-impact movements to help achieve the stress-relieving benefits of physical activity without triggering the release of cortisol.
5. It relaxes you with music
If you take yoga classes, the music in them can influence your mood. Research demonstrates that listening to relaxing music reduces anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure. It also prompts the body to produce feel-good endorphins.
Not only is yoga a great form of strength training and cardio, but it significantly reduces stress and anxiety. Yoga is unique in that it combines physical fitness with self-compassion and awareness, teaching you mindfulness skills. Try out yoga to improve your overall health and well-being.