Mental Health Matters: Improve your mental health with yoga
Does one of your New Year’s resolutions include a class or fitness activity?
If so, consider yoga as a choice or an add-on to cardiovascular workouts.
Why do we suggest this?
All physical exercise will benefit your mental health.
When you improve your body’s ability to increase blood flow to the brain — and when you increase your system’s potential to enrich your blood with more oxygen — it is great news for your brain, the organ of your mental health.
Active people tend to eat in a more healthy way and get a higher quality of sleep — score two more points for better mental health.
Fitness classes and physical activities are great ways to meet people, strengthen relationships and spend time laughing.
Yes, that would be three more on the scoreboard for mental health.
So, why yoga?
There are a lot of reasons to suggest this as a great activity for mental health, but one of the best reasons is good yoga teachers and practitioners stress the importance of the mind-body connection and will often give as much emphasis on your mental states (including attitude) as on physical elements.
Although many view yoga as only for spiritual inner peace, it is rapidly being practised as an alternative or additional way to increase strength, endurance and body tone.
Most of the new wave of physical trainers are advocating yoga as an essential part of functional training, which concentrates on endurance, strength and co-ordination and is a central part of professional athletic regimens.
Fitness gurus will point to the fact deadlifts to strengthen your back and thighs will help prevent muscle strains when you bend over to tie your shoes.
In the same way, yoga helps to improve body functionality by improving one’s ability to interpret and respond to nerve signals sent back and forth between the muscles and the brain, resulting in increased fluidity of body motions and quicker adjustments to unexpected situations like stumbling over a step.
There are many forms and types of yoga and people should choose the one they like the best for their needs.
Trial and error may be the only way to do this.
It is likely the knowledge and personality of the instructor is more important than the variety of yoga they teach, so shop for more than the philosophy.
Yoga, tai-chi, martial arts, meditation and other Eastern traditions can be profoundly beneficial to your mental health — and your physical health and fitness as well.
After a season of excesses of food and drink — and with the renewed belief the new year can bring a new you — try one of these ancient ways of restoring the balance and connection between your body and your mind.
Both parts of you will thank you for it.
If you have comments or questions, write to us at email@example.com because we enjoy and look forward to
the issues you raise.
In the meantime, take care of your mental health — who else deserve it more?