Happiness - Yoga - Mental Health Part 2

Happiness - Yoga - Mental Health

Recent research has explored the effect of yoga on a person’s overall health. A lot of the focus has been on the physical benefits of yoga. This is particularly about  the impact yoga may have upon the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and lower-back pain. Other research has focused on how yoga may improve cardiovascular health. But as a practice, yoga’s main aim is to integrate the body, mind and spirit. Many researchers have found that yoga is effective for relieving stress and anxiety that impact many physical and mental health conditions. Yoga helps reduce stress by reducing the cortisol levels.

There are many other benefits to be gained from yoga. Yoga exercises that include postures, breathing and meditation helps practitioners gain physical strength and flexibility as well as calm the mind. Many adults in the West have developed breathing restrictions in their upper chest. Restricted breathing in the upper chest can be damaging to a person’s overall health. Hatha Yoga, the most common yoga in the West, encourages practitioners to learn new breathing exercises. These may include deep abdominal breathing, the three-part breath, and lengthening the exhalation. After an end of a yoga session many practitioners report they have a sense of deep relaxation, calm and happiness.

Our overall health is not a stroke of luck. And it is not a miracle. If we begin to exercise regularly then we will begin to feel happier and more relaxed. Yoga can be part of a person’s overall change to a healthier life style. Research has shown that those who are committed to the practice of yoga are more likely to make healthy choices for their physical body. They may also experience a greater level of harmony within, than the average person. Those who develop a strong spiritual side to yoga through meditation may feel more connected to their relationships and environment. The overall effect of yoga appears to benefit the practitioner well beyond the time spent in their practice or in the yoga studio.

Christopher Swane - Counselling And Psychotherapy Services - Wellington New Zealand