By Pritika Singh, CEO of Prayag Hospital & Research Pvt Ltd.
For the longest time, we humans have defined health as a representative of physical well-being. For us, health has been the quantifier of stamina, strength, muscle, body mass index, and other physical aspects. But is it all that is there to health? As science and technology advanced, they began asking such questions and came up with revolutionary answers. Thanks to these modern revelations, we have understood that health goes beyond physicality. We have rightfully realized the significance of mental health along with physical health. The right balance of mental and physical health makes up a sound individual. And when it comes to mental health, yoga is one of the most powerful tools to tune things up and get them going in the right direction. On that note, here are some of the key mental health benefits
of yoga for women.
Yoga means to join or to add together. It perfectly summarises the essence of the practice. Yoga is the alignment of our mind, body, and soul. Just like your muscles get stronger and bigger by lifting weights, your brain cells develop new connections, and their structure undergoes positive changes. These changes promote better functioning and improved cognitive skills such as learning and memory. Yoga strengthens the part of the brain that plays a key role in memory, attention, awareness, thoughts, and learning. It won’t be wrong to think of yoga as weightlifting for the brain. Yoga also works as an elixir for our mental health by helping reverse the effects of aging.
Certain areas of the brain tend to shrink with growing age and show decay in their functioning. Absent-mindedness and forgetfulness are some common scenarios we notice in older people. But, yoga practitioners show less shrinkage as opposed to non-practitioners. Such observations solidify claims that yoga counters age-related memory decline and other cognitive skills. Yoga is the only natural way to interact with your body and make it better naturally without any external interference or support. Just like any other physical activity, yoga can also help boost your mood, decrease stress hormones, and increase the production of feel-good chemicals like endorphins, bringing more oxygenated blood to your brain. However, yoga goes a level beyond to offer some additional benefits. It can alter your mood to a greater extent by elevating levels of brain chemicals called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), which makes your mood better and decrease anxiety. Yoga also promotes brain messenger chemicals such as norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin that make you happier. All yoga asana emphasize breathing, the simple inhale-exhale, which helps calm down your mind and relaxes every part of your body.
Yoga is essential for women as their bodies go through several hormonal changes every month during the menstrual cycle and even during menopause. Because of these hormones, depression and anxiety levels are more in women as compared to men. Yoga helps balance these hormone releases in the body, and thus it is a must for the ladies to adapt and include yoga into their life. Yoga is a lifestyle. It works best when you also work on other aspects of your lifestyle, like eating and sleeping on time, practicing deep breathing, and being mindful of your habits. Yoga also helps balance the seven chakras of the body, which, as we all know, is very important for a healthy living and mindset.
Yoga also helps in overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and overcoming the fear of traumatic events in one’s life. It also helps in reducing ACTH levels, which is the hormone that accelerates cortisol (the primary stress hormone) release. The ancient practice also alleviates any chronic pain arising from any injury or even ailments like arthritis. Yoga can also help with managing migraine by reducing the intensity of the headaches. Another well-known benefit of yoga is improving balance and flexibility. If you regularly practice yoga for 15 to 30 minutes, you can experience all of these benefits.
The benefits of yoga are endless. It also helps improve the overall quality of life by fixing several other aspects with continued practice. Cost friendliness is also one of the significant benefits of yoga. Unlike other health-building practices that demand expensive equipment and subscription plans, yoga is very pocket-friendly. All you need is a mat and some comfortable clothing to set yourself on a yoga journey. There are endless follow-along videos on the internet that you can access for free and start practicing yoga. So that’s another benefit of the ancient practice.
Now that you are aware of so many health and even monetary benefits of yoga, we are sure that you would look forward to including some of the ancient magic in your life too. So, go ahead and make your lives better with yoga.