Yoga is a very old physical and mental practice that has been expanding throughout the world due to its benefits and that guarantees a firm body, a stable mind and a benevolent spirit.
It is an ancient art that has amply demonstrated that it can improve our quality of life, not only physically but also mentally and spiritually.
Psychology and yoga
It is made up of postures (asanas), relaxation (savasana), meditation (dhyana), breathing (pranayama), kriyas (cleans), mudras (energy stamps), kirtan (songs), mantra or rituals. In addition to an exercise, for many, it is a way of life that seeks well-being, inner peace and implies a lifestyle that commits to the observation of ethical guidelines, principles of life and adequate nutrition.
Yoga achieves the integration of movement with breathing until these stop being two separate entities and become one. His practice becomes an extremely powerful transforming agent that he provokes profound changes in our health. In fact, its use is seen as one. preventive or rehabilitative medicine because it stimulates metabolic and anabolic processes and improves energy circulation, oxygenating the body. When we talk about yoga, we can not only refer to the physiological benefits (for example, increased flexibility, decreased muscle stiffness, etc.), but we have to mention the positive consequences that it produces in the mind, emotional well-being and brain.
Then from Psychology and Mind, I present you the six psychological benefits of practicing yoga.
1. Reduces stress
The lifestyle of western societies can lead many people to suffer stress, causing psychological health problems like depression, anxiety, etc. A study of Thirthalli and Naveen (2013) shows that yoga treatment reduces cortisol levels, a hormone that is released in response to stress.
Cortisol is necessary for the body as it regulates and mobilizes energy in stressful situations, but if we have too much or increases in situations that we don't need, it produces many side effects. By practicing yoga we can lower the levels of this hormone, and therefore reduce stress.
2. It improves sleep
The serotonin (5-HT) it is a neurotransmitter that derives from an amino acid called tryptophan. It sends messages within the brain and through the nervous system, and participates in many processes such as regulating mood or appetite. Furthermore, one of his main tasks is. increase melatonin production, a hormone that regulates the cycles of dream.
To get a peaceful rest, likewise, the serotonin intervenes in the control of stress and body temperature "The practice of yoga increases serotonin levels so it helps you sleep better," explains Dr. Murali Doraiswam, author of a Duke University study that included a review of more than 100 research papers on yoga.
3. Improve mood
As we discussed in the previous point, serotonin (5-HT) also regulates mood. Low levels of 5-HT are associated with depressive behaviors and obsessive Research by Cabral, Meyer and Ames (2011) found that regular yoga practice produces significant improvements in patients with depression and anxiety similar to physical exercise, due to increased serotonin.
Another neurotransmitter that seems to influence this aspect is the GABA. A recent study from Boston University and the University of Utah. It has been shown that there is also an increase in this neurotransmitter in yoga practitioners.
4. Extends life and prevents degenerative diseases
American researchers at Harvard University School of Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital have shown, after study, that yoga and meditation increase the size of telomeres, structures that are located at the ends of the chromosomes and that are directly related to aging, the development of certain pathologies and even premature death.
The study concludes that there appears to be a positive correlation between healthy and large telomeres, and increased longevity, prevention of degenerative diseases, and human health. Doing yoga only 15 minutes a day is enough to produce biochemical changes in the brain and neurons.
5. Improves concentration
Yoga practitioners improve concentration, coordination, reaction time, memory, learning and show a greater ability to solve problems according to a study by Neha Gothe, a professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. According to his research, published in The Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 20 minutes of yoga a day are more beneficial on a cognitive level than a session of physical activity intense.
6. Improves the relationship and sexual relations
According to Pete McCall, exercise physiologist and person coachl for the American Exercise Council: "Yoga can result in better sex because it will help your flexibility and strengthen the muscles of the pelvis.". A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that yoga can treat premature ejaculation and improve sexual satisfaction.
Also, as another British Columbia University research mentions, reducing stress through yoga practice increases libido and sexual vitality. Therefore, by improving the sex life In different ways, the relationship may also benefit.
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