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International Day of Yoga - Mental Health Benefits

June 21st is the official International Day of Yoga.

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.

Yoga is an ancient form of meditation that involves engaging the body and the mind. According to Yoga Medicine, “Yoga is a place of discovery and connection with your own body that encompasses balance, proper stretching techniques, breathing, meditation and centering the mind and spirit.”

The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga, which include:

  • Improved strength, balance and flexibility
  • Pain relief
  • Increase cardiovascular functioning
  • Improved sleep
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improved bone health
  • Promotes better posture

There is quite clearly an abundance of health benefits linked to yoga, but perhaps none more important than its ability to reduce stress and improve mental health.

The true power of yoga is the ability to disconnect yourself from the everyday stresses that life throws at you. This is due to the emphasis yoga has on breathing practices and medita­tion—both of which help calm and center the mind.

It is well known that exercise is a natural mood booster, typically because of its ability in lowering levels of stress hormones and increasing the production of feel-good chemicals known as endorphins. However, research from the Harvard Medical School shows that yoga promotes additional benefits by elevating levels of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is associated with better mood and decreased anxiety.

If you’ve noticed a change in your mood recently or the stresses in your life are starting to feel overbearing, then yoga could be the key to a happier and healthier you.

Check out our Group Fitness Timetable to book in your next yoga session.