Y2M expert Steph Peltier – from The Happiness Society – tell us why yoga is considered to be a medicine for the mind and how it can help you beat stress and anxiety.
We’ve known for a while that exercise is key to a healthy life and critical for your mental health. More recently, researchers have discovered that certain types of exercise have specific effects on our brain and well-being and in particular that yoga is the antidote for stress and anxiety.
Yoga is medicine for the mind
Practising yoga lowers your ‘amygdala’ activity – the “fight or flight” part of the brain that’s responsible for detecting threats and generating fears, whilst activating the ‘insula’ – responsible for balancing and integrating your thoughts and emotions.
Doing yoga reduces the exaggerated stress response, allowing us to see the stress stimuli for what it is, without having a compulsive and over-dramatic response. It give us the self-awareness to keep our mind clear and respond thoughtfully rather than reacting erratically.
When is practicing yoga most effective for the mind?
- Take a break: The effects are immediate so practice when you need it most.
– First thing in the morning to arrive at work totally clear headed and focused
– At lunchtime, to reboot, let go of the morning stress and come back to work calm and ready to tackle the afternoon
– In the evening, to soothe your mind and body after a busy day at work and get the most out of your evening.
- Do it or lose it ! Practise regularly in order to continually see the benefits.
Living in a world in which we are constantly triggered by stress and living in a body that has an automatic unconscious response to it that can be detrimental to our physical and mental health. There is no doubt that practising yoga serves as one of the most effective techniques to experience more happiness and peace of mind.
Written by Yogi2Me Expert Steph Peltier