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How Does Yoga Support Your Mental Health?

mental yoga training for crossfit

Mental health is something that everyone is becoming more aware of. More businesses and companies are putting together programs to help you with mental health. And it seems the world is becoming more accommodating than it ever was before. Phrases like ‘man up’, and ‘can’t you just cheer up’ are now even being eliminated from many professional workplaces. It is clear the level of importance of mental health is now as high as it ever has been.

Mental health issues should be treated as any physical injury would. Time, planning and strategic steps need to be put in place to help you overcome any problem you may have. There are many things you can do to help improve and support your mental health and well-being. One of them is yoga.

The science behind yoga and how beneficial it is to improve and support mental health is becoming more overwhelming. It is now at a stage where studies show clear links between yoga training and improved mental health. You can head to to find out more about how yoga can help support mental health and reduce stress and depression in all ages.

Being Accepted

Mental health can deteriorate when dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and physical pain along with many other outside causes and catalyses. Unfortunately, all these signs and symptoms of struggling mental health seem to feed off and can often cause more problems. How does yoga start to help combat these burdens on mental well being? One of the benefits of doing yoga classes its the group environment. During classes you are with other people and more often than not will generate a level of acceptance by the group. Everyone started somewhere, and sharing your yoga experiences with others will help you.

There is also a certain level camaraderie once you enter and begin to become part of a yoga ‘tribe’, as is often the case with CrossFit gyms. Everyone starts to look out for one another you can develop relationships outside of the yoga class. Being socially accepted can be the turning point where everything can start to build and get better. The routine and social acceptance of managing to escape your own head and focus on something that isn’t worrying you for a minute can be the starting step in the right direction to help you support your mental health.

What Does The Science Say?

Ever Since the 1960s trials have been done on yogic meditation and brain function. In 2007 Chris Streeter and his team found that experienced yoga practitioners, that performed yoga asana practise for one hour significantly increased a chemical in your brain that acts as your brain’s chief inhibitory neurotransmitter. He also found that yoga increased this chemical more than other exercise like walking. It’s not to say that someone who’s new to yoga will have the same effect doing it for the first time. However, practicing yoga in the long run can help you achieve these results. 

Since the 1960s there has been many studies conducted on the benefits of yoga. There are now many proven mental health benefits of yoga. These benefits range from psychological treatments for major depression disorder and bipolar disorder. In addition, yoga can help people recover from an eating disorder.

Studies have also shown that yoga can dramatically help reduce the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Over a three-month yoga program, participants in the study all said they had lower stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression. Another study on 131 people had similar results over a 10-week period. It also improved their quality of life and mental health. If you are currently experiencing feelings of depression, learn 9 tips for maximizing your yoga flow in this article from BetterHelp.

The Physical Effects

The physical effects of yoga can be seen easily when comparing the flexibility and strength of yoga practitioners against people that do not stretch or hold their body weight in irregular position. The beginner positions are not difficult to start with and progress as you gain ability and experience. You increase strength and flexibility by putting the body under certain stress. This is how it adapts and is able to reach and stretch further and hold positions for longer. These physical effects also have a large impact on your mental well-being. Yoga is a relaxed and sociality accepting environment where you can ease stress, concentrate on your breathing and tune in your mind and body.

Final Thoughts

For some people the thought of beginning yoga may seem daunting and incomprehensible. But in the long run it really can help your mental wellbeing. If you don’t want to start a class right away, then you can look online to get some idea of what will be involved. Then try out a class, take a friend for emotional support until you are ready to go alone. Soon the strangers will become familiar and other people will start after you and you will know exactly how they are feeling as you have been there yourself. The art of yoga, breathing stretching and holding positions help tune your mind into your body and vice versa, it can be a great tool to help you keep on top of and support you own mental health.

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.