While yoga has recently become popular as a fitness activity to help with flexibility and bodily control, those who practice yoga and meditation regularly can benefit from the mental aspects of the practice as well. There are many forms of yoga, but all of them focus on control. For example, one of the first things a new yoga practitioner will learn as part of the practice is to control their breathing. Yoga postures also train control of the body. Eventually, those who continue in their yoga and meditation practice will be able to control their mental state as well. This is where the best benefits of yoga come. Here are three emotions that yoga and meditation can help control in a positive way.
When we are mad, it can have a dramatic impact on many aspects of our lives. For example, anger can affect your decision making when doing things like driving. Road rage is a growing concern among drivers in the US and can cause serious problems. Anger also has a major impact on our health. Being angry has been linked to elevated blood pressure, heart problems, and even headaches and digestion problems. However, yoga and meditation have been shown to help with anger management. Specifically, being able to control breathing can help calm you down when mad and bring you to a place of calm. So the next time you are feeling angry, yoga and meditation might be just the things you need to calm down.
Physical activity, in general, has been linked to a reduction in stress. Exercise decreases cortisol levels in the body, which is a hormone that is released in response to something stressful. As with anger management, being able to easily control your breathing also helps manage stress. The meditation aspect of yoga can also reduce or even eliminate stress as it helps you distance yourself mentally from stressors and clearly think about solutions.
There are also many yoga poses that have been linked to reductions in anxiety. Specifically, any pose that focuses on centering and breathing can minimize anxiety. For example, the sitting lotus pose can be very centering and calming for those who have anxiety. Other poses such as the child’s pose and bridge pose can also be very helpful. Anxiety can also cause physical discomfort and tension throughout the body that can be distressing or even painful. However, because yoga is gentle and focuses on stretching the body out, it can have a dramatic positive impact on this aspect of anxiety.
Ultimately, yoga and meditation have a much greater impact on health than just the physical aspect. They have been shown repeatedly to also have a significant positive impact on mental health. If you are dealing with any of these, or would just like greater control over your emotions, consider adding yoga and meditation to your daily routine.
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