You’ve probably heard of the many benefits of yoga which go beyond mental illness alleviation or buffering; benefits like:
- It builds confidence
- It helps you learn to breathe, both literally and metaphorically
- It makes you more aware of your posture at all times
- It makes you more mindful
- It boosts your strength and endurance
- It helps relieve stress
Aside from the anecdotal stories about the wonders of regular yoga practice, there is also peer-reviewed evidence to support the benefits of yoga.
To those dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (Post-traumatic stress disorder), yoga may be a great benefit. Several yoga trials related to the diagnosis of Post-traumatic stress disorder indicate that yoga may have comparable effects to talk therapy (Novotney, 2009). Yoga findings on PTSD symptoms illustrate this body-brain relation, and yoga’s ability to promote the relationship and jump straight over the firewall.
Many signs of PTSD are physical, such as the elevated heart rate and suddenness which often cause “flashbacks” or intense trauma memories. Yoga can be especially helpful in treating these conditions, as it can alleviate the physical signs of stress, anxiety , panic and depression.
The Physical Benefits of Yoga
The beauty is that people often come here for the stretch, and leave with a lot more.
Overall, while yoga can sound like a fairly mild style of exercise, daily yoga practice can result in the same health benefits as many other forms of exercise but with less of an effect on joints and more relaxing!
In addition to having the same impacts on general health as other types of exercise, there is some evidence that yoga is even more beneficial than most types of exercise when it comes to:
- Increasing balance
- Improving baroreflex sensitivity
- Reducing fatigue • Enhancing flexibility
- Healthy heart rate
- Healthy heart rate variability
- Improved kidney function
- Lessened or buffered menopausal symptoms
- Relieving pain
- Relieving or inhibiting psychotic symptoms
- Improving quality of life
- Reducing sleep disturbances
- Improving social and occupational functioning
- Increasing strength
- Lowering obesity
- Reducing stress
- Reducing cholesterol (Ross & Thomas, 2009; Ross, Friedmann, Bevans, & Thomas, 2013)
Yoga can also help you overcome the symptoms of insomnia and depression and boost your energy, happiness and a healthy weight.
In one study , people who performed a 45-minute routine yoga session right before going to bed for eight weeks reported significant reductions in their insomnia frequency (Novotney, 2009).
The same study found yoga to enhance cardiovascular stamina, reduce obesity, strengthen pulmonary function and more. These results are still preliminary though, so take those findings with a grain of salt!