The Direct Correlation between Our Yoga Practice and Our Mental Health

The Yoga practice moves you from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system, or from flight-or-flight to rest-and-digest. You typically have less anxiety and enter a more relaxed state. As soon as you start breathing deeply, you slow down out of fight or flight and calm your nervous system.

Secondly, Yoga helps you build your sense of self. Through yoga, you get to know yourself and cultivate a more non judgmental relationship with yourself. You are building self-trust. You exercise more and eat healthier, because your unconscious mind tells you, “I’m worthy of this me time, this effort.” At the end of the day, everything comes down to your relationship with yourself. When you get more confident and become more rooted in your sense of self and your center, you develop a healthy, balanced ego, where you have nothing to prove and nothing to hide. — You know you’re still going to be OK at the end of the day.

A really important factor is that Yoga improves your relationships. When you’re more centered with yourself, you’ll be the same way with your friends, family, or partner. — You’re less reactive as you’ll view others through the lens of compassion, unconditional love. (This is a daily practice!)

Lastly, Yoga helps you become aware of your “shadow” qualities. The yoking of solar and lunar (light and dark) in yoga makes us recognize qualities in ourselves that we were not aware of, helping us be more mindful. How do we look at those places in our bodies where we hold tension, tightness, or knots of energy? That’s typically where we are holding our psychological or emotional energy. We work from the outside in. It’s about doing the inner work to shift or change and be open to doing your best with your weaknesses and faults