Health

Yoga and its Calming Benefits

Kill two birds with one stone and improve your mental and physical health by practicing yoga.

Yoga and its Calming Benefits

Updated: August 28, 2023

August 28, 2023

It’s challenging to calm down your nervous system. When you’re in a state of fight or flight and panic, your thinking becomes cloudy and it’s difficult to be logical. You probably aren’t considering yoga as an escape or a solution to anxiety.  However, once you actually pick up an old yoga mat from your siblings’ room and start doing some poses with intention, you notice a decrease in cortisol production. Why is that? Well, slow yoga that involves deep breathing is an excellent way to notify your body that you’re not facing a threat - instead, you’re connecting with your mind and body to engage in calming activity. It’s effective in lowering your heart rate, slowing down your breathing, and bringing you back to the present due to its soothing and pacifying properties. For example, when you do downward dog, a pose in which your body is inverted outwards and your head is close to the mat, blood flows to your head, and you begin to see things clearer (the brain fog and sadness that is typically accompanied with anxiety lessens because of a release of tension). 

Apart from yoga stimulating and calming down the nervous system chemically, yoga can also help you feel better physically by “massaging” the areas of your body that carry the most stress. When you do certain stretches like the triangle pose, for instance, and you feel tense in your calves, you’re giving your lower legs their full range of motion back. It promotes a calmer aura overall by relaxing your muscles. By doing vinyasas like the sun salutation, you’re focusing on something other than your one-track mind: the way you feel. It’s incredibly important to bring awareness to how you’re reacting to certain situations, and how your body is reacting as a result. Yoga accomplishes exactly that. So, next time you’re stressed, consider doing yoga. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.