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Fitting Yoga Into Your Mental Wellness Practice

Yoga and mental health

Yoga is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, and it’s becoming increasingly popular as a way to improve both physical and mental health. While many people associate yoga with improving flexibility and strength, it can also have significant benefits for mental health. In honor of International Day of Yoga on June 21, let’s explore the ways that yoga can benefit mental health, how to incorporate it into a busy schedule, and the different types of yoga available.

Benefits of Yoga for Mental Health

There are many ways that yoga can benefit mental health, including:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety: Yoga incorporates breathing techniques and meditation, which can help calm the mind and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Improving mood: Practicing yoga releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the body that can improve mood and reduce feelings of depression.
  • Increasing self-awareness: Yoga involves paying attention to the present moment and becoming more aware of one’s thoughts and feelings. This can help increase self-awareness and promote self-reflection.
  • Improving sleep: Many people who practice yoga report better sleep quality, which can improve overall mental health and well-being.

Incorporating Yoga into a Busy Schedule

Many people are hesitant to try yoga because they feel like they don’t have enough time in their schedule. However, there are many ways to incorporate yoga into a busy schedule, including:

  • Doing shorter practices: Even just 10-15 minutes of yoga can be beneficial for mental health. Look for shorter yoga videos or routines that you can do during a break at work or in the morning before starting your day.
  • Finding a class that fits your schedule: Many yoga studios offer classes at various times throughout the day, so you may be able to find a class that fits your schedule. Alternatively, there are many online yoga classes available that you can do from the comfort of your own home.
  • Incorporating yoga into your daily routine: Consider incorporating yoga into your daily routine, such as doing a few stretches before bed or practicing breathing techniques during a break at work.

Different Types of Yoga

There are many different types of yoga, each with its own unique benefits and characteristics. 

Here are a few different types of yoga to consider:

  • Hatha yoga: This is a slower-paced yoga practice that involves holding poses for longer periods of time. It’s a good option for beginners and can help improve flexibility and reduce stress.
  • Vinyasa yoga: This is a more dynamic style of yoga that involves flowing movements and synchronizing the breath with movement. It can be a good option for those who want a more vigorous workout.
  • Restorative yoga: This type of yoga involves holding gentle poses for extended periods of time and is focused on relaxation and stress reduction. It’s a good option for those who want to slow down and focus on self-care.
  • Bikram yoga: Also known as hot yoga, Bikram yoga involves doing a series of 26 poses in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be a good option for those who want to improve flexibility and strength, but it’s important to stay hydrated during the practice.

Yoga can be a beneficial practice for mental health, and there are many different types of yoga to choose from. By finding ways to incorporate yoga into a busy schedule, anyone can experience the benefits of this ancient practice. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress, improve mood, increase self-awareness, or improve sleep quality, yoga can be a powerful tool for promoting overall mental health and well-being.

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