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Yoga and Mental Health

Yoga is a practice that is widely known for its ability to improve flexibility, help concentration and relax. Many people practice yoga for these reasons alone. But yoga can also provide more benefits than just added flexibility.

In recent years, research has shown that yoga may help with emotion regulation and mental health issues. How, you may ask?

“This has to do with yoga's ability to increase heart rate variability, or HRV. Increased HRV calms the autonomic nervous system, where the body stores trauma,” (Psychology Today.)

As a result, yoga may help with numerous physical and mental health ailments. For example, yoga may help reduce anger.

“In one study of adolescents (2012), yoga was shown to increase one's ability to control anger. Practicing yoga has also been shown to decrease verbal aggression in adults,” according to Psychology Today.

Yoga may also help reduce anxiety and increase mood.

“Consistent yoga practice improves depression and can lead to significant increases in serotonin levels coupled with decreases in the levels of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters and cortisol,” (NCBI.)

One study showed that yoga may help to reduce Post-Traumatic Stress. According to Psychology Today, “In one study (2014) focusing on adult women diagnosed with PTSD, yoga significantly reduced PTSD symptoms in women who received a 10-week yoga treatment compared to the control group. At the end of the study, 52 percent of the women who practiced yoga no longer met criteria for PTSD, compared to 21 percent in the control group.”

Another possible benefit of practicing yoga? Improved sleep. According to NCBI, “Regular practice of yoga resulted in a significant decrease in the time taken to fall asleep, an increase in the total number of hours slept, and in the feeling of being rested in the morning.”

The great thing about yoga is that there are different types to explore. You have hot yoga, yin, hatha, yang and more. So, if one style doesn’t quite fit your fancy you can always try a different one.

If you’re thinking about giving yoga a try, you can join Peace of Time’s Virtual Yoga sessions for free to see if it’s a fit for you. There are two sessions a month. You can register for the class on our website,, on our “Events and Forms” page.

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