Yoga is good for mental health

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Not only good for the body, the regular practice of yoga would develop a psychic well-being. Many studies have highlighted its benefits to our mental health.

By practicing yoga, focusing on our breathing and our sensations, we put ourselves in a situation of mindfulness meditation and thus increase our psychic strength. According to Professor Holger Cramer, yoga is particularly recommended for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) such as veterans, survivors of war or natural disasters, or victims of violence.

“By increasing the parasympathetic activity, yoga reduces the effects of stress: it is the relaxation response that could also directly reduce the activity of the amygdala.This seems to be the case especially with yogic breathing methods such as alternating breathing nostrils,” says the specialist.

In a meta-analysis of people with post-traumatic stress published last summer, Prof. Cramer and his colleagues showed that practicing yoga greatly reduces symptoms such as stress, sleep disturbances and muscle tension.

The practice of yoga is also recommended for people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The “body work” of yoga (postures, breathing, meditation “help to control the fluctuations of the mind,” says Professor Cramer, who says that it is “especially the yogic breathing techniques that are most effective to treat mental disorders. By learning to breathe better through yoga, patients find calm and serenity. It is also interesting to note that anxiety disorders are more common in patients with respiratory disorders such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and that respiratory rehabilitation has been an essential part of many approaches to cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders,”he notes.

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