Does Yoga Really Help with Anxiety?
As a woman over 60 who has practiced yoga for many years, I can tell you with certainty that yoga really does calm your nerves and relieve stress. Regular practice also creates balance in the body.
Until now, I took all of that for granted. But, with so many resources available, I decided to find out “why” yoga relieves stress.
Our bodies are nothing short of miraculous machines. And, the answers to how yoga relieves stress are indeed remarkable.
By the time you’re finished reading this article, you’re going feel great knowing that your yoga practice is doing something amazing for your body.
Or you’ll be super-pumped to start practicing right away! Visit my list of favorite go-to yogis.
Let’s get started. I’m going to break the science down into 3 simple explanations.
Is Yoga Scientifically Proven to Relieve Stress and Anxiety?
1. Yoga relieves stress by boosting GABA in your brain.
I don’t know about you, but acronyms can drive me crazy. But saying GABA rolls off my tongue a lot easier than pronouncing its scientific name. GABA is an acronym for a fancy sounding chemical called Gamma-aminobutyric acid. What it is, is a chemical messenger that is widely distributed in the brain – it plays an important role in how the body responds to stress.
Some researchers believe that one of the purposes that GABA serves is to control the fear or anxiety experienced when neurons are overexcited. – source: The Brain From Top to Bottom
While practicing yoga, GABA in the brain increases. This natural chemical reaction helps reduce anxiety and stress.
It’s nature’s way of helping you chill out.
2. Yoga focuses on deep breathing. Breathing manages stress.
Breathing is free! And, oh, so beneficial for relieving stress. Consider the following.
- Decreases metabolism
- Relaxes your muscles as your heart beats slower
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Increases levels of nitric oxide (nitric oxide expands your blood vessels, increasing blood flow and decreases plaque growth and blood clotting.)
If you want to conquer anxiety of life, live in the moment, live the breath. –
3. Yoga regulates the stress hormone Cortisol.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body. However, it must be stable for your body to function optimally.
Cortisol levels should not be too high or too low as this could lead to unwanted effects on your health.
Cortisol levels rise under stress. This could lead to high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression, and anxiety.
However, it’s been noted that you can destress through deep breathing and yoga.
Cortisol levels return to prestress levels after a yoga session – leaving you feeling good.
Yoga is a proven technique for relieving stress. By regulating hormones in the body, yoga calms and helps you achieve complete relaxation. It’s a well-known and powerful method for stress management.
People of all ages can benefit from yoga. You can start at any time. You will immediately notice results, even if you only commit to one session.
Deep breathing and yoga postures can easily be done at home and the health benefits are nothing short of exceptional.
Natural health solutions are widely preferred over taking pills, and yoga is an excellent way to handle everyday stress and anxiety.
How do you manage stress? Have you tried yoga? Please leave a comment below.