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What do you think of when you hear the word Yoga?

So what are the first words you think about when you hear the word Yoga?

I've heard Flexibility, fitness, hot and sweaty, and workout.

How many times have you heard someone say "Mental Health"?

Why is this? Why is mental health not associated with Yoga? It's important in understanding what the practice of yoga does and how it can help with one's mental health.

So how does Yoga help with your mental health?

1. Creates calmness

Yoga creates calmness through the use of breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing which is used commonly in yoga. This breathing helps to take you out of the sympathetic nervous system and moves you into the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).

2. Creates mental clarity

Yoga strengthens parts of the brain that help to play a role in memory, attention, awareness, thought processes, and language.

3. Increase Body Awareness

Yoga helps to make you aware of your body, awareness of how your body feels, awareness of what your body feels like, and awareness of what feels supportive for your mind & body.

4. Improves Focus

Yoga helps with mental clarity which in turn improves focus. Yoga helps you stay present in the here & now.

5. Relaxes the Mind

Yoga helps you tap into your inner self and it's through your breath that you're able to truly release through the mind & body.

6. Helps to center your attention

Yoga helps you come back to the present moment. It helps you to get rooted and grounded in what is right now. It helps you to come back to this centering and grounding.

7. Relieves chronic stress patterns

Yoga encourages mental and physical relaxation, which helps reduce stress and anxiety.

8. Improves overall mood

Yoga helps to lower stress hormones in our bodies while simultaneously increasing what we call "Feel Good" chemicals like endorphins and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). These feel-good chemicals help reduce anxiety and improve overall mood.

Like anything else that you do, it is a practice. These are not benefits that happen after doing yoga one time but the overall time you develop a yoga practice it can not only improve your physical health but also your mental health.

As we end the month of May, Mental Health Awareness Month know that yoga is so much more than just poses, postures, flexibility, yoga clothes, and the so-called perfect body. Yoga is all about coming back to SELF, to the present moment, honoring what your mind & body need.

Don't know where to start.

Start HERE.

With love,


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