The past year has been challenging for a lot of us. The uncertainty, not being allowed to leave our house, and missing our family and friends has inevitably caused us to feel more stressed and anxious than usual. For some, this might even develop into feelings of depression.
Research has shown that almost one in five UK citizens experienced some form of depression during the first lockdown in 2020. This number will only increase with the current circumstances unless you take action to relieve yourself from stress by taking care of yourself, and finding ways to calm yourself down.
Does yoga help with anxiety and stress?
A great and easy way to release stress is to practice yoga on a regular basis. Yoga has proven to be helpful when one is experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression when used alongside prescribed treatments. In a study done by Harvard Mental Health Letter, results show that yoga can have a positive effect on levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Yoga also helps to improve your energy level and is a low-risk form of exercise that is suitable for almost everyone.
When practicing yoga, your brain releases endorphins which make you feel less stressed and anxious with research showing that yoga increases your GABA levels by 27%. If you’ve never heard of GABA, it stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid and is a neurotransmitter that regulates the activity of your brain. In other words, GABA controls how much stress, anxiety, or feelings of depression you are experiencing.
Practicing yoga for stress relief
Are you experiencing a lot of stress caused by a big workload or changes in your personal life? Your body and mind are connected and your mental well-being will therefore have a huge impact on your health. To have a fit body, you’ll need to make sure you have a healthy mind. What better way to achieve this than by practicing yoga? Yoga is an accessible type of exercise that can be done by young and old.
By simply starting your day off with a ten to fifteen minute yoga workout, you will notice a change in your mental health. Besides having a positive mental impact, yoga will improve your flexibility and strength as well. With yoga, it’s easy to decide the intensity of the exercises yourself which makes it doable for anyone.
Get the right equipment
It’s time to get started! First, you’ll have to make sure you have all the necessary equipment. Thankfully, this won’t be a lot as yoga can be practiced literally anywhere at any time. You’ll just need a comfortable yoga mat, comfortable yoga wear and if desired, a music box to play relaxing music and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated.
Whether you are looking for a beginner’s yoga mat, a lightweight mat that is suitable for traveling, or an eco yoga mat, you will find your perfect match at Yogi Bare. Are you new to yoga? We’ve created a yoga mat that is perfect for beginners. Our Paws yoga mat has an enhanced grip which makes it easier to use and safe for trying out new poses.
To get you started, we have noted down our favourite ten minute winter morning yoga routine which guides you through six different yoga poses. This routine will help you to start the day off on the right foot, feeling more relaxed and calm.
If yoga doesn’t work the magic...
Even though yoga might help a lot of people, it’s not a miracle cure for all your problems. Are you suffering from depression or do you feel severely anxious? Remember that during these times, it’s okay to slow down, to not feel okay, and to be unproductive. If you keep having negative thoughts and keep struggling with depression, please seek professional help.
For now, let’s start our yoga flow and let our bodies and minds rest.