The ancient practice of yoga finds its roots in India some 5,000 years ago. In its beginning, it combined spirituality and physical movement with breath and self-awareness. Today, the practice has evolved and many use yoga to stay fit and keep anxiety at bay. While yoga was originally a form of worship and was an art of sorts —a way to connect with another level of consciousness— now, in our modern era, yoga classes are in virtually every town across the nation and are a great low-impact way to exercise. Beyond that, one of the most significant benefits that can still be derived from this ancient practice is the fact that yoga and happiness are closely related.
Yoga and Happiness: Why Yoga Makes You Happy?
Yoga Helps You Physically
It stands to reason that if you are in pain, you won’t be very happy. The reverse is true as well, though, and if your body feels good your more apt to be happy. Thankfully, according to numerous studies, yoga has been proven to alleviate chronic pain, positively address diabetes, lymphoma, asthma, coronary artery disease and more. This means yoga makes your body operate more smoothly as it was designed, which in turn can make you much happier overall.
It Improves Mental Health
Along with having an immensely positive effect on your body, yoga can also improve your mental health, self-esteem and psychological sense of well-being. This helps reduce stress levels, aids in performance anxiety and other forms of anxiety, which in turn helps you be more positive overall. This means that not only does yoga successfully help the body function better in a physical sense, but it helps your body process stress and handle the day-to-day struggles of life in a more positive way, which improves your mental health as well.
It Changes Your Brain
Not only does yoga help you relax and promote overall wellness, it also actually affects how your brain processes everything. Studies show that yoga positively impacts the brain’s gamma-aminobutyric levels, spiking them, in just one practice session lasting an hour. This means that you don't have to dedicate your entire life to yoga in order to see positive effects. You can actually begin to positively change your brain— for the better— in just one session. Of course, the benefits only increase the longer you practice. Additional studies prove that a regular yoga practice does even more to reduce anger, fatigue and anxiety in terms of the way the brain processes these emotions. Real, actual biochemical change results from regular yoga practice.
Breathing Makes You Happier
Obviously, we all breathe to live. It’s necessary to function. However, yoga goes beyond mere breathing and incorporates focused, purposeful breathing that is used to bring awareness and anchor yourself. This in turn, reduces stress levels and makes you feel happier overall. The fact that breathing helps you calm down is well known, just consider how common it is for someone to tell you to take a deep breath when you are upset. Why do we say that? It’s simply a way of calming the body, bringing awareness and focus, allowing oxygen to move in and to all the vital organs and cells. Since breathing is such a big part of yoga, it stands to reason that this is one aspect of the practice that promotes happiness and a sense of wellbeing.
Yoga is a natural, low-impact way to improve your overall happiness. Combine a good yoga class with amazing athliesure like our best running leggings for women, best sports leggings, best fitting yoga pants or 2 piece workout outfits, and you are on your way to being happier than ever!