As a teen, there are times when you might find it difficult to focus at school, feel stressed, or have anxiety. Instead of turning to negative ways of dealing with this, yoga meditation can help you overcome these things, before they become problems to your mental health.
When you perform a yoga asana (yoga pose) you are doing more than just improving your flexibility and reducing the stiffness in your body. You are giving your brain a boost in cognitive function, by teaching it to focus completely on a single task.
Here are 5 benefits yoga meditation has on brain health:
BENEFIT 1: Yoga Meditation Improves Your Mental Well-Being
If you are constantly feeling tense and stressed out, then yoga can help put these feelings aside. Since yoga makes you concentrate on your body and breathing, it provides a way to relieve your worries and soothe your mind.
The yoga poses and breathing exercises help release your stress and tension, and as a result keep you away from negative thoughts. A person who does yoga is more likely to be in a better state of mental health.
BENEFIT 2: Yoga Meditation Helps with Depression and Anxiety
The unique combination of exercise, meditation, socializing, and relaxation makes it a useful tool for dealing with anxiety and depression. An article by Harvard University, states that this is because yoga helps to regulate a person’s stress response.
Since this in turn lowers blood pressure, normalizes your heart rate and improves your respiratory system, yoga is a natural way to solve your depression and anxiety problems, without unnecessarily turning to medication.
BENEFIT 3: Yoga Improves Your Focus and Attention – and Your Memory
If you ever find it difficult to concentrate in class, or focus to complete an assignment then you will be glad to know yoga can help with this. By doing yoga, you will be able to improve your focus and memory skills. For example, the practice of “single focus” or “concentration” in yoga helps train your mind to focus, and acts like a ‘workout for your brain.
After regular practice, you can improve your concentration and focus dramatically.
BENEFIT 4: Yoga Helps Prevent Mental Conditions That Are Prevalent Among Teens
Your teenage years can be a turbulent time, and this is when you can be most vulnerable to develop mental health problems. With the number of cases reported in teenagers who have psychological problems, it is important to find a way to help prevent this from happening.
In a study published by the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, yoga was found to be one of many helpful ways to protect teenagers from mental illnesses. The study had students in physical education classes performed Kripalu Yoga exercises. This involves performing physical postures, meditation, breathing and relaxation.
The results of the study showed that the yoga students had lower levels of tension and anxiety, as well as better moods, controlling their tempers and higher resilience, when compared to the control group.
BENEFIT 5: Yoga Reduces the Trauma of Negative Experiences
If a teen has undergone a traumatic experience or troubled childhood yoga can be an option to help deal with the trauma. A type of yoga which has shown to be effective for this is called Hatha Yoga.
The Next Step…
As you can see, there are many benefits of yoga meditation for brain health. If you would like to start learning yoga, here is a list of basic yoga exercises for beginners:
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