How Yoga Makes You Happy

How Yoga Makes You Happy

by Beth Shaw | 25/05/2015

The practice of yoga combines combines physical exercise postures , stretching, deep breathing and mental focus. You learn to unite breath and movement, body and mind..Yoga can be considered technology for getting back in touch with our true essence and ourselves.  It is a way of remembering the health and wholeness that is our natural state of being.  Yoga, when broken down to its most simple form is breathing and feeling.  Through this breathing and feeling we learn to control our reactions to events and people.  


It is not the events and people in our lives that give us stress but the way we react to them. What makes yoga unique in terms of happiness is in its multifaceted approach.  By working at the physical and psychological levels concurrently, yoga reduces stress at each level and this reduction in stress is supported by the work done at other levels.  Yoga postures combined with deep breathing facilitate deep relaxation that combats stress and make you happy. When practiced properly Yoga can make you a lot happy.


1.  By practicing yoga, you learn to listen to your body and honor it- you automatically will be happier


2. When you practice, you raise seratonin, oxycotin and GABA levels in your body- Feeling “happy” has everything to do with the chemical reactions in your body.


3. Practicing yoga reduces your blood pressure and cortisol, the stress hormone.


4. Deep focuses breathing encourages positive emotion. It is a powerful stress management technique.


5. Yoga and deep breathing reduces anxiety.


Here are a few of my favorite Yoga poses and why they create happiness:


Inversions—  Antidepressants.  I do a headstand a day to combat depression. inversions cause increased extensor tone in the spine that has a positive effect on the limbic cortex (emotional centers) and frontal cortical functioning in the brain. In a headstand, pressure on the crown stabilizes the mood and the emotions.


Forward folds—  The ultimate relaxer.  Forward folds seated or standing, they calm and relax the body.


Chest Expansion – Anxiety reducer.   Anxiety works in much the same way-your fears and worries hover around you all the time, preventing you from feeling confident and happy.


The the chest expansion backbend creates a sense of fearlessness. It exposes your heart in a safe and supported way.


Psoas release—one of the deepest muscle groups in the body is the iliopsoas. This muscle group has been discovered to affect our mood and health and is known as the “muscle of the soul.”


This muscle group is the key to a balanced, well-organized body and mind as it is closely linked to our fight or flight response. The iliopsoas involuntarily activates when we experience fear by tightening and shortening. It crosses over the front of the pelvis and connects to the legs and spine, so problems with the psoas may show up in other parts of the body such as the knees, pelvis, hips, neck/shoulders, sciatic nerve, and low back.


Meditation pose— A great way to cleanse the mind and empty of the mental garbage. I practice ™ and find it very effective.  The right type of meditation can provide profound rest to the physiology. Rest is nature’s way of dissolving stress and anxiety. The human body is designed to efficiently remove stress during sleep. However, in today’s world, stress is often carried over from day to day people don't sleep well One of the most popular and effective meditations, the Transcendental Meditation  (TM) technique, has been scientifically proven to produce relaxation in the body as well as brain wave   During the twenty minutes of meditation, a unique state of restful alertness is experienced which reduces stress and fatigue. Research indicates the TM technique contributes to peace and calm.‚Äč


Yoga and meditation are a natural way to happiness, so unplug and breath deep and enjoy!


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