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Doing Yoga for health and wellness can give you the strength to get through a lot!
Daily Yoga practice has been proven to calm your mind, focus your thoughts, and boost your mood.
It’s no surprise, then, that it may be just what you need to endure the challenges of the pandemic and stay sane and mentally healthy.
Below, I want to share with you the results of a fascinating study into the effects of Yoga for health and wellness—specifically, how it helps people cope with lockdown and the other pandemic side effects.
If you’re struggling, it may be high time for you to start practicing Yoga in your daily life.
Yoga for Health and Wellness: Surviving the Lockdown
The journal Frontiers in Psychology published a study conducted in India. In the study, experts assessed the effects of Yoga on people in lockdown—not only their physical health, but mental health, coping skills, and lifestyle of those studied.
A survey was sent out throughout India, and got responses for over 23,000 people. Included in the survey was a question as to whether or not people practiced Yoga. This allowed researchers to categorize the people as “Yoga” and “non-Yoga” groups.
Throughout the course of the study:
People who practiced Yoga were shown to have better endurance and physical ability, even through lockdown. Because they were practicing Yoga regularly at home (no need for a Yoga studio when you can just roll out your mat and train anywhere), their physical health didn’t suffer as much as non-Yoga practitioners.
People who didn’t practice Yoga were more likely to depend on substances to help them cope with the lockdown. Though the study didn’t say exactly what substances, it’s pretty common to see people drinking or smoking more in order to try and find some measure of relaxation or distraction from the “pandemic blues” that settle in after weeks or months spent locked inside.
People who didn’t practice Yoga were also more likely to eat unhealthy food. It’s not difficult to understand why, with so many of our favorite pastimes and hobbies no longer available, we’d turn to food for pleasure. And, as you well know, it’s rare that we use “healthy” food as our comfort food of choice. Most comfort food is high in fat, fried, sugary, or processed. The result is poor health because of these food choices.
People who practiced Yoga reported less anxiety, stress, and fear than those who didn’t. Not only was their mental health better off, but they actually had better and healthier coping strategies than people who didn’t practice Yoga. The study actually called it “striking and superior ability” to cope with the anxieties and stresses caused by the lockdown.
People who didn’t practice Yoga also found that their sleep suffered. This was likely due to a combination of increased anxiety/stress and decreased energy expenditure. With no way to get out of the house to do exercise, their bodies had no outlet for all the energy generated in a day, so they were likely prone to feeling restless and restive. Given how critical exercise is for good sleep, you can see why it’s poor sleep is a likely consequence of being stuck indoors with no regular form of exercise.
People who practiced Yoga reportedly “had better mental health” than those who didn’t. Because of their lower stress and anxiety levels, as well as their ability to cope mentally with the pressure of the lockdown, regular Yoga practitioners suffered less during the tough pandemic times.
We’ve dedicated a lot of our posts talking about how Yoga can benefit you in mind, body, and spirit. We’re avid proponents of Yoga, so of course we’re going to want to highlight the advantages of this form of workout.
But the information above is all directly taken from scientific study. Experts and researchers are looking into how Yoga can help you—in reality, how it can change your life for the better. With all this scientific proof to back it up, it’s pretty hard to argue with the facts that Yoga really can improve your overall wellness in a lot of truly important ways.
If you find yourself stuck in the house and back on lockdown (again!), I highly recommend taking up Yoga as a daily or regular practice. Not only will it give you a way to burn energy and improve your physical health, but it can help to stabilize your mind, bring you clarity of thought, counteract anxiety and stress, and enhance your mental health. During the tough times we’ve all been facing, mental health is as important as—or possibly even more important than—your physical health!
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