If you or someone you care about is struggling with mental health problems, you may have already heard about the benefits of yoga therapy for depression and anxiety.
With an emphasis on calming and centering the mind, it’s not surprising that practicing yoga can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. What may be more surprising is that the ancient practice can actually make the brain work better. If you’re looking for yoga therapy options near Dallas, TX, contact Santé Center for Healing today. Call 866.238.3154 or reach out to our team online.
What Is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga therapy can be difficult to define universally, in part because of the breadth and depth of the ancient tradition it’s based on. Like the entirety of traditional yoga practice, the discipline of yoga therapy can be approached in many different ways. Nonetheless, for yoga therapy to be better understood, it is necessary to have a pragmatic definition that’s understandable to those without experience with practicing yoga, yet still acceptable to those steeped in the ancient practice and philosophy.
Therefore, yoga therapy is the process of empowering people with health problems to progress toward improved well-being through the application of yoga teachings and practices. Cultivating the body and mind is the goal of yoga therapy for mental health and physical health. Using ancient yoga practices, it promotes self-care and encourages the maintenance of overall well-being.
In the 1920s, the term “yoga therapy” was coined by Swami Kuvalyananda. He believed that it would be possible to measure the changes that occur in a person through practicing yoga, whether the changes were physiological or physical. Kuvalyananda’s passion and beliefs brought more attention and interest to the ancient practice. Currently, yoga therapy is a common recommendation for certain medical conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Does Yoga Therapy Include Meditation?
Yes, meditation is a part of yoga therapy. Meditation is a part of the ancient practice, in which it deals with both mental concentration and relaxation. In yoga meditation, the practitioner’s breath and thoughts are the focus of attention. Being aware of breathing helps control the thought process and thus relaxes the mind completely.
Yoga therapy is a type of therapeutic care that uses the following strategies to improve mental and physical health:
- Yoga postures
- Breathing exercises
- Guided imagery
The holistic approach of yoga therapy encourages the integration of body, mind, and spirit. It covers a broad range of therapeutic modalities and incorporates elements from both physical therapy and psychotherapy. This is why yoga therapy is ideal for depression and anxiety treatments.
How Does Yoga Therapy for Mental Health Work?
Yoga therapy for depression and anxiety — and other mental health issues — is like lifting weights for your muscles to get stronger. When you practice yoga, your brain cells develop new connections and changes occur in your brain structure. These improve and strengthen brain functions, such as attention, awareness, language, memory, and thought.
Studies show that compared to nonpractitioners, people who regularly practiced yoga had a thicker cerebral cortex — the part of the brain responsible for information processing — and a thicker hippocampus. The latter is the part of the brain involved in learning and memory. These areas of the brain typically shrink with age, but older yoga practitioners showed less shrinkage than those who didn’t practice yoga. This suggests that yoga therapy may counteract age-related declines in memory and other cognitive skills.
Research also shows that yoga therapy may improve executive functions, such as the following:
- Decision making
- Reaction time
Ready To Learn About Santé Center for Healing’s Yoga Therapy Options?
Are you searching for yoga therapy options near Dallas, TX? Contact Santé Center for Healing today by calling 866.238.3154 or reaching out to our team online.