Perhaps more than any other exercise, yoga highlights the mind-body connection. It's difficult, if not impossible, to talk about the physical benefits of this unique exercise without
mentioning its many positive psychological effects on the body as well.
The most well-known of these – steadying the heart rate, increasing flexibility, supporting the nervous system – help individuals to move toward a mental transformation as well as a physical one.
Studies reveal that when a person practices yoga regularly, he displays a more optimistic outlook on life. He also becomes more aware of the world around him and just seems to be more in touch with the small details of life. In other words, a student of yoga seems to have a better appreciation and sensitivity of her surroundings.
And this is the first step in de-stressing your life. Perhaps more than any other single benefit, yoga appears to work wonders in helping people manage the problems of their daily life. This ancient practice requires that you slow your breathing. In the process you concentrate on your breath as you exhale and inhale. Feel your chest as it rises and falls. When was the last time you really concentrated on your breathing – a very controlled and systematic breathing?
This habit effectively diverts your thoughts off your problems and forces you to either redirect them towards peaceful scenarios or empty your mind altogether. This focus, though a mental practice, has physical implications as it helps the muscles of your body to relax.
Similarly, yoga can also help you conquer your anxiety. Uncontrolled and undirected anxiety can be dangerous not only to an individual's stress level, but also to her physical health. Here again, because yoga deflects your thoughts from the causes of your anxiety, you can think more clearly.
Some experts claim that the continued practice of yoga even helps extend a person's attention span. Additionally, individuals who practice yoga say that it helps to alleviate depression and aids in decreasing a hostile attitude.
The continued and consistent practice of yoga does one more amazing thing. It energizes your body. It may seem strange that a form of exercise that can be so relaxing can at the same time be very invigorating. Yoga is the perfect exercise for those who complain they don't have enough energy to exercise.
Those individuals who are overweight or have problems with their feet and find it difficult to walk can begin with simple yoga postures that emphasize controlled breathing
This then opens the physical door to a more energized body. As you practice yoga, you may find that it's the portal to an aerobic form of exercise, such as walking, bicycling or swimming. The improved outlook on life that yoga provides helps you to enjoy such activities. It may just be the introduction you need, not only to de-stress your life, but re-invigorate your body as well.