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Why You Need To Take Up Yoga

Happy International Yoga Day!  

The past couple of years have been filled with uncertainty and loneliness. We have been isolated from our family and friends. Many have lost their jobs or are forced to work from home, further exacerbating the loneliness. The disruption to our lives has been huge. 

Mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, have been on the rise for many years. However, Mind, a mental health charity, found that more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said that their mental health had worsened during lockdown restrictions. Loneliness was, and is, a key contributor to poor mental health.  

Since 2015, people across the world have celebrated International Yoga Day and raised awareness of the healing power yoga has on our mental and physical health. This year’s theme is ‘yoga for wellbeing’ which recognises the importance of selfcare to keep mentally and physically well. 

Yoga for Mental health

Many of us have always known that yoga helps reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Thankfully, more clinicians have embraced yoga as a complement to psychological therapy. 

One study suggested that yoga could be used “as an adjunct treatment for anxiety and depression.” Yoga encourages body-based mindfulness practices and breathing techniques to complement CBT processes such as “behavioural activation, awareness of maladaptive patterns, and thought disputation.” Yoga also provides those suffering with anxiety and depression with an accessible and sustainable mental health self-management tool. 

Another review of yoga’s use as a therapeutic intervention showed that yoga targets unmanaged stress which is a main cause for conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Khalsa suggested that yoga works “by reducing the stress response, which includes the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and the levels of the stress hormone cortisol” (Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology). 


Pranayama, the practice of breath regulation. In Sanskrit, “prana” means life energy and “yama” means control. 

Yoga for increased flexibility

It comes as no surprise that yoga positions improve flexibility and balance. Your tree pose might look more like a jostling palm tree in a tropic storm but, with regular practise, your balance and flexibility will improve. One study found that, in healthy young adults, yoga training produced an improvement in timed balance performance for 90% of participants. Another study found that male athletes who practiced yoga for 10 weeks demonstrated the improvement in both flexibility and balance measures (International journal of yoga). 


Hatha yoga which encourages you to move your body slowly into a series of poses to improve your strength and flexibility. I really like the Sun Salutation flow! 

Yoga for digestion

Hands up if you have IBS! This nasty condition has an array of symptoms such as trapped gas, bloating, and constipation. No one knows the exact cause, but it is linked to stress, food sensitivities and genetics. There is no cure, but yoga helps alleviate these symptoms! 

One study found that 44% of adolescents (14–17-year-olds) and 46% of young adults (18–26-year-olds) reported a clinically significant reduction in pain following yoga. 

I personally find yoga so, so helpful when I am in pain. 


Cobra Pose, Bow Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, Puppy Pose and Supine Twist. 

Yoga Style 

Now for the fun part!

Although yoga isn’t high impact, you may still want a supportive sports bra and yoga leggings (which are softer and thinner than running leggings) to keep you comfortable and stylishthroughout your yoga routine.


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