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Mental Health Benefits of Yoga for Women

Mental Health Benefits of Yoga for Women

Mental health is a growing concern worldwide. With levels of stress, anxiety and depression increasing thanks to the demanding modern-day lives we lead today, taking care of your mental health should be number one priority. For women, multi-taskers and often the glue at home and work, mental health concerns are even more prominent. 

Yoga, an effective practice to manage health and well-being, improve quality of life, and maintain a sense of peace and balance, is the call of the hour. Avid practitioners will tell you how effectively yoga boosts well-being and has the power to change your life. 

Common factors affecting women’s mental health 

Women are often under pressure everyday, dealing with factors from relationships to work and more. We live in a world where external stressors present themselves as toxic elements and trigger anxiety, depression and even panic attacks. Common factors affecting mental health in women today are health changes such as going through a pregnancy, which can be a stressful phase considering the changes a woman’s body goes through. Even post-pregnancy, when the baby arrives, can cause stress, anxiety and depression. Postpartum depression is a common condition affecting women today. The stress of managing relationships, a job and maybe even kids can be overwhelming and lead to unnecessary stress. The demands of showing up at various roles and responsibilities also affects one’s state of mind, emotions and well-being. 

When lifestyle gets toxic and suffocating, it takes away one’s mental space and time. With no priority given to self-care, everything takes a hit - from physical exercise, quality of sleep, diet, etc. When there is no mindful approach to daily life, we tend to ignore our own emotions and cries for help. That’s where yoga can play a positive and impactful role in women’s mental health. 

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Benefits of yoga for women’s mental health 

Relief from depression and anxiety

A mind-boy practice, yoga is a way to incorporate both physical exercise, meditation, relaxation and calming breathing exercises. It not only relaxes the mind and body, but instills harmony and balance. The parasympathetic nervous system gets activated, improving clarity of thought and presence of mind. After a few live sessions, you will find yourself coming back to a space of peace and balance. 

Lower heart rate and blood pressure

Yoga reduces heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure, thereby relaxing you and easing your anxiety and nervousness. Cortisol levels are lowered and the hormonal system is balanced. 

Reduces stress related symptoms

A study by researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School found that participants in a yoga program showed greater changes in measures of sleep, positive affect, perceived stress, anxiety, stress, and resilience than those who didn’t do yoga. Thus, regular yoga practice reduces stress-related symptoms and helps you improve health and well-being. 

Boosts focus and productivity

With there is lack of mental peace and balance, focus on daily tasks and productivity goes down. Yoga can improve concentration, helping regain the ability to get things done efficiently without getting distracted. Yoga can boost concentration and memory by encouraging you to focus on the breath during practice. 

Reduces burnout

You will also learn to turn inward and listen to your body. You’ll know when to hit pause and relax, rather than push yourself too far and injure yourself. 

Improves mindfulness

Breathing practices and certain yoga asanas, like balancing postures, will force you to be in the present. Imagine letting your mind wander when you’re standing in the Eagle Pose. You’ll immediately lose balance. Yoga helps you build mindfulness by focusing your thoughts, staying calm and present. You’ll be able to block out external noise and distractions. 

Improves mood and emotions

Yoga helps keep emotions in check and avoid negative thought patterns. With regular yoga, GABA, the neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for emotions, increases in the brain. When levels are low, one might suffer from depression, anxiety, and other negative emotions. Yoga can help boost your GABA levels so you can release negative emotions and moods, replacing them with more positive ones.

In a survey conducted, 85% of Americans said yoga helped them deal with stress, the root cause of all problems. The tightening and relaxing of muscles can reduce tension. Furthermore, many studies have found that those who practice yoga and meditation experience improved brain function. Oxygen supply and blood circulation is better, keeping the body rejuvenated and energetic. Even conditions like weight gain or weight loss, which can be a result of stress and other mental health issues, are better managed with yoga. Yoga also instills a more positive outlook in life, improving coping skills and keeping health problems at bay. 

What are the best yoga practices for mental health 


A deeply calming practice, meditation relaxes the mind and body, balances the nervous system, and gives you a chance to turn inward. Meditation is known to reduce activity in the limbic system, the part of the brain dedicated to emotions. As your emotional reac­tivity diminishes, your response to stressful situations will also become more conscious. 


Many breathing techniques such as Alternate Nostril Breathing and Humming Bee Breath have a direct impact on the mind. They balance the mind, relax the system, remove toxins, and provide you with a few minutes of calm and peacefulness. After the practice too, you will like you are in harmony with your mind and body. 


Regular practice of yoga asanas releases tightness and tension caused by stress. It relieves pain from areas like the neck and back, which could be bearing the brunt of stress. It also improves mindfulness, balance, and strength. 

Yogic lifestyle

Incorporating a little time for yourself that you can spend on the mat in meditation or asana practice will greatly benefit your daily routine. It will allow you a chance to shut out external disturbances and focus on yourself. Your self-awareness, focus and patience will get better, allowing you to show up better in your everyday responsibility and roles, manage relationships better and at the same time check-in with yourself. 

The best way to practice yoga for mental health is with a certified teacher. You can join live online yoga classes on a platform like Shvasa, where experienced teachers will work with you to help improve mental health and well-being, as well as address any specific concerns you have. 

Mental Health Benefits of Yoga for Women
Shvasa Editorial Team

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