Everyone experiences a bad mood every now and then. However mild or severe your gloomy attitude may be, the practice of yoga can lift your spirits so you can say goodbye to your bad mood for good.
The following are a few examples of how yoga can help turn your frown upside down.
Elevated GABA levels
Researchers have found that practicing yoga can raise the brain’s level of gamma-amino-butyric acid, which is the brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. When GABA levels are low, we can experience anxiety, depression, and a decreased zest for life. When GABA levels are high, we feel elated, happy, and interested in living life to the fullest.
It is still not fully understood why yoga works so well at increasing the body’s GABA levels. Some feel it is because of the physical aspects of yoga, but when tested against other forms of exercise such as walking, yoga still proved to be better at raising GABA levels and putting people in a better mood.
Increased self confidence
Insecurity can breed anxiety, and having anxiety can ruin anyone’s day. Practicing yoga has a remarkable effect on our ability to let go of the things that don’t serve us, such as constantly criticizing ourselves and having a negative self-image. Yoga teaches us to think positively about ourselves so we can be motivated to take better care of ourselves. We are our happiest and most productive when physical and mental health is our number one priority, and yoga makes it all possible.
Enhanced ability to let things go
The Buddhist saying, “Holding on to anger is like grabbing a hot coal to throw at someone, because you are the one who is going to get burned,” is enough to make anyone realize that keeping a grudge will certainly put the kibosh on a good mood.
In a yoga class, we don’t just practice corpse pose because we are exhausted from practicing dozens of chaturangas and holding umpteen plank poses, we do it to retrain ourselves to let go of things that get in the way of our happiness. For some, corpse pose is the hardest pose to master because it requires surrendering that proverbial hot coal in order to make room for forgiveness, and the inevitable joy that comes from dropping our baggage.
May 31st, 2013