At Urban Veda, we strongly believe that Yoga and wellness go hand-in-hand. They complement each other just as the sand complements the sea which is no surprise given Yoga and Ayurveda are sister subjects. The health benefits of yoga, inclusive of physiological and psychological benefits, are both numerous and well documented. Not only is it now considered trendy to be wearing yoga leggings with a yoga mat underarm, but the endless list of benefits mean you can enhance your wellness in style. An All Natural Stress Reliever How often do we hear the phrase ‘I feel stressed’ or ‘I had a stressful day’?! Stress can form itself in different ways, from physically to mentally but the bottom line is that is certainly interferes with our positive wellbeing. Yoga has been proven to reduce stress effectively, with studies proving that the practising of poses, breathing and meditation can help an individual to actually regulate their heart rate more effectively. Other studies have proven that yoga can reduce cortisol levels which is the primary stress hormone in our bodies. Yoga therefore can play a major role in the improvement of a person’s ability to manage and overcome stress. Specific yoga poses too, can help to relieve stress. Uttanasana particularly, as well as the forward fold, can generate a positive sense of wellness as well as precipitating calmness of the mind and of the body. A Weight Loss Aid Even the most simple and gentle of yoga routines can have a fantastically positive effect upon your weight. This can improve your self-perception, confidence, your wellness as well as your health. Yoga has been proven to boost the metabolism, getting your heart pumping and your muscles working – all of which can aid in fat-burning. Returning to our previous mention of the reduction of cortisol; yoga can lower the levels of this stress-chemical which in turn can help to curb the desire to eat especially unhealthy foods. This is because cortisol can precipitate “stress-eating” and/or “comfort-eating”. Wellness is of course, not intrinsically linked to our bodyweight, however, if we are not feeling body confident, our wellness can be affected negatively. Addressing this downturn with yoga can have an overwhelmingly positive effect upon our wellness. Be Happier With Yoga Exercise in general has been proven to improve our happiness and emotional wellbeing. Yoga in particular, can actually impact our brain chemistry in a number of unique and interesting ways – all of which can improve our wellness. Performing and practising Yoga in a group environment, be it at a gym, a yoga class or at your home with your friends, can help to stimulate the production of oxytocin. This is the chemical commonly associated with bonding, love, and happiness. Yoga in any form, be it meditation, Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga or something different, performed in any environment can help our brains in creating Serotonin. This chemical is commonly referred to as the “happy hormone” and has a long and lovely list of positive effects which has the potential to improve mental, physical and spiritual wellness. Finally, studies have also shown that the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are higher in those who have just completed a course or a routine of yoga. Increased levels of GABA are often linked to decreased rates of depression as well as anxiety. Yoga And Your Wellness As you can see, yoga can bring about a number of exceptional changes to our brain chemistry, our physical body, our mindset and our outlook on life. If you can, we would recommend wholeheartedly that you attempt to incorporate yoga into your daily routine. By practising yoga, on your own, in a group or at your local gym, you can take control of your wellness and bring about a series of positive and beautiful changes to your mind, body and soul.