Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

3 Stress-busting Yoga Facts

Yoga is more than a trendy way to get fit while wearing comfortable clothing.

Yoga is a practice of meditation, controlled breathing, stretching and posing. Yoga has been improving the health of humans for more than 5,000 years, but early yoga followers weren’t privy to modern science to help explain the benefits. Devotees in the 21st century have the benefit of knowing how yoga can help them lead calmer, happier and healthier lives.

Yoga’s deep breathing triggers our “rest and digest” state

Anxiety is a part of life, but when it takes over, it can wreak havoc on your body. Luckily, yoga can help. Here are three ways yoga can help relieve stress and anxiety.

The parasympathetic nervous system, sometimes called the “rest and digest” system, controls day-to-day bodily functions, but can be hijacked by the “fight or flight” state, or the sympathetic nervous system. The deep breathing techniques that accompany yoga postures can help you return to a more restful state.

Yoga helps to quiet your mind.

Anxiety can cause your thoughts to race out of control, but meditation — which is a large part of a yoga session — may help you quiet your mind while finding peace and direction. In fact, yoga and meditation have been shown to be an effective treatment of traumatic brain injury.

Yoga helps rid your body of excess energy.

Stress can increase the excess energy, or “nervous energy” in your body. Standing yoga poses can quietly and methodically burn excess energy.

The UF Health Integrative Medicine Program offers bedside yoga to inpatients at UF Health Shands Hospital, as well as “Gentle Yoga for Health,” a weekly community program tailored to those with health challenges.

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Amanda Austin

Social Media Coordinator

Amanda manages UF Health's Facebook and Twitter accounts, and curates information about healthy and wellness, health industry news, and updates on UF Health research....Read More