yoga is a very ancient physical and mental practice that has been spreading all over the world because of its benefits and because it guarantees a firm body, a stable mind and a benevolent spirit.

It is a millennial art that has amply demonstrated that it can improve our quality of life, not only on a physical level but also on a mental and spiritual level.

Psychology and Yoga

It is composed of postures ( asanas ), relaxation ( savasana ), meditation ( dhyana ), breathing ( pranayama ), kriyas (cleansings), mudras (energetic seals), kirtan (chants), mantra or rituals. Besides an exercise, for many, it is a way of life that seeks well-being, inner peace and implies a lifestyle that commits to the observation of ethical guidelines , principles of life and adequate nutrition.

Yoga achieves the integration of movement with the breath until they are no longer two separate entities and are transformed into one. Its practice becomes an extremely powerful agent of transformation that provokes deep changes in our health . In fact, its use is seen as a preventive or rehabilitative medicine because it stimulates metabolic and anabolic processes and improves the circulation of energy, oxygenating the body. When we talk about yoga, we can not only refer to the physiological benefits (for example, increased flexibility, decreased muscle stiffness, etc.), but we have to mention the positive consequences it produces on the mind, emotional well-being and the brain.

Below, from Psychology and Mind , we present the six psychological benefits of practicing yoga.

1. Reduces stress

The lifestyle of Western societies can lead many people to suffer from stress, causing psychological health problems such as depression, anxiety, etc. A study by Thirthalli and Naveen (2013) shows that treatment with yoga reduces levels of cortisol , a hormone that is released in response to stress.

Cortisol is necessary for the body as it regulates and mobilizes energy in stressful situations, but if we have too much or it increases in situations where we do not need it, it produces many side effects. By practicing yoga we can lower the levels of this hormone, and therefore reduce stress.

2. Improves sleep

Serotonin (5-HT) is a neurotransmitter derived from an amino acid called tryptophan . It sends messages within the brain and through the nervous system, and participates in many processes such as regulating mood or appetite. In addition, one of its main tasks is to increase the production of melatonin , a hormone that regulates sleep cycles.

To achieve a peaceful rest, serotonin also intervenes in the control of stress and body temperature . “The practice of yoga increases serotonin levels and therefore helps you sleep better,” explains Dr. Murali Doraiswam, author of a Duke University study that included a review of more than 100 research papers on yoga.

3. Improves mood

As mentioned in the previous point, serotonin (5-HT) also regulates mood. Low levels of 5-HT are associated with depressive and obsessive behaviors. An investigation by Cabral, Meyer and Ames (2011) found that the regular practice of yoga, produces significant improvements in patients with depression and anxiety similar to physical exercise, due to increased serotonin.

Another neurotransmitter that seems to influence this aspect is GABA. A recent study by Boston University and the University of Utah has shown that there is also an increase in this neurotransmitter in yoga practitioners .

4. Extends life and prevents degenerative diseases

American researchers from Harvard University Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have shown, following a study, that yoga and meditation increase the size of telomeres, structures located at the ends of chromosomes that are directly related to aging, the development of certain pathologies and even premature death.

The study concludes that there seems to be a positive correlation between healthy and large telomeres and increased longevity, prevention of degenerative diseases and people’s health. Doing yoga for only 15 minutes a day is sufficient to produce biochemical changes in the brain and neurons .

5. Improves concentration

Yoga practitioners improve concentration, coordination, reaction time, memory, learning and show an increased ability to solve problems according to a study by Neha Gothe, professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. According to her research, published in The Journal of Physical Activity and Health , 20 minutes of yoga a day is more cognitively beneficial than one session of intense physical activity.

6. Improves couple’s relationship and sexual relations

According to Pete McCall, exercise physiologist and personal trainer for the American Council on Exercise: “Yoga can result in better sex because it will help your flexibility and strengthen your pelvic muscles. A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that yoga can treat premature ejaculation and improve sexual satisfaction .


In addition, as mentioned in other research from the University of British Columbia, stress reduction through the practice of yoga increases libido and sexual vitality. Therefore, by improving the sex life in different ways, it is possible that the couple’s relationship will also benefit.