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June 25, 2018 06:19 PM

Mental Health Benefits Of Yoga

Exercise is both good for your body and for your mind.

And one exercise that's especially good for your mind is yoga. 

Most visits to the gym include getting your heart rate up and dripping sweat, but in yoga class that's not the case.  

Instead, you'll notice a dimly lit room with relaxing music.

"I'm mostly a runner, I do other things for exercise but I'm just looking for a way to focus on other aspects of overall wellness," Karissa Zimmer said. 

Zimmer has been doing yoga for years and says the mental health benefits keep her coming back. 

"Overall relaxation. It helps you get rid of the day to day stressors that are going on and really just focus on taking care of yourself," Zimmer said. 

That's in addition to keeping your thinking skills sharp and reducing your risk of depression, according to the CDC. 

Yoga instructor Victoria Wilde says the more you do it, the less stress you'll feel. 

"I'm so busy and running around here, there everywhere and doing so many different things. When I get in here, even teaching it's like boom. I walk in the door, I calm down, we get about 5 minutes in and I forget everything that's going on," Wilde said. 

Throughout a class, an instructor will cue you when it's time to take a deep breathe, inhale and exhale. 

"Breathing helps you a lot. Just like when you're out in the gym and you're breathing to try to get through reps with weights, it helps you with that. But the breath also calms you," Wilde said.

Instructors say the calmness you'll find after doing yoga will carry with you throughout your entire day. 

"Practicing your yoga, you're focused on what you're trying to do with your body alone and you really don't focus on what everyone else is doing," Wilde said. 

"I feel just relieved. I feel refreshed and just ready to start my day," Zimmer said. 

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