How does Yoga Reduce Stress? What is the Science Behind It?

How does Yoga Reduce Stress What is the Science Behind It

Reduce Stress with Yoga

Stress is something that each one of us experiences. Both the personal and professional lives of a person can cause stress from time to time. However, when a person is stressed all the time, it can become a problem. Chronic stress can make you anxious and depressed and can also lead to health problems like hypertension and even heart attack or stroke. Hence, controlling your stress levels is extremely important. Most people consider yoga to be an effective way of reducing stress and keeping yourselves calm in any situation. Several studies have been able to prove this. However, not many know the science behind it, i.e., how exactly does yoga reduce stress.

What is Yoga?

Rooted in the Indian tradition, yoga is an ancient complex practice that promotes the overall well-being of an individual. Although there are several elements involved in yoga, asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditation are considered to be the most important. Research conducted previously has pointed out that practicing yoga regularly has positive effects on the mental and physical well-being of the individual. This is also the reason why it is considered as a holistic stress management technique.

How Yoga Helps in Reducing Stress?

Stress is caused by the presence of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol in the body. Stress hormones can lead to issues like headache, breathing difficulty, sleeplessness, fatigue, chest pain, indigestion, etc. If not taken care of, these can turn into chronic issues. While one can take care of it through yoga, not many know how this ancient practice helps in reducing stress.

Yoga is a practice that involves focusing on the breath. Be it practicing an asana, doing pranayama, or meditation, each of the practice requires the person to focus on his/her breath. When one slows down one’s breath and focuses on the present, the balance of the brain shifts from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic system. In the other words, the focus of the brain shifts to the relaxation response from the flight or fight response.

Several studies have pointed out that practicing yoga regularly and consistently lowers cortisol levels and boosts the production of endorphins, which are known as feel-good hormones. This helps in bringing more oxygenated blood to the brain, lowering breathing and heart rate, and decreasing blood pressure.

Another way yoga helps in reducing stress is by improving one’s mood by increasing the level of GABA or gamma-aminobutyric, a brain chemical that is responsible for decreasing anxiety and improving one’s mood. Moreover, meditation helps in lowering activity in the limbic system, which is responsible for controlling emotions. This also helps in keeping oneself calm when faced with stressful situations.


Stress can have long-term effects on your health, and hence it is important to find a way to remain stress-free. Yoga is one of the best ways to do it. Apart from mental health, practicing yoga has several benefits for your physical health as well. However, it is important to learn yoga from a certified professional to ensure that you learn the right techniques. Swasti Yoga Center is a yoga training institute that offers yoga courses to deal with a whole lot of physical and mental issues. The institute also government recognized teacher training courses to train yoga practitioners to spread the knowledge and benefits of yoga in the world.

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