The Psychology Behind Yoga

By: Dr Carla Kesrouani June 21, 2023 no comments

The Psychology Behind Yoga

The origin of yoga according to some sources, It can be traced back to the ancient Indus Valley civilization, where seals depicting yogic postures have been found.

Other sources suggest that yoga originated in the Vedic period, as a form of ritual and meditation associated with the Hindu scriptures.

Basically, yoga is a religious ritual related to ancient Indian religious worship. Later, in modern times, these religious practices were brought in and used for other goals in people’s lives.

Yoga in these times


In modern times, this religious practice of yoga has been introduced and used as a technique for a diverse and multifaceted discipline that encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of human well-being.

Many claim that yoga provides psychological benefits in addition to physical ones.

But does it truly make sense that strikes and stretches could impact mood, anxiety and focus? Let’s examine the possible psychological mechanisms:

Releases Tension in Muscles

Firstly, yoga poses target specific muscle groups, elongating and contracting them in new ways. This physical manipulation loosens areas where tension has accumulated from stress. Holding tensions in muscles actually influences our brain chemically and electrically.

Therefore, releasing built-up tension through yoga postures potentially alleviates some effects of stress on the mind like negative thoughts and anxiety. Some evidence also finds this exercise impacts stress hormones like cortisol.

Thus, this poses are benefited through a mechanical effect on the human body that results in a physiological chemical effect that plays a role in reaching relaxation and getting rid of stress.

Promotes Mindfulness

Promotes Mindfulness

Additionally, yoga involves focusing attention on bodily sensations and the present moment. This mindfulness component aims to quiet the thinking mind and reduce distracting thoughts.

By cultivating awareness of breath and posture during poses, yoga trains practitioners’ ability to focus on one thing. This skill then carries over outside of yoga, potentially improving concentration and reducing rumination.

Studies find mindfulness meditation – a similar practice – reduces depression, anxiety and stress. This exercise may provide similar benefits through cultivation of mindfulness.

Thus, the benefits of yoga postures are achieved by directing the thought during the implementation of these postures in a way that enhances calmness and mindfulness in the person who practices them.

Fosters a Growth Mindset

Fosters a Growth Mindset

Furthermore, taking on new physical challenges through this poses can nurture a growth mindset – the belief that abilities can be developed through effort. Durings this practice, pushing past perceived limitations and achieving harder poses reinforces this growth mindset.

Having a growth rather than fixed mindset is linked to lower stress, depression risk and higher achievement. this practicing may thus indirectly strengthen psychological resilience simply by encouraging a growth-oriented perspective.


while research on yoga’s full psychological impact remains limited, several plausible mechanisms exist for how strikes and stretches could translate to benefits for mood, focus and stress. From releasing physical tension to promoting mindfulness to fostering a growth mindset, aspects of regular practices have the potential to positively impact practitioners’ psychology and wellbeing. Of course, more studies are needed but the logic behind its “psychological work” is grounded in sound theory and preliminary evidence.

In conclusion

There are studies that follow the “scholastic method”, that is, justifying what exists through any possible arguments to justify its existence and use. As for real studies that are based on research and conclusion, they have not yet found a direct and clear relationship between this practicing and obtaining these required results.

In general, people did not wait to rely on studies that show the effect of yoga on the human body and mind, as you find that the practice of yoga has spread among people a lot.

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