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Strike A Pose: Yoga & Happiness Chemicals

Strike a Pose: Yoga and Happiness Chemicals

On a previous article about posture and mood, I go over how posture, or pose can affect your mood. Here in the West, we often think of yoga as a purely physical, low-impact exercise. We often think of the asana, or the pose/posture part of yoga. That’s how I used to think of yoga too, and it’s what first attracted me to yoga. I needed a low-impact exercise that would help me maintain my endorphins going.

Exercise and Endorphins

I had been depressed most of my adult life and had just started feeling like myself again. I had been successful through some lifestyle modifications, one of which was physical exercise. The other significant change was drastically reducing my intake of refined sugar (more on that on a different article). Consistently moving our bodies is crucial not only to our physical health, but it’s extremely important to our mental health as well. Due to some injuries and other physical conditions I have, I found that, though I enjoyed traditional exercise, I kept getting hurt and needing a chiropractor more often than I’d like to use one.

Yoga Pose and Happiness Chemicals

The physical practice of yoga poses is excellent to provide not only endorphins but also the dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin hits that we need.

The mere practice of the poses provides endorphins and, because you’re now accomplishing a goal, dopamine is released. Oxytocin is released when practicing yoga in a class, or community. The mindful aspect of yoga poses combined with the breath is also helpful in releasing serotonin.

This is why I love yoga and feel like it’s just perfect for overall health, especially mental health.

The Circulatory vs The Lymphatic Systems

If production of all the happy chemicals above isn’t enough for you, I’ll give you a few more reasons. Our bodies operate several different systems that, when kept in balance (homeostasis), we stay healthy. When things start to get off balance, we get sick, hurt, etc. There is a delicate balance that needs to be kept.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the circulatory system that circulates blood and all the good things it carries to all the cells and organs in our bodies. That system has an amazingly strong and incredible pump. The heart. The heart is what keeps the blood moving and fresh.

The lymphatic system, though, does not have a pump. But it is responsible for carrying all the waste out of our bodies. That is also a very important job. I like to think of the lymphatic system as the sewage network of the body. The thing is that, because it doesn’t have a pump, it uses a different mechanism to clear the junk from our bodies. Can you guess what that is? Why yes, that would be body movement!

Why Do We NEED to Move Our Bodies?

That is why it’s so important to really move our bodies. Our bodies were designed to move. Modern sedentary life is detrimental to health. When we just sit around all day, getting stressed by kids or work, or whatever, our bodies keep trying to get rid of the gunk created by simply being alive, but can’t. Moving around, getting our muscles engaged in physical activity and stretching helps get the lymph moving and to where it needs to go to exit our bodies and keep us in healthy balance and not toxic.

So, get up every so often and strike a pose, hopefully a yoga pose, and get your lymph moving and your happiness chemicals production going! And…

Enjoy your joyful life!

Cybele Cerchio ?
The Joyful Life Blueprint

P.S. Let’s get to know each other. Here’s my story, what’s yours?

Cybele Cerchio

Hi! I'm Cybele!

I'm passionate about helping women of faith cope with and reduce stress, depression, and feel empowered to take control of their mental/emotional health and well-being, so they can powerfully step into their divine roles as mothers, wives, daughters by feeling true joy in connecting to their spirits, bodies and God.

I'm here to help you through simple little practices that will help you be joyful and peaceful no matter what's going on around you!

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