Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about the benefits of yoga for our physical health.
But for me, the real magic of yoga is in the benefits it yields for our mental health, and our minds in general.
I have written a detailed post on the mental health benefits of yoga here. In this post, I’d like to take you through some more general concepts, and benefits that practicing yoga has on day-to-day life.
Yoga is essentially a spiritual, physical discipline.
If you have never really connected to your spiritual side, yoga might be a great way to get started.
Or maybe you are already quite a spiritual person. This can look different for everyone – some people find their spirituality in God and religion, some people find it in nature, some people find it in meditation.
And some people find it in yoga.
I know the benefits of connecting with our own spiritual nature, and I truly believe that at our core we are all spiritual beings. However, in the hustle and bustle of daily life, it can be easy to overlook.
Personally, yoga is the way that I really keep in touch with my spiritual nature. I go to yoga classes twice a week, and I know that here I will connect with my deeper self, no matter what has been happening in my daily life.
There are great benefits to this, such as:
When practicing yoga, you are really encouraged to become aware of your feelings – physically and mentally.
You may be encouraged to simply accept these feeling, rather than judging or changing them. This principle can really guide how you choose to navigate difficult situations in your daily life.
Say you take a morning yoga class, and are encouraged to think in this way. Then, you get to work and are immediately presented with a problem. I believe that by practicing yoga in the morning, you are basically priming your brain to react to said problem in a certain way – and this way will inevitably be more positive and healthy.
You may also become more aware of your thoughts and feelings throughout the day. Becoming more aware of the chatter in your mind, can help you separate the ego’s mindless chatter from the stuff you really want to listen to from your higher self.
I believe that with everything negative or unhelpful in life, we are not striving to get rid of it, we are learning to become more aware of it. And by doing so, we can better manage whatever is happening to us at that moment, by simply seeing it happen, taking a deep breath, and responding rather than reacting.
Silence your mind
When was the last time your mind felt still? When was the last time you felt truly at peace with your mind?
If you’re anything like me, I can’t remember when the last time to either of those questions would be!
But that’s okay – it can be really difficult to silence the chatter of the mind, and maybe unrealistic thinking about how busy and hectic our lives can get!
What I do know is that any time I have sat down to meditate and really focused on this, it has helped me feel instantly content and at peace with the world.
I don’t think you need to meditate in order to do this, and yoga can be a tool you use to get back to some stillness and peace.
One of the greatest things about yoga is the breathwork that goes into it. Throughout each pose, and each time you change poses, you will need to either exhale or inhale.
Doing this helps you breathe deeper, getting more oxygen into your blood and to your brain. One way to do this is by using Buddha belly breath.
Yoga is a spiritual practice, which incorporates a lot of mindfulness principles.
By incorporating a regular yoga practice into your weekly routine, you may actually find that you begin to feel more mindful when doing your day-to-day activities.
Next time you are doing something simple, like brushing your teeth or doing the dishes, try it. Honestly, the most simple and mundane of jobs can be brightened up when you fully focus on them.
As you go about these little tasks, make sure to really absorb and notice everything that is going into making the task happen – all of the movements you have to make, notice all of the little details on the plates you are washing up, what else can you hear around you?
This may be difficult to do at first, but it will get easier. And certainly will get easier with the more yoga you practice.
This is really because yoga relies on you being mindful to get the most out of the practice. Moving through the poses, you have to fully focus on your breathing, fully focus on your balance and posture. If you haven’t already tried this, it doesn’t leave much empty space in your mind to be thinking of other things.
The more and more you do this, the more your brain will actually re-wire itself, to make this a more familiar practice, and make it easier to get back to.
And this mindset has so many benefits. It can have a significant impact on the way you speak to others, the way you speak to yourself, the foods you eat and the things you choose to do with your day. What will you choose?
Connecting with your spiritual side can really help you to feel more content with everything in your life, therefore helping you to feel more relaxed.
Honestly, I didn’t want to focus on this one too much because I felt it was very obvious. But you can find out more here about how yoga can help relieve stress.
What do you have to lose?
There you have it – just a few of the ways yoga can have an impact on your daily life, and your mind.
Let me know how it goes!