To someone who’s never practiced yoga that sounds bizarre, to seasoned vets it’s so obvious. It’s that mind-body connection a yogi makes when their physical yoga practice gets taken to another level. That moment when movement, breath, meditation, and life no longer just coexists but intertwine. It’s like all of a sudden, it just clicked.
Before, yoga was just another addition to my workout regimen. I loved the physical benefits, but that’s all I was in it for. I was stressed. I was depressed. I was anxious. It got to the point where I knew I had to do something or I was just going to give up completely. I felt so desperate for a change, so I started reading every self-help article I could about how to be happy, because I was in a rut and I didn’t know why. My digging led me to the conclusion that I needed some internal healing, and yoga was the perfect way to do it. I became aware, and took that awareness to my mat.
My life has changed in so many ways, and all for the better. I never realized how such simple, conscience decisions could drastically change myself and my perspective. Here are some of the personal benefits I gained from digging deeper into my practice, all benefits that you can easily reap yourself.
- I’m happier! Seriously. I’m able to see the beauty in little things. I “stop to smell the roses” more often then not these days, because being happy makes life so much easier.
- I’m grateful. I constantly recognize what it is that’s making me happy, and everything that helps me get through each day, and I thank God for it. I highly recommend making a list of what you’re thankful for, and looking at it in the morning. It helps me start the day off right.
- I listen to my body. If it needs to be stretched, I stretch it. If it needs rest, I rest it. I’m also more aware of the the food I put in my body, and how my body reacts to it. It’s crazy what happens when you figure out what your body really wants and needs, and then cater to it. .
- I’m much slower to anger. I used to just snap, but now I breathe, slowly and deeply. I get my mind to a stable place and evaluate the situation before I rush to any rash conclusions or decisions.
- I have more courage. I don’t let fear hold me back, especially fear of failure. I take risks. I know if something doesn’t go my way, it wasn’t ever supposed to, and a lesson will be learned from it all eventually.
- I’m less anxious. Breathing and mediation constantly help me get through the traumas of anxiety and stress. I used to let so many little things stress me out that I couldn’t enjoy my present moment. All I did was worry, but I don’t carry that heavy burden anymore.
- I’m more outgoing. I want to spread my happiness around to others, which in turn has made me much more apt to talk to and help total strangers. I’m no longer afraid to smile at a passerby or make small talk with someone I’ve never met and may never see again. It just feels good to make someone else smile.
- I’m mindful. I can stop and be in the moment. I evaluate the the consequences of my actions, and try to do what my intuition says is for the greater good, and act accordingly.
- I’m in tuned with my intuition. I listen to my gut, and it’s only been steering me in the right direction. Situations often feel right or wrong, and it’s always for a good reason. My intuition has saved me from a lot of potential mistakes.
- I know my self worth. I’m worth something and have a lot to offer in this world, even if I’m still figuring it all out.
- I’m WAY easier to be around. My boyfriend can vouch for me. I’m not the “Debbie Downer” I once was. I don’t carry my problems around like I used to. I even embrace my alone time, because I enjoy pondering over my own thoughts and ideas, for the first time in a long time.
There’s much more to this list, but I think you get the point. Yoga helped me find happiness again. I’m still a work in progress and have my bad moments all the time, but now I can recognize my mistakes and bring myself back to a place of love and kindness. I know my problems have never gone away, but I just look at them with a different perspective and handle them with a different mindset. I hope you can make the connection in your own practice, and see what I mean.