How’s the health of your mind? Yoga can help
Have you ever noticed how good you feel – mentally – when you practise yoga regularly? If the answer is “yes,” I’m happy for you. I know the feeling. If the answer is “no clue what you’re talking about,” then keep reading.
You are not carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders alone. We are all co-existing, facing challenges and disruptive distractions together. If you seem stressed and tense more than joyful and grateful, then it’s time to check on the health of your thinking.
Consider what you are thinking about, and determine whether your thoughts are surrounded by fear or encouragement and love. Before making a decision, we typically visualize the idea, rehearse the flow from beginning to end, and then act. The amount of time and attention devoted to this cycle is contingent on your mindful awareness and integration with the flow.
Yoga can help you to be mindful as you journey from idea generation to execution, instead of simply coasting. And besides, who wants to just coast when life is meant to be lived to the fullest?
Challenges can be unsettling, and no one is immune to their arrival. The best thing to do is prepare – mentally, emotionally and physically – for these distractions, without losing focus on what truly matters. In essence, if you’re breathing and your heart-beat is active, then all is well. There’s still hope and potential to guide a favourable outcome in your life.
Yoga practice helps us work with the nature of the mind, the nature of our emotions, the nature of being human, and how our behaviour impacts our feelings. Personally, yoga has helped me to recognize and manage my thoughts and emotions as they shift from low to higher energy, and vice versa. Yoga continues to play a major role in emotional and psychological healing, resolving family concerns, work challenges, and so much more for me and countless others around the world.
Here are 5 ways to improve your relationships, well being and thinking with yoga.
Five Ways Yoga Benefits the Health of Your Mind
. Aids Mindful Breath-control. Your body naturally breathes on autopilot, so why worry about how to inhale and exhale, right? Actually, scientific research continues to show that paying attention to your breath and learning how to discipline it is one of the most effective ways to lower daily stress levels and improve health factors, ranging from metabolism to mood.
Once you experience mindful-breathing, you shift out of fight or flight mode. You calm your nervous system. The lesser the anxiety, the more relaxed you are. The more relaxed you are, the more ease and clarity you experience.
. Provides a Keen sense of self. The practice of yoga helps to foster and strengthen a non-judgemental relationship with yourself and others. When you practise self-love, you discover expansive ways to shift between thoughts and emotions, positively. Reacquainting with who you naturally are becomes exciting, and the intent to be more loving increases. You exercise more and eat healthier, because your high- energy thoughts remind you, “I’m surrounded by love and worthy of this me time.” You become courageous, stronger, more focused and in tune with your purpose. Difficult conversations and situations arise periodically, but you react less negatively towards them.
. Helps Manage family issues. We don’t choose the family we are born in to, but we are responsible for loving the family we have. Once we recognize and own our wounds, rather than blame others, we can learn from them (mindfully) and help others do the same. Healed people heal people. We can’t force other people to change, but we can control our actions and responses to other peoples’ behaviour. My favourite yoga poses are warriors 1, 2 and 3. These poses remind me that warriors don’t shy away from challenges. Warriors are strong, strategic, clear-minded and focused…so of course I want to practise that feeling and embrace the rise from low to higher energy. Try it now – flow from warrior 1 to warrior 2 and warrior 3 after a challenging conversation with a family member about finances and see how you feel.
. Boosts Memory and Improves Concentration. There’s so much activity around us, tugging for our attention. It’s challenging to remain focused and fixated on one task at a time. Fortunately, meditation and regular yoga practice help us to tune out noise and provide much-needed attention to the completion of one task at a time. Yoga has been proven effective at increasing your memory and concentration. As you remove the static noise in your head and focus your mind, you’ll find that you’re better able to remember things, concentrate, and perform most effectively.
. Yoga Improves How You Relate with Others and Romantic Relationships. When you are neutral, more grounded and at peace with yourself, you’ll behave the same way with your partner and other relationships. The awareness and shift of perspectives that comes from regular yoga practice, helps you to engage those in your life with increased compassion and unconditional love. You’ll become more observant, understanding, and less reactive.
For people dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression, yoga may be a very appealing way to better manage symptoms before they take root.I look forward to flowing with you during our next yoga class. Check out my Instagram page (@Chocolako) for more details about classes in Lagos. For additional information about reducing anxiety, visit the online Stress Resource Center at www.health.harvard.edu/stress
Have a great day. Namaste.
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