Have you ever wondered why yoga is so great at solving those anxieties and everyday worries?
Or how it seems to make you feel better, mentally as well as physically?
When there’s something on your mind, something bothering you or upsetting you, I urge you to do a few yoga poses. Even a very short practice, with consistent deep breathing will make a huge difference.
You will find yourself feeling much calmer and more able to cope with life’s problems.
1. You’re doing something else.
Literally, you are taking your mind away from your troubles by doing something different.
The same effect would happen if you were to read a book or cook a meal, but the difference with yoga is that you are engaging your body fully, which then fully engages your mind.
As your body starts to ease into the steady practice so does your mind, and it becomes less of a priority to worry/dwell/wallow.
2. It’s all about the breath.
It really is.
The breath is a tool which we all have at our disposal 24/7. It’s there for the taking, so use it!
When we utilize our breath in the correct ways (deepening the breathing, lengthening the exhales, practicing various forms of pranayama: nadhi sodhana, kappal bhati, etc) we can train our breath to flow in ways which can hugely benefit both our body and mind.
The breath is underestimated.
For the majority of us, the breath is not something we engage with much — we take it for granted, it’s just there, because we’re alive. But what if we actively bring our awareness to the breath, and what if the amount of oxygen we’re taking in affects the way our brain works, the way our lungs work, the health of our blood and our circulation, not to mention our mental health?
Just practicing one form of yogic breathing each day (whether in or out of an asana practice) can bring a plethora of well-being benefits.
3. Moving the body can help us cope with anything life throws at us.
In particular, it can help with lifting our mood.
Exercise has long been deemed the best natural anti-depressant there is, this goes without saying. Yoga takes it one step further because it involves us moving the body along various different planes, different directions and using certain actions to promote healthier functions of the body.
When we run, walk, cycle, or do aerobic exercise we are often simply moving in a forwards or backwards direction similar to when we sit or stand — we move our arms and legs up and down.
While this is very good for us, yoga encourages us to move our bodies in a multi-directional capacity.
This can encourage healthier bodies all around.
After all, our bodies are designed to move in these ways, which is why, with practice, it becomes easier, we have simply over generations, become more accustomed to “easier” and more culturally traditional ways of moving our bodies, so without yoga we lack the beneficial effects we could so easily be achieving.
So, just a few of many reasons why yoga can help us to feel great on a bad day.
When you’re feeling particularly down, anxious, worried or angry, it’s not the easiest thing to say to yourself “I think I’ll do some yoga now.” But just try it, 5 minutes of some pranayama, or a few heart-opening backbends, or even a simple inversion for 3 minutes can really sort that bad mood out.
Give it a try!