We love yoga for the fact that it is a gentle physical exercise that anyone can get into. It’s a wonderful combination of breathing and sustained stretching that can help you build strength, muscle and help you gain stability on your feet. And, you can practice yoga at any fitness level. It’s incredibly accessible without requiring fancy equipment or a gym membership!
One thing we don’t talk about often is the mental aspect of yoga. Our blog usually focuses on it purely as physical exercise. But, with breathing and listening to your body being an integral part of the practice, it is a mental activity too.
Yoga can help you break unhelpful thought patterns and change the way you think. It’s easy to get stuck in a mindset of negativity and feel like minor problems in your life are unfixable. Many of us also struggle with self-doubt and worrying we can’t meet our goals. And, of course, there is the problem of feeling mired in a situation, be it with family, a job or an obligation where you just feel snowed under. Often what you need is a way to reassess your thoughts and start fresh. But that’s easier said than done!
Yoga can be an excellent way to break these thought patterns, breathe out and recenter yourself. By focusing on your body and breathing, you can essentially turn your mind off and on again!
“The brain is a far more open system than we ever imagined,” said psychiatrist Norman Doidge, “and nature has gone very far to help us perceive and take in the world around us. It has given us a brain that survives in a changing world by changing itself.”
Some yoga poses allow you to literally see the world from a different perspective as you shift your body. And, yoga causes you to release physical tension, which leads to releasing mental strain as well. You focus more on your breathing, and being present can reduce worrying about things out of your control. Practicing yoga makes you become physically more flexible and reduces pain which can help you feel less stressed and more comfortable. That leads you to be less fractious and helps you make better decisions with a clearer mind.
We know that many of our customers scoff at “new-age” ideas. But yoga is thousands of years old and has proven medical benefits. This isn’t just another passing craze. If you have been feeling stuck recently, it might be a perfect fit. It’s also something to keep in mind as the weather gets colder. Today it’s over 80 degrees in San Diego, but we know some parts of the country already have snow! While we are still writing about outdoor activities for areas having fall weather, we want to share active options for people who might be staying warm inside. Yoga can be a great form of exercise to do at home. And, it can help you break out of your rut or negative thinking.