Yoga has a great many physical benefits, and mental too, but some aspects of yoga that can be overlooked in our modern day are the spiritual and mental benefits of yoga.
Yoga helps with happy living by giving us a way to unite our bodies, minds and breath, letting us connect to our inner selves. This is the spiritual aspect of yoga. There are many spiritual and mental benefits of yoga, but here are a few that you can take into your life off the mat, and help you connect with your spiritual side.
The mind will often cause worry and anxiety by focusing too much on the past, or focusing too much on the future, and a great spiritual benefit of yoga is how it can bring mindfulness into your life, and help you focus on the present moment.
Yoga will help to rid you of stress and anxiety, and calm down irritated minds. Regular practice of yoga will help to bring you clarity through mindfulness, which can be taken with you into your day to day life.
2. Overcoming Stress
Yoga can help you to overcome stress in your day to day life and reach a level of calmness through spirituality. The balance and flexibility that your physical body achieves on the yoga mat can also be reflected in your spiritual side off the mat too.
The way you learn to breathe through tension and difficult postures can help you when you’re going through stressful times. The way we take things at our own pace and stretch to our own personal limits in yoga class gives a sense of personal achievement, without comparison to others. This attitude of doing your best can help to overcome stress. Additionally, physical flexibility can transfer to your mind, and help you be flexible in stressful situations.
3. Improves Mental Focus
Regular meditation is important in yoga as it’s a way to keep positive thoughts in your mind. While you meditate, if negative or intrusive thoughts come into your mind, it can be pushed away by refocusing on your breathing and relaxing your body.
This mindset is great to apply to your emotional health and mental processes, as it will help fight causes of stress, anxiety and depression. By pushing away negative thoughts and focusing on the positive, you can guide yourself to the present and be more focused.
4. Improved Self Discipline
By controlling your thoughts and stress responses through breathing in yoga, you can become much more self disciplined. Yoga can help you improve your self discipline both physically and mentally, allowing you to let go of anything that is holding you back from what you want to achieve - on or off the mat.
Meditation and mantras can help with this. If you focus on one phrase during your practice, repeating it outloud or in your mind, it can reach through to your subconscious, making success more achievable with a positive mindset.
Yoga also helps to hone self disciple and helps you achieve success by teaching you about energy flows. If you see the world as a constant source of energy, you can tap into it and use it to manifest your goals. This positive outlook can help you reach success.
5. Improved Self Awareness
Spirituality is being in touch with the unchanging part of yourself. Your spirit is thought to be your higher consciousness and the force behind your thoughts and motivations. When you practice yoga, it can help you connect with your spirit, and become more aware of this part of yourself.
Our day to day lives can be busy, and we get pulled in lots of different directions. This can hinder our ability to know what's best for ourselves, on a deeper level. Yoga helps to connect with your mind and body, helping you improve your self awareness. This can improve your day to day life, and how you make choices and interact with others on a deeper level.
6. Feeling Empowered
For some, the practice of yoga can be a challenge mentally. Being in silence with your thoughts can also cause you to become aware of any stressful or painful situations in your life.
Practicing yoga can sometimes force your to push away any distractions and be aware of these situations. However, facing reality and accepting it is the first step to change and healing.
Yoga can help you to find happiness in small areas, even when your outside life is stressful. This mindset can help you to feel empowered that everything in your life is happening for a deeper meaning, and help empower you to take control of stressful or painful situations.
7. Helps You Quiet Your Mind
A spiritual and mental benefit of yoga is that it helps you quiet your mind in order to connect with your deeper sense of self. While you focus on the movements, breathing and poses, your mind starts to empty, and the small day to day worries ease away. If you find your mind starting to wander in yoga, you lose your breathing pattern and you can slip out of poses.
Yoga forces us to quiet our minds and focus on the present, which is a skill you can take into your day to day life. Practice breathing deeply when your mind starts to feel overwhelming, and you’ll gain a sense of calm and gratefulness that will leave you feeling peaceful.
Want to connect with your spiritual side? This week's classes focus more on the subtle spiritual and mental benefits of yoga.
By Amy Cavill
1. Cicily Carter - Crown Chakra Yoga
2. Caitlin Rose Kenney - Inner Strength: Yin Yoga for Self-Trust
3. Kristin Gibowicz - Metamorphosis: Beauty in the Waiting
4. Mark Morford - Yoga Alchemy: The Two Tools
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