Why are yogis happier people?

yoga-tree

People who practice yoga attribute much of their happiness to it. Yoga is a great physical challenge, yet the mental challenge is often greater. And the benefits are unfathomable, at least, until you have experienced them.

Five ways yoga generates happiness:

1. It’s just you, on the mat, in your world

There’s a simultaneous solitude and togetherness that a yoga class offers. You reach and twist and bend and stretch on one length of mat that feels like your own little island. Yet when there’s synergy in the class and everyone moves together, there’s a sense of belonging to the flow of energy.

2. The rush

Long hold poses create length, strength, and stamina. But it’s compressing areas of the body, and then releasing the hold that creates a rush of blood back to that area. The simultaneous compression and release will awaken you body and make you feel alive.

3. The physical and mental challenge

For many yogis, the mind is paramount and the body benefits are just a bonus. For anyone craving a physical workout, Vinyasa and Astanga (or Bikram) yoga will challenge you in ways you can not imagine – as this Men’s Fitness writer can testify. But joy of practising comes from the openness of the body and mind that endures beyond the classroom.

4. The mind will settle

The first mental challenge is to settle your gaze (drishti), in and between each pose, where you can reach a meditative state: you are fully present. You do not anticipate the next move or dart your eyes toward the most flexible person in the room. You are not in a mindset of comparison and evaluation of others because you are accepting and appreciating yourself.

5. You will feel comfortable in feeling uncomfortable

A teacher once said, “How your mind reacts on the mat is a reflection of how you react in life.” There was never a truer word spoken. While your legs are trembling from the power of the pose and you think you can’t last another second, and you pray for the teacher to offer some respite, notice the thought pattern: the drama and stories concocted in the mind. Familiar?

No discomfort lasts forever. Get comfortable in the uncomfortable and smile. It’s not as bad as your mind wants it to be.

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Comments
9 Responses to “Why are yogis happier people?”
  1. Reblogged this on Journey To Your Core and commented:
    Love my yoga

  2. freeup2 says:

    So true, I desperately need to get back into yoga! the only problem is the place that has the classes I like is quite expensive, do you know of any student deals at any particular yoga places you could recommend that are reasonable for student budgets?

    • sarina says:

      Hi, unfortunately there aren’t many places that offer student discount. Although Power Living does. They have several studios around Sydney (and other cities), so it depends which suburb you’re in. It’s a great vibe at their studios, I highly recommend it!

  3. I love the point that “your mind will settle”. For me, this is the most important aspect of yoga. Especially as people these days are so stressed and pressed for time, yoga is such a special time to reconnect with your body, settle your thoughts and clear the negativity away to be able to think so much more clearly and more happily too! Thank you for this post, and your cause, gratitude is such an important practice.

    • sarina says:

      Thank you for your comment. The mind is also the most important part of yoga for me. It is like an agreement with yourself that you will let go of anything outside of the mat!

  4. Interesting post! Yoga is definitely something that is positive and beneficial to people’s health. It is also undeniably something that would improve the body, soul, mind and overall happiness! However, it is also something that people could see as something they dont have time for in today’s busy society. I know a few people who do yoga, they are happy people – which is slightly annoying for us miserable people to have to look at.

    • sarina says:

      Hi Stephanie, I know what you mean about the time factor. Yoga is really an investment in oneself, body and mind, and if we can’t make time for ourselves – even just at home – who can we make time for?!

  5. Love this post!

    I did Yoga for a little while but fell out of touch after a few weeks unfortunately. My whole family does yoga and always rants about how amazing and beneficial it is, and its surprising how good it really is for you. It helps you in almost every facet of life. Will definitely get back into Yoga this holidays 🙂

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