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Why Successful People Practice Yoga

Why Successful People Practice Yoga

Why Successful People Practice Yoga

And How You Can Use Yoga To Create Success Too

Yoga seems to be everywhere these days, people are obsessed with it. Health bloggers rave about its benefits; you can’t go a minute on social media without stumbling on a yoga pose picture; and chances are: at least one of your friends is a self-proclaimed yoga expert.

What is this all about? Why are so many people turning to yoga?

Well, the world is not suffering from a collective craze. If you haven’t caught the yoga bug yet, keep on reading to know more about this practice.

What is Yoga?

Yoga as defined by Patanjali, is the restraint of the fluctuations of the mind. This is achieved through a set of mental and physical practices which aim to discipline the practitioner’s body and mind in order for him or her to overcome the bondage of the material world and identify with their true nature instead of outward things.

This definition is somewhat vague, but the truth is: yoga needs to be practiced in order to be fully understood. Words cannot fully encompass the beauty and power of yoga.

There are many schools and styles of yoga, but they all seem to have one thing in common: The numerous benefits reaped from their practice.

The Benefits of Yoga:

Many people come to the yoga practice looking for some sort of physical benefit. Some want to lose weight; others want to be more flexible. But at the end of the practice, they realize something else is going on in their body, they are experiencing a sense of calm and serenity, like they have never before. This makes them come back to the practice again and again.

There are many ways how starting a yoga practice can improve one’s health and physique. In fact, this ancient practice has many proven benefits. Yogic postures (asana) and breathing (pranayama) can help with many conditions and health problems.

Ask any yoga practitioner, they will immediately tell you how their body and mind have improved with a consistent yoga practice. From an alleviated mood and decreased stress levels to balance, flexibility and improved digestion…. Yoga seems to cure all. But is there any scientific basis to this?

Yes, in fact yoga has been shown to do many wonders for our health: it can help with low back pain [1], alleviate discomfort of osteoarthritis, especially in the knee joint [2] and has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. [3]

Yoga is also a safe form of exercise, and it has been shown to greatly benefit the body’s strength, endurance and flexibility [4]. It is great for relaxation and alleviating the mood, in fact; yoga has been used to help treat symptoms of anxiety and clinical depression and showed great results. [5]

If all these benefits weren’t enough, yoga has also been shown to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors [6] as well as cancer patients going through radiotherapy [7], by improving their sleep, mood, and decreasing their perceived pain levels.

Other studies have shown the positive effect of yoga on cardiovascular disease, its ability to decrease blood pressure as well as the cardiovascular risks caused by diabetes and insulin resistance [8]. In fact, it can even be used as an intervention in aging persons to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates related to cardiovascular disease. [9]

These physical benefits could be enough to convince even the most skeptical to attend their first yoga class, but wait there’s more.

The Ethical Practice:

Yoga is a philosophy of life before being a physical practice. Yoga practitioners or yogis follow a set of rules and principles in order to purify and balance their relationships with themselves, with others and with nature.

Yogis try their best to live with non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-excess and non-possessiveness. These principles help them live a life free of suffering, greed, lies, and egoism.

Cleanliness is also important to the yoga practitioner, not only of the body; but of the mind and the heart as well. Finally, a yogic lifestyle is one of discipline, contentment, self-observance and self-study.

Just like the physical practice expands and purifies our bodies, these moral codes help purify the lives we live.

A Glimpse of Happiness:

Many practitioners commit to yoga because it makes them feel happy, or it helps them experience feelings of calmness and bliss like they have never experienced before.

Yoga helps bring our attention inward so we can unite with our true nature and the limitless supply of peace, love and happiness we have inside of us.

Yoga doesn’t bring us happiness, it merely helps us get rid of all that which keeps us away from our inner happiness. The physical practice and the breath control help us release stagnant energy and bring life flow to parts of the body we don’t normally move in our daily life. It also helps us release the emotions stored in our tissues and muscles. The body remembers what the mind has long forgotten, and so certain poses can help bring emotions and memories to the surface where we can either let go of them or work through them.

Alongside the physical practice and breath control, the ethical practice helps us to understand our own nature, our ego and our tendencies. When combined; the asana, pranayama and ethical principles are excellent tools that help us understand what we are made of physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They help us tame the ego and live untied to our perception of ourselves, others, the universe and our perception of how things should be. They also help us transcend the external things on which we rely to bring us joy, and instead shift our unending quest towards happiness inward.

The Mat, an Arena for Life:

Yogic posture or asana is traditionally practiced on a mat. Relationships can be a good mirror reflecting to us realities about ourselves. In the case of Yoga: our relationship with the yoga mat is our mirror.

The mat can help us shed light on our ego; through our practice we can understand certain aspects of how we treat not only others but also ourselves.

If I roll up my mat and get ready to practice yoga with the expectation of feeling good after the practice, I have just placed a burden upon my practice. Instead, what I should do is just show up to my mat, be fully present in the moment and practice without expectation.

This tendency to set expectations can also manifest in my relationship with the outer world. Do I often place expectations upon people or things? Only to get frustrated when these expectations aren’t met?

Additionally, the journey toward a certain advanced pose is more important than the actual posture. When practicing yoga, do I let my ego get the best of me? Am I a victim of my own deprecating inner monologue? Do I tend to give up out of frustration and anger?

Or am I calm and accepting of myself, doing what needs to be done while being patient and trusting that even though I can’t achieve this posture right now, eventually I will.

How we react to difficult yoga poses is the same way we react to difficulties in life. Through the yoga practice, we can contemplate our behavior when life throws at us certain challenges or hard tasks. Do I give up out of frustration? Or do I power through with patience and calmness trusting that I will get there in the end?

The way we practice yoga is the way we practice life. The yoga practice helps us understand ourselves better, observe our natural reactions. Not only does it help to fix unhealthy bodies and minds, it can also fix unhealthy behaviors.

Yoga is a Moving Meditation:

Without the breath control, yoga is simply gymnastics. Breath is the most important thing to us, without it we’re no longer living.

It’s hard to control our monkey minds, jumping from thought to thought like a monkey jumps from branch to branch in the jungle. But it’s somewhat easy to control the breath, which in turn controls the mind.

The breath is our anchor, controlling the breath helps to ground us. When breathing consciously, we are instructing our mind to follow the breath, with each inhalation and exhalation, we are giving the restless mind something to dwell upon; the same way we would distract a baby with a toy. Through conscious breathing, we can observe our thoughts, observe and accept without the need to react to them.

In that moment we stop identifying ourselves with our thoughts, and we realize that we are so much more than just a body with a restless mind. In that moment, we will have experienced the true essence of yoga.

Check out the The Winner Mindset – 8 Easy Steps To Create More Success to create more success in Your Life!

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