You may think of yoga as a form of physical exercise. You'd be correct. It definitely is. In fact, yoga requires a great deal of strength and focus to perform some of the more advanced poses and postures. This centuries-old practice goes beyond simply being good for you physically. It offers a number of benefits for your mind, body and spirit. Let's take a look at how using yoga to tap into your spiritual side can work.
First, I'd like to take a moment to ensure we're all on the same page with regard to what yoga is. It is both a spiritual and physical practice involving focused breathing, stretching, purposeful movements and a cool-down period. Physical benefits of yoga include increased strength, greater flexibility, enhanced stamina, improved posture and better balance. Yoga has mental benefits, as well. These are relaxation, body awareness, reduced stress and better sleep, among others. When these benefits combine, they transcend into becoming a spiritual practice. Keep reading, and we'll get into the specifics of that.
A Quieter Mind
Much like practicing meditation, the act of performing yoga poses can lead to a calmer and quieter mind. One of the ways in which it does this is by allowing you to focus on the postures at hand, holding them and breathing through the pose. During this time, you're no longer thinking about the outside stressors and obligations of your life and you have the opportunity to just be. In this moment, you are actually experiencing a form of spiritual transcendence.
Yoga puts you in touch with yourself. If you're taking a class, there will be others surrounding you. With practice, you'll learn to tune out the world around you and focus only on yourself, your physical space, your responses to the poses and the places that your mind takes you during this quiet repose. It's rare that we are able to find this kind of opportunity for introspection in our busy, hectic lives. Take advantage of it to learn more about whom you are and the person you want to be.
Ability to Give Up Control
Losing control of our circumstances is one of the biggest fears of many people. The fact is there are countless events and circumstances that are beyond our control in life. Living in fear of that is a big contributor to bouts of anxiety, frustration and neuroticism. We don't have to be on edge in the face of ambiguity. Yoga gives you the freedom to let go and to realize what happens around you won't necessarily destroy your world. It's that sense of a calm and quiet mind that gives you the power to handle not knowing what the future may bring because you're now better equipped to be mindful of the present. It's a very freeing feeling.
This is just an overview of the ways in which yoga can help you to tap into your spiritual side. Once you begin to incorporate it into your life, you'll soon discover for yourself the unique personal benefits it can bring.