Yes, I’m talking about yoga. I’ve now been practicing yoga pretty much daily for about a year, and it has affected me in a lot of ways which I’d like to write more about in detail. I had been quite intrigued by yoga for a while before I actually started practicing it myself, and I had heard quite mixed feelings about it too. I started my yoga-journey on Youtube by following YogaWithAdriene videos. I went straight in with the 30 days of yoga challenge which was a great choice as it kept me returning to my mat daily and I fell in love with the practice. I have done a lot of sports in my life so I had a pretty good basic physical condition to start, which had an effect on my progress physically. It took me a while to get into the practice also mentally and I still sometimes struggle to keep my mind focused. Here’s just a few things that I’ve discovered so far in my practice.
Mental calmness & focus
I’m quite an anxious person and my mind is alway running without a break as stream of thoughts, even when I’m sleeping they cannot stop their race. The more I’ve practiced yoga, the more I’ve been able to notice when my thoughts are turning into anxiety. Just simply noticing the change in my mind I’ve had the opportunity to turn my thoughts away from bad to good. Yoga is all about focusing on the breath and how it moves through the body and I’ve found that I now take this mentality into my life outside the mat too.
Another change in my mind has been my responses to things and people who irritate me. I used to be quite easily annoyed but as I’ve grown my practice, and actually grown in age too, my responses have become more neutral and rational rather than a full burst of negative emotion.
Strength & energy
The practice of yoga has definitely had an effect on my physical strength as well as mental. I really enjoy how you sometimes cannot even tell that you’re strengthening certain muscles as the practice feels in a way extremely relaxing, at least to me. It’s almost like this invisible strength that comes from within and turns into physical strength. I’ve also noticed an increase in energy as I’ve continued my practice and I can feel it’s effects during the day.
Gratitude & happiness
This boost of energy also comes with increased happiness to me. My feelings are a lot more positive than they used be, of course there are days when I’m feeling low but nevertheless my general mood is happier than it was before. With yoga I’ve also applied a practice of gratitude into my life and together they form this strong sense of connection to the world through appreciation. There is also the sense of vulnerability that I’ve noticed in my practice which has helped me to deal with people and my own thoughts as well.
I can’t wait to see what else this yoga-journey will bring to my life, but I think I’ve now formed a life-long habit of yoga and I’m integrating it to my daily habits more and more every day and finding my way to my own practice.