The Dalai Lama once said, “In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.”
But where does that positive vision come from?
For many, it takes effort, daily reflection, outside encouragement, and the ability to find confidence and worth in yourself. If you want to be successful, you have to think successfully.
That is where the practice of yoga comes into play.
What is Yoga?
Yoga practice and yogic philosophy date back thousands of years to India, and most notably to the guru Patanjali who authored Yoga Sutra.
This guidebook on yogic philosophy and classical (or ‘raja’) yoga tackled the challenges and lessons of being human by sharing words of wisdom and lessons in spiritual collaboration of mind and body.
Mastering the mind, emotions, and acute self-awareness permeates through the practice of yoga and lends itself to not only physical health benefits, but mental ones too, which drive personal growth and inevitably, success.
While millennia old, yoga practice didn’t make its way into popularity in western culture until the past few decades. From spiritual ashrams to bright-lit studios with juice bars, yoga continues to evolve all over the world.
In fact, a 2016 study by Yoga Alliance revealed that almost 40 million people in the U.S. have tried or regularly practice yoga, including older adults, men, and more popularly, women.
The foundational principles of yoga include kindness, positivity, self-actualization, and a deep understanding and abidance of universal truths. Where successful thinking breeds confidence and empathy, the yogic tradition fosters an environment and practice that embraces both and motivates personal growth.
Yoga Improves Posture.
Standing tall and proud doesn’t come naturally, especially in a digital world full of slumping and slouching all day working on computers, staring down at smartphones, and watching TV.
Yoga plays an important role in guiding good posture habits by helping lengthen the spine, stretch key back, neck, and shoulder muscles, and open the chest with deep breathing.
Better posture means standing taller and feeling healthier and more confident.
Yoga Stretches Muscles.
Stiff, tense muscles translate into back pain, headaches, and general stress which can leave you feeling worn out, fatigued, and simply not your best self.
A flexible, well-oiled body that comes with routine yoga practice feels energized and pain-free and forms a breeding ground for successful thinking and proactive actions.
Yoga Strengthens Bones, Muscles & Lungs.
Want to feel more successful in your day to day living? Success is in part a reflection of your own sense of strength and wellness.
If you feel weak and worn out, your brain will have to grasp harder and harder for a sense of esteem and well being. Yoga
practice is a cardiorespiratory and strength training activity that gently and gradually helps build open bone and muscle mass as well as strengthen and boost lung capacity.
Yoga Boosts Mental Clarity.
Whether it’s the deep breathing or the meditation components, the mindfulness-cultivating practice of yoga is a huge boost to mental clarity, concentration, and self-awareness.
Reaching success in your life whether it’s at work, at home, or with a group or team requires reflection and the ability to engage in thoughtless focus (clearing your mind).
How Can I Get Started With Yoga?
Getting started with yoga may seem like a daunting, pretzel-bending venture, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Yoga practice varies by degree of difficulty, level of motion and activity, and even temperature.
For example, gentle or restorative yoga involves gradual stretching and simple poses held for several seconds at a time while vinyasa practice incorporates more dynamic movement and dance-like poses.
Beginners, both young and old, can look for gentle, beginner’s, or senior yoga classes at nearby gyms, yoga studios, YMCA’s, or senior centers. Online tools like YogaFinder.com make it easy to search and find classes based on your location and level of difficulty.
Want to try yoga from the comfort of your own home instead? From online videos with chair yoga poses for seniors to more advanced yogic meditation techniques, digital yoga tutorials and streamed guided instruction makes it easy to practice yoga wherever you are.
DoYogaWithMe.com and Youtube.com offer free, easy access to yoga instructional videos for varying degrees of difficulty.
What Else Should I Know About Trying Yoga?
Just like with any new activity, avoiding injury and honing technique is important.
In-person instruction from a well-recommended and experienced yoga teacher may benefit the more novice type of practitioner, though trying yoga on your own at home might be more accessible for you.
Either way, experts recommend never stretching or doing yoga poses through pain, and when possible, using a yoga mat.
Wear loose or flexible clothing which will allow for full range of motion, drink lots of water, and remember to settle into the mindful meditation of yoga, trying to leave your stress and worries at the door.
Yoga can play an important role in maintaining good health, but is most beneficial when practiced regularly.
Reaching success at work, with your hobbies, and even with your family, partner and friends can definitely take a cue from yoga practice which promotes self-discipline to drive your commitment and determination, self-actualization to gain perspective about your place in the world, and self-care to understand how caring for mind and body helps you live a better life and be able to care for others.