There are two things to note when it comes to harnessing your inner peace:
Firstly, anyone, at any stage in their life, can evoke from within the inner peace they seek. Secondly, inner peace is absolutely integral for the overall joy, happiness and wellbeing we as human beings need in order to live out our best lives.
A recent poll has revealed that more than half of Europe’s workforce experiences mid to high levels of stress on a daily basis. The primary cause of this is attributed to their jobs. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has placed an additional burden on humanity’s stress levels. It is therefore imperative that each of us make finding and holding on to our inner tranquility, an ongoing priority.
The good news is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ remedy for achieving such serenity. There are in fact countless ways in which this can be attained. One however which has been proven quite beneficial and effective is yoga.
What exactly is Toga and where did it originate?
Miriam Amselem, a yogi of nearly 30 years, synopsised yoga as follows, “Plain and simple, yoga is the union between the body, mind and spirit. That’s the origins of yoga and that’s how it is practiced in the East. It is a place of discovery and connection with your own body that encompasses balance, proper stretching techniques, breathing, meditation, centering the mind and spirit — that’s yoga in its real form.”
As Amselem indicated, yoga is said to have been developed in the East - specifically, in the Southern Asian nation of India from as early as 3300 - 1900 BCE. It represents one of the six Āstika (orthodox) schools of the philosophical traditions of Hinduism. Other religions in which the discipline of yoga has been embraced are Buddhism and Jainism.
Although yoga has been in existence in the East for centuries, its popularity in the West only came to the fore in the 20th century. The most common forms of yoga which have been inculcated in these parts of the world are the modern versions of hatha yoga, as well as yoga as exercise, which constitute mostly asanas (postures or positions).
What are the common health benefits of Yoga?
The practice of yoga is immensely sought after, because it works. For this reason, there are numerous studies and articles detailing the physical, mental and spiritual benefits which yoga brings.
If you are considering yoga from a physical (health) standpoint, here are some common ways in which it has been quite useful:
- Yoga strengthens your joints and cartilages
- Yoga protects your spine
- Yoga improves your blood flow
- Yoga regularises your blood pressure
- Yoga strengthens your body
- Yoga improves your flexibility and balance
- Yoga builds your immunity
5 Ways Yoga Brings you Inner Peace
One of the first ways that yoga can help engender inner peace is through the list mentioned above. When we are physically healthy, we are free from the worry, pains and overall stresses which illnesses bring. The opposite is also true. When our minds are in a state of tranquility, this transcends throughout our bodies as well. It’s no wonder that people who regularly practice yoga have discovered that they have become calmer, more connected, more conscious and truly happier versions of themselves.
Here are five ways Yoga brings you the inner peace you need:
1. Yoga taps into your reservoir of deep calm
Schools of thought have revealed that yoga helps you move from your sympathetic nervous system to your parasympathetic nervous system. Put another way, yoga exercises, particularly deep breathing techniques, enable our body to shift from a “fight or flight” reaction, to a more stable and calming state of “rest and digest”.
2. Yoga improves your happiness
Peace and happiness go hand in hand. Consistent yoga helps you attain this by increasing your serotonin levels, while simultaneously lowering your monoamine oxidase and cortisol levels. Studies have shown that when this occurs, mental conditions, such as depression, have improved for the better.
3. Yoga makes you more mindful
Mindful.org defines mindfulness as “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” Yoga plays a fundamental role in helping us to reach this state. When our intentional breathing and movements are coordinated, and we focus entirely on the sensations of our body’s present state, the yoga we engage in becomes an exercise which brings forth the mindfulness we need. Additionally, meditation, which is factored into many styles of yoga, is perhaps one of the most successful methods of attaining a state of mindfulness.
4. Yoga makes you more attuned to Nature, which is excellent for a healthy mind
The mindfulness mentioned in the previous point which can be achieved through the practice of yoga and meditation, brings us into a harmonious place not only within ourselves, but with the beauty of nature around us. There is a distinct correlation between the gentleness of nature and the inner tranquility we experience. Studies have also shown that the color green brings people into a soothing state of restfulness and cheer. It’s no surprise that quite a number of people love to practice yoga in the open spaces of nature.
5. Yoga uplifts you
Therese, a 27 year-old yoga practitioner from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, credits yoga for boosting her spirits every day. “I feel proud of myself, and everyone else who regularly engages in yoga. Yoga is so rewarding because it stretches me to learn more about my body - and my mind. I breathe through the pain and reach a point where I am more and more in control of myself. Yoga fills me with an uplifting feeling whenever I see the progress I make. I am definitely a much more grateful, centered and joyful person.”
Learn more about the benefits of yoga from the experts here.
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