I love yoga. Don’t you too? How did you feel when you first heard about yoga or when you first felt yoga? I can remember pretty well.
In that magical moment, a few years ago, when the gray veil lifted from my eyes for a while and I got a taste of my cosmic connection for a brief moment, it was clear to me: nothing is as it was before!
Yoga changes your whole life. Outside everything may be the same as before – the same people around you, the same job, place, everyday life. But the change of perspective that takes place and that we cultivate in our regular yoga practice as well as the growing mindfulness let everything appear in a completely new light. Well, it’s hard to get up from your comfortable sofa and stop watching movies, series on Netflix, kissanime or pause your game on PS5.
Looking back, I can see how different aspects of my life have changed after I consciously came into contact with yoga philosophy and tried more and more to live yoga. These changes affect my body, my relationships, my thoughts, my goals, and values … actually my whole being!
Here are 10 ways yoga changes life. Maybe you recognize yourself in some of them?
1. We live more vital and healthier
Sometimes after the first lesson in the yoga studio, we feel that the exercises are simply good for us. We become physically and mentally more flexible, develop more strength and stamina, take in more oxygen (life force) through conscious breathing, and movement, in general, is simply good for us. Many physical ailments, such as back pain or headache, simply seem to dissolve into pleasure.
2. We cultivate mindfulness
Mindfulness is the first step and the foundation of any yoga practice. To be mindful means to perceive what is. It means being fully present in the present. Only in the here and now does life take place and from here all change unfolds. When we get into the moment, we can become aware of the little joys of everyday life and open ourselves to the wonder of life.
3. We are in touch with our needs
Through the practices of yoga, we learn to focus inward. We learn to pause and explore what is actually going on within us. This can happen in our asana practice, in which we e.g. Feel warmth, tingling, or tightness in the body or maybe notice that we are currently completely turned up or, on the contrary, very powerless. We can also use our meditation practice for this, in which we observe our thoughts and give our feelings the space to show themselves in the moment of silence. If we have localized a dominant body sensation, a recurring thought, or an intense feeling, we can lovingly take care of our respective needs.
4. We take care of our body
The body is our temple. It is our instrument with which we can experience our true selves. The more we come into contact with ourselves, the more we feel the need to honor our bodies. We notice more and more intuitively what is good for us, be it in relation to our diet, our daily rhythm, or the mental influences to which we are exposed.
5. We take responsibility for our lives
The ancient yogis knew of the incredible power of thought. We create our world with our thoughts. What we think we will. With this knowledge, we can take full responsibility for our lives. It is not another person or a certain external situation that makes us happy or unhappy. We can experience paradise on earth right here and now! Namely, by no longer identifying with our thoughts, focusing on the positive, and accepting what is.
6. We accept what we cannot change
As soon as we recognize and internalize that we are not slaves to external circumstances, but rather create our world through our thoughts, we can break free of mental shackles. You have no control over anything in this world – except how we deal with our thoughts. When we accept what we cannot change, there is an incredible feeling of freedom.
7. We let go of what we no longer need
Hardly anything is as difficult for us humans as letting go. We cling to people, possessions, or values - here too with the illusion that we have control over the development of things and life. Through yoga, we not only get to know and even appreciate the changeability and transience of things. We also come into contact with the only thing that is absolutely imperishable: pure consciousness, our true selves. There is no point in piling up things on the outside and clinging to us. When we get bigger and let go, we get closer and closer to our nature.
8. Our relationships with fellow human beings are changing
Everything is one. That is the message of yoga. When I look my counterpart in the eye, I see myself. You are me. I am you. If I do something good for my fellow human being, then I do something good for myself. When we feel a deep connection with the people around us, our relationships with them also change fundamentally. We see the divine in them and perhaps the motives for some hurtful behavior. From this kind of feeling, we can approach our fellow human beings with more love and benevolence.
9. We get clarity for our life
Why am I here anyway? What is my purpose in life? For a long time, I kept asking myself these questions. You also? However, when yoga came into my life, I received satisfactory answers to these questions. The “correctness” of the answers may not (yet) be verified with the methods of today’s science. The magic, however, is that suddenly it was no longer important to me. Because EVERYTHING makes sense deep inside me. A meaning that I can feel with my whole being. A wonderful and deep clarity arises.
10. We realize that we are immortal
In our western society, where we identify with the body, the emotions, and the mind, it is not surprising that many people are afraid of their own death or the death of a loved one. Here we are again on the subject of letting go. Through yoga, with patience and a lot of practice, we can recognize the misleading identification with the ephemeral and thus also put aside the fear of death. Nothing can destroy us. You and me, we are immortal. We can go through life completely fearless!
In what ways has yoga changed your life? Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments!