Yoga is an important part of many lives today. Although it is considered a type of exercise, it has the potential to affect the emotional and psychological health of the individual, not just the physical state.
Some people resist trying yoga. This may be because they believe it’s some kind of weird religious thing or that they must change their lifestyle completely.
While yoga was indeed used in years past mostly by hippies, the practice has evolved into a more mainstream system. All types of people use yoga for its ability to help the physical and mental states.
Meditation is also looked at in a similar way. There are many types of meditation. Not all meditation is about reaching “spiritual enlightenment” or using drugs and chanting.
Meditation can also be an extremely useful tool in controlling many physical and mental ailments. It can reduce stress and anxiety, help control panic attacks, ease depression, and much more. Its effects on the mental state can be remarkable, and it is recommended by many doctors as a great way to avoid taking medications.
We hope to enlighten you through this article so that you may learn how to practice yoga and meditation on your own. The physical and mental benefits you’ll receive will probably be shocking to you!
There is some very interesting psychology behind this that students of western thinkers (e.g. Freud, Jung, Fromm, etc.) will find familiar and, indeed, quite rational.
When an individual decides to be happy, something within that person activates; a kind of will or awareness emerges. This awareness begins to observe the jungle of negative thoughts that are swimming constantly through the mind.
Rather than attacking each of these thoughts – because that would be an unending struggle! – yoga simply advises the individual to watch that struggle; and through that watching, the stress will diminish (because it becomes exposed and thus unfed by the unconscious, unobserving mind!).
At the same time, as an individual begins to reduce their level of internal negativity, subsequent external negative behaviors begin to fall of their own accord; habits such as excessive drinking, emotional overeating, and engaging in behaviors that, ultimately, lead to unhappiness and suffering.
With this being said, it would be an overstatement to imply that practicing yoga is the easy way to, say, quit smoking, or to start exercising regularly. If that were the case, yoga would be ideal! Yoga simply says that, based on rational and scientific cause and effect relationships that have been observed for centuries, that when a person begins to feel good inside, they naturally tend to behave in ways that enhance and promote this feeling of inner wellness.
As such, while smoking (for example) is an addiction and the body will react to the lessening of addictive ingredients such as tar and tobacco (just to name two of many!), yoga will help the process. It will help provide the individual with the strength and logic that they need in order to discover that smoking actually doesn’t make them feel good.
In fact, once they start observing how they feel, they’ll notice without doubt that instead of feeling good, smoking actually makes one feel quite bad inside; it’s harder to breathe, for one.
Now, this book isn’t an anti-smoking book, and if you’ve struggled with quitting smoking then please don’t be offended by any of this; there is no attempt here at all to imply that quitting smoking is easy, or just a matter of willpower.
Scientists have proven that there is a true physical addiction that is in place, alongside an emotional addiction that can be just as strong; perhaps even stronger.