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The Psychological and Physical Benefits of Yoga

"Yoga offers a way to improve wellbeing, build resilience to stress, and can boost immunity! So, where do you start? And how can you make it work for you?"

With the research that backs it, we can now confidently say that there are important psychological and physical benefits of yoga (which includes other forms of similar exercise such as Pilates and tai chi) and, simply put: It offers a way to improve wellbeing, build resilience to stress, and can boost immunity! So, where do you start? And how can you make it work for you?

About Yoga in Today’s World

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word, ‘yuj’, which means to yoke, or to unite. According to ancient yogic scriptures, yoga refers to the union of the individual soul with the Universal Soul. Yoga is practiced to reach that union. It is the union of individual consciousness with the Universal Consciousness, creating perfect harmony between mind, body and spirit.

However, for most of us, including myself, it is a balancing act to create harmony between mind, body and spirit, if at all! But, in our fast-paced society, it’s important that we begin to slow down and learn how to avoid burnout and other illnesses attributed to stress. And with its history and research, yoga (including meditation) would seem a great place to start!

Free Online Yoga with Adriene

Search the internet and there is a plethora of online classes, which are free, and easily accessible. However, finding quality is key. One person in particular who is gaining popularity is Adriene Mishler. With over 12 million subscribers, a Google search lists her at the top for ‘best yoga teachers on YouTube.’ Adriene is an actress, writer, international yoga teacher and entrepreneur from Austin, Texas.

Quoted from her website, “Adriene provides high-quality practices on yoga and mindfulness at no cost to support and inspire people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds across the globe.”

Adriene’s YouTube videos range from 5 minutes – 40 minutes long, from a  5-minute Calming Breathwork video, a 40-minute Detox and Reset sequence, and a 15-minute Meditation for Anxiety, among many others! Her congeniality makes you feel as though you’ve just made a new friend!

You can subscribe to Adriene’s YouTube channel here Yoga with Adriene

Get The Full Benefits of Yoga

To get the full benefits that research suggests, here are some tricks of the trade, which will allow you to be in the moment and feel incredibly relaxed after your practice:

  • Find a yoga class that suits you
  • Keep to a regular yoga practice
  • Include in the practice meditation and make sure you pay attention to your breath throughout your session
  • During yoga, remain mindful, developing an awareness of your mind, body and spirit. For example, notice how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling stressed, begin to leave stressful thoughts behind while you focus on breathing and your yoga poses.
  • If your mind wanders, without judgment, bring your mind back to the present moment

Feel gratitude for the time you have dedicated towards your practice of yoga. Through self-awareness, connecting with your mind, body and spirit – it’s a relationship you’ll be developing with yourself, building strength, flexibility and resilience, in body, and mind. And as part of a self-care routine, eventually, it can become easily accessed (remembered) to provide you with tools you can use for life.

What research has to say: Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life

Yoga and Meditation, an essential tool to alleviate stress and enhance immunity to emerging infections: A perspective on the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on students


"Namaste." Prayer hands. Photo by Shelley Ann Morgan
Tree pose on a cliff (Overlooking Lion Island and Palm Beach). Photo by Shelley Ann Morgan

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Photo Credits:

Feature image Tree pose on a cliff (Overlooking Lion Island and Palm Beach) by Shelley Ann Morgan

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