Yoga is an increasingly popular way to relieve stress and counter the busyness and distractions of today’s modern world. It’s a way to center and focus the mind as you connect movement with breath. What most people don’t know is there are many different styles of yoga to practice. Therapeutic yoga is accessible to everyone, no matter the skill level or physical restrictions. It’s a combination of restorative yoga poses (where the body is supported with yoga props), gentle stretching, breathing exercises, guided meditations and more. The practice is designed to heal and restore the body and mind. Making space for the body to rest relieves stress and promotes healing on a deep level.
As we journey into a new year, we have a chance to get started with new projects or to practice better habits. We can use therapeutic yoga as a way to stay connected to the goals we set. Here’s how:
- Therapeutic yoga poses are relaxing and very meditative. When you rest the body in these poses, you guide your awareness to your breath, rather than your thoughts. This, in essence, is meditation. Gently opening and stretching the body, while bringing the focus back to the breath every time it wanders, is how to focus the mind. Focusing the mind helps you gain clarity and insight on how to take action to achieve your goals. Instead of being bombarded with incessant thoughts of negativity or worries about the past and future, the mind becomes quiet. A clear mind helps you focus to achieve what you most desire.
- Therapeutic yoga poses turn on the relaxation response, which counters stress. Our natural state of being is ease. When we are in a perpetual state of stress, we create dis-ease in the body, creating illness and injury. Removing stress from the physical body with gentle stretching relieves anxiety, improves immune and organ function, and lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Stress held in the muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints is also released, creating a softer, more flexible you. A healthier, calmer you is more capable to go with the flow and check off your goal to-do list even when it seems to be headed toward something unexpected.
- Therapeutic yoga is an inward journey. As you practice, you get to know yourself on a deep level, where you can discover your true desires and goals. Creating a safe and still place, we allow our intuition and inner wisdom to guide us to what we truly want out of life. It is in this place where we discover what we want to work toward and how we want to grow and evolve. How can you move toward a goal if you don’t know what you truly desire?
- A therapeutic yoga practice is a good habit to develop. When we strive toward goals, we need to develop positive habits. Staying committed to your practice and taking care of yourself is a way to create a new and positive habit in your life. Taking time for yourself helps you become the best version of you. When you have the space and freedom to be who you really are—with clear goals and dedication—staying true to who you want to be becomes easier and growth becomes effortless. Staying true to yourself is another positive habit to develop so you can support and lift yourself up as you work toward your goal, especially when no one seems to support you. Commitment to yourself and your practice equals commitment to your goals.
- Gently opening your body and mind will connect you to the law of attraction. There is a powerful force in the universe called the law of attraction. We send out vibrations into the universe with thoughts and feelings. Those vibrations are sent back to us via the law of attraction. Feeling good in your physical body, emotional body and in your mind sends positive vibrations out to the universe and ultimately back to you – you get what you give. Thoughts of success, ease, positivity, fearlessness or any other good feeling vibration will bring you more good feeling thoughts and creative ideas. You will soon notice that you’ll be at the right place at the right time for opportunities and will meet the right people to help you grow and achieve your true desires. Therapeutic yoga helps open the body and mind to get you feeling good.