You started practicing yoga in order to achieve more mindfulness and compassion. And while you’re on the yoga mat, that’s what you manage – you project your sense of connectedness with Mother Earth, while perfecting that toned body. But what about when you’re back to your day-to-day life? It’s all well and good being in touch with your inner self when you practice, but to get the most out of yoga you need to take the habits it inspires and put them to use when you’re away from the studio, too. Here’s how to do just that.
Yoga emphasizes being compassionate to yourself, respecting your body and generally being the best person you can. But that extends beyond yoga, too – it’s not much use having all those glowing attributes while you’re in your favorite pose, but then being a miserable naysayer as soon as you hit the outside world. Practice being nice in your day-to-day life – smile and say hello to a stranger as you pass in the street; let that old granny have your seat on the subway; let go of negative thoughts, and avoid gossip. It’s easy to be nice when you make a conscious effort, so channel your energy in the same way as you do in yoga.
It sometimes feels like the world moves at a million miles an hour, and that inner calmness we feel on the yoga mat can seem like it’s worlds away. But life only keeps up this pace if you let it. If you stop feeding the unrealistic speed with which things happen – and instead prioritize, take your time and enjoy the things you genuinely and comfortably have the time time to do – you’ll project that same calming persona out into the world around you. Remind yourself frequently that there’s no rush, and that you won’t achieve more – or benefit from the experience as much – by being hasty.
Yoga teaches us to be grateful for what we have, to take in our surroundings and appreciate that there is so much more positivity around us than we see at first glance. But when you’re on your way home or back to the office after class, and are surrounded by billboards convincing you that you need this, and that your life won’t be complete without that, it’s easy to become materialistic – precisely the opposite of how yoga should have you feeling. Take stock of the person you already are and what you’ve achieved – and be content with it. You’ll soon find that you’re happier and more positive in a wider sense, too.
It’s the simplest things that we forget most easily, as we get caught up in our day-to-day schedules. A smile is the best way to transmit your positive vibes to those around you – it’s non-contact communication at its finest. Better still, the mere act of smiling puts you in an instantly better mood yourself (just try it, and you’ll see). Smiles make everyone look more attractive, and we’ve all heard that a smile uses fewer facial muscles than a frown, meaning it’s great for your long-term appearance and wellbeing, too. Just smile – it’s that simple!
Keep these nuggets of wisdom in mind the next time you finish a yoga session, and you’ll make sure the wellbeing benefits continue long after you’ve left the studio. Want to learn more about yoga? Shoot us a grin and we’ll set you on the path to a more positive you.