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How Yoga can help you shift negative thoughts into positive ones, and improve your outlook on life

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

It's all about Experience and Release. Let me explain.


You probably know Yoga as a practice to strengthen your body and improve flexibility, but the Yoga I practice and teach has a lot more to do with the mind, emotions and spirit. This is the difference between mainstream Yoga and Traditional Yoga.


Often, when new students join my classes they are surprised about how much more we cover beyond the yoga poses, and when I ask them what they liked the most about their practice, is usually the guided breathing session or the relaxation part at the end.


This to say that Yoga is very positive indeed for your body, but I would argue and say that it is even more important for your mind, emotions, energy and spirit.


In Traditional Yoga we don't distinguish between your body and mind, you're one. So the exercises we practice in class will impact your entire self.


Behind this approach there are millennia of empirical knowledge and wisdom, a big part of it grounded in a philosophy called Sāmkhya.


Sāmkhya is one of the six ancient philosophies of India and describes how the Universe and Human Beings work and relate to each other (I wrote more about this specific philosophy and how it informs our classes in a previous post that you can read here).


When explaining how we're all connected and why life exists, Sāmkhya explains that the world and life exist for Bhoga - to provide experience(s) and Apavarga - to help (you) release.


Understanding these concepts can help transform the negatives into positives and massively improve your outlook on life.


According to Sāmkhya, we're here in this life to experience as many things as possible - this is Bhoga. Everything that happens, happens to help us release from what's holding us back, and free us so we can grow, expand, and connect with the best version of ourselves (hidden away from sight and years of conditioning) - this is Apavarga.


Allow this to sit with you for a moment.


Sāmkhya encourages us to stop taking life so seriously and instead, embrace it all as an adventure with highs and lows made especially to help us become better human beings and evolve.


It teaches us to shift our perspective from "this is happening to me" to "this is happening for me", and see challenges as opportunities.


I know from experience that this is not always an easy shift to process. There are times when it's easier to turn the negatives into positives, and times when it feels like you're drowning and it's impossible to see the light.


This is when the practice of Yoga comes in handy and why Yoga is a such a beautiful complement to Sāmkhya.


The practice of Yoga helps regulate your nervous system and your emotions, and teaches you how to use your breath to rewire your brain and come out of survival mode.


When you're in balance and serene, it's easier to put the principles of Sāmkhya into practice, and see the world with new, kinder eyes.


This is how yoga can help shift negative thoughts into positive ones.



I'll leave you with this reflection, as I could probably go on talking about this topic and how good yoga is for you for eternity.


I hope the reassurance that life is happening for you provides you with some solace when things are hard.


And I hope you know Yoga is available for you if you've been living in constant "fight or flight" mode and desperately need to calm your busy mind.


 

If you'd like to know more about my traditional yoga classes, explore my Practice Yoga page, and get in touch for a free discovery call here.

 
About the author

Hi! I'm Cat, the founder of Yogaful Studio. My mission is to support you calm your busy mind and guide you towards your best, most authentic life - with less stress, more purpose, joy, and love. ​ So if you have a demanding job and a hectic life running miles an hour, Yogaful Studio is the place for your to find rest, balance, and peace.

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