A daily self-care yoga habit has the potential to be truly life-altering, setting in motion a series of shifts that could change everything for you. Wildly optimistic thinking? I don’t think so, and I will give you 4 important reasons why.
Exercise is a keystone habit. What does that mean? Researchers have found that some habits start a chain reaction, changing other habits in ones life. Some habits, in other words, are “keystones” and matter much more – influencing how people do work, eat, play, etc., starting a process that, over time, transforms everything. A University of Rhode Island researcher said, “Exercise spills over. There is something about it that makes other good habits easier.”
Yoga is a mindfulness practice. Your yoga practice is exercise, yes, but it is more than that – it is exercise plus mindfulness. Mindfulness, or the focused state of mental awareness has been shown to be of of the most beneficial practices we know of! Research has show that it reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, and it helps everything from PTSD to boosting our immune systems. Mindfulness is also the thing that helps us shift from reacting to responding in our relationships, making us more skillful in our communications.
Yoga creates other healthy changes. In research that touches on the idea of both the keystone habit and mindfulness, a large 2005 study showed that yoga practitioners lost weight while non-practitioners gained. Why? It was not calorie-burning. Research Alan Kristal writes, “The buzzword here is mindfulness –That is what helps change the relationship of mind to body, and eventually to food and eating.” When we are more in-tune with our bodies, we have awareness of what feels good for our whole being.
Self care = self love. Through our yoga practice we take care of ourselves, body-mind and spirit. Over time, we learn to accept our limits with grace and learn to move compassionately into places that are healing and opening. Through this intimate form of care, we develop self-compassion, learning to let go of negative self-talk. When we practice self-care daily, we begin to treat ourselves as kindly as we do our other loved ones. And, we cannot give what we do not have.
My daily habit has given me all of these things and more, which is why I feel driven to help others create their own yoga self-care habit. I want to be able to bring you closer to your body so that you can feel the joy and peace of living with less stress and a spirit that grounded in your body.
Do you have a daily practice or do you want to create one? I want to know about it! Please leave a comment below or on my facebook page.