Yoga Boosts Mental Health, Part I–Body

A personal yoga practice can bring calm and equanimity to a stressed out world in many ways. Here is the first of 3 simple techniques that you can practice to experience the transformative effects of yoga in your life.

Body

Our bodies are a great place to turn when mental stress is clouding our minds. Use a physical practice to disconnect from being stuck in whirling thought cycles. Yoga connects mind with body, so we bring complete awareness to our body in order to stop thinking about our thoughts. A balancing exercise is a great way to cultivate body awareness, because it takes a lot of mental concentration to balance on one foot. Try this:

  • Stand up on both feet.
  • Shift your weight slowly across the soles of your feet, forward and back, and side to side.
  • Start to distribute all the weight evenly.
  • Now shift all of your weight onto one foot, and distribute the weight evenly on this foot. You can practice lifting your other foot off the ground in front of you.
  • To help stabilize your balance, look at a focal point that is not moving; to challenge your balance, try to close your eyes.
  • Remember to keep breathing while you focus on your balance.

The body can be thought of as an accumulation of our past–the activities we’ve done and what we’ve consumed present themselves in our physical form. Nourish it and treat it well and you will feel better.

Kaitlynn Kiela, Owner
Plymouth Yoga