Yoga and meditation isn’t just for hippies, new-age types, or models and movie stars, despite what you may think. You don’t have to be super flexible or naturally mellow to benefit from either practice. In fact, if you find that you’re often stressed out, or that you’re kind of out of shape, you might benefit even more from meditation and yoga. That’s because yoga and meditation can go beyond being a workout or a moment of solitude by serving to help you develop more inner strength and awareness.
In fact, the following are ten of the many ways that these practices can help you increase your inner strength. Yoga and meditation can:
Increase Your Physical Strength
Seeing and feeling the results of your yoga practice—from increased flexibility and muscular strength to having a leaner, more toned appearance—will make you feel strong on the inside, too. You’ll feel more confident in everything you do, because you look and feel great!
Teach You Patience, Even In Difficult Situations
When you’re holding a tough yoga pose or really need to scratch an itch while meditating, it can take tremendous patience not to move too soon. Increasing your patience in these instances will carry over to your ability to take a deep breath and remain patient during all those tough times when life keeps you waiting.
Help You To Better Understand Your Body
Yoga and meditation put you in touch with your body. Before you know it, you’ll realize that, say, tensing up your shoulders is your body’s way of saying that you’re getting too stressed out. Understanding cues like that can help you see when you’re starting to get stressed, angry, sad, etc., so you can better combat your negative feelings.
Get You More In Touch With Your Thoughts And Emotions
These practices, particularly meditation, can teach you to tune into your thoughts and feelings in a way that will help you better understand the “why” of your actions. Do you overeat when you’re stressed? Blow your top at the drop of a hat when you’re overworked? Some introspection can help you work toward changing these bad habits.
Give You Peace, Even On Difficult Days
If you can fit in a mere half hour of yoga or just ten minutes of meditation somewhere in your day, it can give you something relaxing to anticipate. Thinking about your impending “me time” can help get you through a miserable day at work or a rough patch in your personal life.
Bring More Balance To Your Life
Yoga and meditation do this both literally—through balancing postures like Tree Pose— and emotionally—through an increased ability to manage stress and unhappiness.
Teach You To Slow Down In A Fast Paced World
People are working longer hours and taking less vacation time thanks to the tough economy. Moms and dads are stretched thin between their careers, their parenting obligations, and just trying to find time for date night. Putting everything on hold for even a brief yoga class or meditation session is a great reminder that we all have to take time out for ourselves and just slow down.
Show You How Consistency And Determination Will Improve Your Life
Routinely practice yoga, and you’ll be able to lean further into every stretch as time progresses; routinely put in time toward achieving another goal in your life, and you’ll get closer and closer to realizing that goal.
Lift Your Mood
The exercise aspect of yoga and the relaxing practice of meditation can increase your endorphin levels, which helps to elevate your mood. Happier people are healthier people, which means you take fewer sick days from your job and are generally more of a go-getter. Not only will you find yourself accomplishing more, but your good mood will win over your friends, co-workers, and more—all things that lead to success.
Force You To Unplug And Focus On Yourself
You can’t check Facebook on your laptop while you’re in Downward-Facing Dog, and you can’t answer your cell phone while you’re meditating in a Half Lotus. Instead, yoga and meditation make you focus on yourself, your mind, and your body. Being more in touch with your self is a huge step toward developing increased inner strength.