How to practice yoga for spiritual growth (an insider’s guide)
Yoga has been my retreat from this chaotic and busy world.
When I tried to practice yoga as a way of life, I am beyond grateful for the amazing benefits it has given me.
More than increasing strength, improving flexibility, and having a toned body, what I learned on the yoga mat allows me to nurture my personal and spiritual growth.
Yoga shaped my attitudes, habits, and beliefs, and helped me become the person I’m truly born to be.
Let me share how yoga becomes a powerful path to my personal growth.
20 ways yoga changed my life
What gives yoga an edge over other fitness and workout platforms is that its benefits extend beyond the mat.
It’s true! There’s more to yoga than what can be seen with the naked eye. For once you do yoga, it can change your life for the better.
And its benefits are available to you too – and to everyone regardless of age, body size, or lifestyle.
1) Yoga makes me feel happier and better
After yoga class, I feel a lot better and different.
When I was just trying yoga, I picked the most suitable class for my level.
I start with an open mind, and I end the class feeling more open and present. I’ve been at my happiest self.
As yoga practice includes meditation, it gives me some time to process everything that’s happening in my life.
Truth is, I was able to embrace calmness and serenity.
If I feel down, I sit in the Lotus position and breath or rise to do a backbend.
According to a study, consistent yoga practice helps alleviate worries and anxieties (which are common symptoms of depression).
2) Yoga strengthens my muscles and improves flexibility
When I first tried yoga, I didn’t get to touch my toes or do a backbend. Pains, tight hips, and hamstrings had been my enemies. But it didn’t frustrate me.
As I practice yoga continuously, those aches start to disappear. I noticed proper alignment of my thighs and shin bones – and my muscles loosen gradually.
In time, even the impossible poses become possible.
I’m more toned, stronger, and flexible than before. Now, I can easily do a backbend and a split.
3) I become more mindful
In a life filled with distractions and challenges, yoga helped develop my focus and awareness.
Learning how to make my breath work for me helped me center myself and focus on the present.
I recognized my thoughts, which made me aware of my emotions. I can even choose how I am going to respond to them.
Instead of being reactive or overwhelmed with what’s going on around me, controlled breaths give me a sense of awareness.
Yoga helped me live my life more in line with my values. I find myself feeling kinder, calmer, and more patient.
4) Yoga develops my self-discipline
One of the greatest gifts I received from yoga is the shining bow of self-discipline.
It encourages me to stick with my goals and revel in my accomplishments.
My focused and determined mind had been my power tool. Whether it’s aiming for a healthier diet or practicing consistently, I can’t go wrong with setting a solid intention for improvement.
5) Yoga keeps me focused
With consistent yoga practice, I find it easier to direct the energy to the path I want to take when my mind is calm and quiet.
My mind becomes quieter and clutter-free. I learned how to be free from distractions.
Thanks to yoga, I’m not moving all over the place!
Now I believe I can train my mind to become aware and present. It’s because one-pointedness concentration grows during practice.
Even 20 minutes of yoga can help the brain function better.
As it helps improve my ability to concentrate and focus, I know that I will always have the ability to remember new things coming my way.
6) Yoga gives me inner strength
With yoga, I find support from within.
The discipline and energy that fuels my yoga practice extend to my life. These became my greatest strengths in overcoming dysfunctional habits.
Honestly, staying committed to yoga allows me to cope with my daily tasks in a better manner.
It had been a reflection of my intention for self-growth. And I never let external factors such as place, time, work, or responsibilities come in the way.
Yoga improves my mental and physical state after years of failed attempts.
7) Yoga improves my posture
Working long hours causes my lower back and neck to hurt at the end of the day. But, I know I’m not alone in this.
Yoga is indeed the perfect answer to this problem.
Practicing yoga asanas help in lengthening my tight muscles, reinforcing the natural curve of my back, and developing a healthy spine.
Yoga poses like the mountain and bridge pose brings alignment correction to my hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders.
When I find myself slouching or slumping, I can quickly adjust my posture. This yoga practice creates body awareness and core strength – which go a long way toward improving my posture.
Now, standing tall makes me look slimmer and more confident too.
8) Yoga brings inspiration
Life everyone else, I need the inspiration to keep going, perform better, and stay motivated.
Inspiration is that dose of encouragement that fuels my willpower and injects everything with immense energy and intention.
I found that it is during yoga sessions that some of your deepest, most insightful thoughts start to come up.
Yoga helps declutter my mind of negative emotions and thoughts – and offers a new perspective to look at things.
As I engage in this fitness practice, I felt this immense energy to accept and find inspiration in growing and supporting every part of myself.
Embracing yoga transformed my life in ways that helped me flourish and grow.
9) Yoga helps me sleep better
When my body is relaxed, and my mind is free from worries, that’s when I get to sleep peacefully.
Yoga has been my relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. It helps reduce the tension and stress flowing in my mind and inside my body.
With regular practice, I feel less tired and less stressed. I come to love yoga Nidra (a form of guided relaxation) as this provides relief.
Yoga poses such as Savasana, and Pranayama encourages pratyahara (a turning inward of the senses), which provides downtime for the nervous system.
Experiencing tons of peaceful rest gives me pure bliss.
10) Yoga helps me embrace my true self
Yoga helped transform my life in more ways than one.
I became aware of almost everything – from who I am, my strengths and weaknesses, and my wants and needs.
It took off the mask that prevented me from showing my true self.
I become more in tune with my body and recognize my physical and emotional well-being.
This boosts my self-esteem and helps me explore a different side of myself.
Practicing yoga created a powerful impact on my life. It made me feel good about myself and helped me take a positive approach to life.
11) Yoga gives my self-esteem a boost
Growing up, I used to struggle with low confidence.
Yoga changed everything to make me feel more at ease in my skin.
It’s not about perfecting every pose or being “good enough.” It’s about letting go of judgments that hold me back and being present with who I am right now.
Practicing yoga has been a positive approach to boosting my self-esteem. In every yoga asana, I experienced feelings of gratitude, empathy, and forgiveness.
It’s worthy and I learned to I love how I’ve been able to access a different version of myself.
The best thing is, it is through a yoga practice that I realized that I’m part of something greater.
12) Yoga makes me feel calm
There’s this deep sense of calmness that I feel after a yoga class. It’s like my mental state constantly changes.
Everything seems to fall into place and make sense – while others are simply no longer present.
Whether it’s doing a few Cat-Cow flows or lying down in Savasana, yoga turns my relaxation response on.
As I focus on my breathing and release the tension in my body, I get to usher in a sense of calm.
With this, I see things differently. The alone time made me love the feeling of being at peace with myself and the world.
13) It makes me a better decision-maker
When faced with making a big decision, I take time out to meditate, breathe, and relax.
It is by quieting down the chatter in my mind can I hear the wisdom I need.
With this, I got to see the wisdom within myself and learn to trust in that wisdom to follow through.
Yoga slowly helped me to make better choices in life. Knowing that I have the answers within me to make the right decision provides a sense of comfort in times of unrest.
It helped me stay on top of my game!
As I practice yoga, I get to be more in tune with what I need as I know that a new dimension of consciousness has stepped in.
Those decisions I made during my calm moments are usually the right ones for me – and not those decisions I’ve spent hours thinking about in a place of tension.
14) Yoga is my stress reliever
Yes, yoga helps reduce stress.
Yoga practice decreases cortisol levels, steadies the heart rate, and even out breaths – all of which are keys to alleviating stress.
It’s because yoga combines several techniques that help reduce stress which combines the benefits of:
- breathing exercises
- stretching exercises
- fitness programs
- meditation practice
- guided imagery
Yoga saves me from the damaging effect of stress and tension on my mental and physical well-being.
Those deeply relaxing asanas not just keep my body healthy but also my mind. I find exhaling calmly and deeply self-soothing and a tremendous stress reliever.
15) Yoga improves my mental and emotional health
Yoga focuses on centering and working to be mindful of one’s self.
When I wished that my life was different, yoga helped me accept reality. I learned to embrace and acknowledge who I am and all that I have.
I accepted that my life led me to this particular point in time, to see something greater in it. When I realized what I am capable of, my mental health improved.
One of the best benefits I love most is how yoga helps me manage my stress level – both emotionally and mentally.
Through yoga’s focused attention and deep breathing practices, I kept my stress under control.
Yoga prepares me to handle the storms of life and gives me the strength to get through them.
With a healthy mind and body, I know my journey will be a fulfilling one.
16) Yoga strengthens my relationships
Yoga strengthens my bond and makes me appreciate the people I love more deeply.
When I meditate, I gain compassion. It reminds me that everyone – including myself, my partner, and everyone else – is imperfect and makes mistakes.
It is through accepting, learning to compromise, and forgiving that my relationship improved for the better.
Instead of getting caught up in day-to-day dramas, I learned to be present and aware.
Yoga gives me the tools to deal with the daily frustrations in life. For instance, practicing Yamas of Ashtanga yoga helps me deal with relationship issues, be it at home, at work, or in society.
This way, I can focus on getting through them in a way that benefits rather than hinder my relationships.
The key here is to be open and receptive.
Instead of defending or attacking in response to criticism, communicate effectively and diffuse, rather than inflame, the situation.
As I open and release my body and mind, I become more welcoming to giving and receiving love.
17) It enhances body and mind wellness
It is through a yoga practice that I experience balance and harmony.
The harmony that it creates in my mind, body, and soul is something that I’m most grateful for. I find myself having better breaths, pleasant sleep, and overall fulfillment.
Yoga made me appreciate the beauty of balance in life. It helps me function well and fulfill my roles both in my personal and professional life.
What yoga has taught me changes my perception. And I learned that life’s great and negative experiences come and go.
As I think on a deeper level, I found it simpler to accept, be present, and be positive – even through difficult circumstances.
It’s amazing how I was able to apply yoga’s wonderful benefits in all facets of my life.
18) Yoga empowers me
I always want to be capable of dealing with life on my own and be independent.
While having a good support system is important, I know that I must also be able to accomplish things on my own.
It is through a regular yoga practice that I achieve personal development and fulfillment.
Yoga serves as my energy and support system. When I feel empowered, I feel confident and ready to face the world and everything it offers.
Yoga provided me with the means to change and make me feel better.
I use each yoga session to gain more empowerment and enhance my sense of independence.
As yoga encourages self-care, I discover that my involvement gives me the power to effect change. Knowing my involvement gave me an intention to accomplish things on my own without worries.
19) Yoga connects me to my spiritual self
Yoga postures and asanas go beyond simple stretching and strengthening of muscles.
While I am not a religious person, I know that one reason for my unhappiness is that I’ve lost that connection with my spiritual self.
Yoga filled the gap when my faith had fallen off – a gap I tried to fill with material things and temporary connections.
In its true form, yoga practice connects me to my soul, my mind and body, others, and the Divine. And all these helped me in my recovery.
This connection manifests as I develop and experience:
- a more positive outlook on life
- true happiness from within
- lower levels of existential anxieties
- being okay with stillness
- surrendering and enjoying the present
- intuitive wisdom needed to live a meaningful life
- a sense of mental and physical lightness
- practicing gratitude for the world around me
After a lifetime of trying to tune things out, I found transformation and awakening of my true inner self.
20) Yoga teaches me self-love
Yoga practice gives me time to celebrate and love myself fully. This is about reconnecting with myself and recharging when I need it.
It’s tough, but yoga helped me get started. I accept my body for the wonder that it is, listen to my mind, and treat myself with more kindness.
Doing these simple acts of self-care helped boost my self-worth:
- Celebrate the traits I love about myself instead of focusing on the wrong
- Enjoy “me-time” whether it’s enjoying a cup of tea or getting a massage
- Practice self-love affirmations as I embrace the woman that I am
- Setting healthy boundaries for myself
- Taking time to sit still and allowing my inner wisdom to guide me
As I let go of negative self-talk, I got to see myself in a more positive light. And by bringing attention to my natural breathing cycle, I got to radiate love out into the world
Path to Personal Growth
My journey to personal growth is a lifelong practice. It’s more than a resolution to build new habits or do a self-improvement project. It’s a gentle, continuous shift in how I relate with myself and to the world.
Yoga benefits all aspects of my personhood – my spiritual connection, my intellectual and physical self, and my relationships with myself and others.
It filled my life with positive emotions including love, gratitude, hope, joy, and interest.
My transformation arises as I take yoga practice off the mat.
Taking small steps paved the way for my path of personal growth. As I accept, embrace, and honor who I am, I found stillness from within.
Everything is a route of transformation – and this means living my fullest potential.
It could be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to breathe deeply and consciously, enjoy nature, or connect with the people I love.
On this path to personal growth, I carried with me a deep sense of self-compassion.
Personal growth can’t be rushed and forced. It comes with each breath, making every moment an opportunity to focus, be present, and be aware.
Yoga taught me not just to focus on outward improvement but to value subtle inner change and growth.
I could feel the impact that brings on my being and how it strengthens my mind, body, and soul.
With each movement of moving forward, pulling back, and reaching out, I savor the benefits that come with that awareness.
With yoga practice, the opportunity for growth is truly endless.