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7 Perspective changing benefits of yoga in

Thinking differently and having an open mind or changing your perspective on things can help to understand and respect another person’s point of view. It can also make us more self-aware and more adaptable. Yoga can encourage us to change perspective. When we practice yoga, our mind is incredibly focused and there is no room for distraction, negative viewpoints or closed mindedness. Yoga practice allows you to be completely in the present moment.

The importance of stillness

When working on changing perspective, a wonderful tool in your yoga practice is stillness, a great relaxation technique and if you’re wondering how to calm your mind – this is a great way to start.

When in stillness we can focus our full awareness on the breath, we can slow the breath and calm the mind into a sleep like state and find peace as our body and mind completely relax.

Every movement we make requires energy and input from us, as we become still, we can rest and conserve our energy.

Meditation allows us time in complete stillness, for ideas and thoughts to become second and inferior. Yoga poses bring us to stillness, for beautiful quiet moments within a flow or holding for longer periods of time as our focus comes to the breath.

Be in the moment

Practising yoga and becoming more mindful puts us into the here and now, rather than planning for the future or reflecting on the past, as we so very often do.

Here's a short yoga sequence to re-connect and find peace in the present moment, with gentle side stretches to align the spine and cobblers forward bend to settle the mind and ground the body.

Turn it upside down

Inverted poses physically change perspective, taking you upside down. Women’s Health Magazine report that these fabulous (and a little daring) yoga poses have many other benefits too including easing back pain, kicking out stress, easier breathing, improved core strength and a healthier heart!

Here are some of our chosen inversions to have a go at:

Hare Pose – a gentle, supported inversion if you want to start slowly.

Dolphin Pose – a challenging upper body workout and a great one for building strength in preparation for headstand.

Headstand Pose – the master of the poses, best tackled slowly and one step at a time.

Forearm Balance Pose – if you’re looking for a challenge for both the body and mind, this is the one.

Shoulder stand Pose – a nurturing pose to re-balance the mind, great after a hard day – for a supported version, take your legs up the wall.

Choose to be calm

Believe it or not, you have a choice. If your life is busy and hectic, carve out the time to do what makes you feel peaceful and calm. Once you feel cam the world looks a bit brighter and things naturally fall into perspective.

Mayo clinic advise using yoga for stress management due to its relaxation qualities. In yoga, it’s standing forward bends that promote a sense of peace and calm in the mind and body, they are the best part of your ‘yoga toolkit’ for the days when you need time to unwind. Here’s our ultimate forward bend to get you started:

Wide Forward Bend Pose – a gentle, peaceful pose that has many variations, simply hang or hold the elbows for a restful option or bind the hands behind you to add a shoulder stretch.

Let your energy flow

Vinyasa or other forms of yoga that are a continuous flow of poses allow us to experience mindful movement, as the body move through the postures in time with the breath, we become very aware and in touch with our true self, giving a great sense of freedom.

Within your physical yoga practice you can often feel a sense of ‘flow’ within the body too, many yoga poses have detoxifying (twists) or releasing (hip openers) qualities that allow us to expel toxins and let go of emotions.

Yoga creates a positive flow of energy through the breath, Pranayama is the term given to the flow of vital energy through the body in the form of the breath.

Here are three yoga breathing techniques that help your energy to flow:

Releasing Breath encourages us to release tension, let go of negative emotions and reduce closed mindedness. Alternate Nostril Breathing helps us to achieve balance, which in turn creates a level-headed way of thinking. Belly Breathing creates a calming effect, encouraging more oxygen to come into the body. When we are calm, we think more rationally.

See things clearly

Yoga develops mental clarity and sends oxygen to the brain as it increases blood flow.

Balancing poses encourage a focused mind, particularly more challenging balancing poses as these draw on inner strength and allow you to push your limits in turn creating presence which allows.

If you’re in need of a boost, have a go at these balancing poses:

Tree Pose – looks much easier than it is! Remember to choose a gaze point (drishti) for the eyes and come into the pose slowly.

Crow Pose – a great pose for improving determination, use your core and keep looking forward to maintain your balance.

A positive outlook

Research suggests that yoga and meditation enhance your mood, leading to a more positive, enthusiastic and energised state.

Extended chest openers create space, release tension and promote a positive outlook helping us to be more open minded and compassionate of other people’s views.

Wild Thing Pose is our favourite pose for opening up and improving mood, it just feels great!

Photo: Fin Wood

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