Why yoga is key to self-discovery

20 April 2017 by
First published: 25 May 2016

Want to feel happier, more satisfied and more mindful? Here’s why yoga is key to self-discovery.

These days, with everything that’s going on in the world, with so many gadgets and so much television to entertain us, and with so much pressure to achieve our goals, it’s safe to say that there’s always something to distract our mind. Whether we choose to fill up our time with work or pleasure; snooping around on social media or being creative, our days are always rich in activity, but mostly devoid of self-knowledge. You might see your life as being fulfilling, fun and hopefully a joyful one but have you ever wondered why you get so nervous, impatient or why you do certain things?

More than a regular weight loss tool, yoga continually proves itself to lead those who practice it to a journey of self-discovery. Sure, buying the latest gym shorts to show off your legs while running outside, or attending the trendiest exercise classes of this year are all great motivators to working out, but doing yoga means you are going to gain more than just physical strength and agility.

Getting to know your present self

With a focus on creating a connection between our mind (through breathing correctly) and our body (through the poses) yoga leads us to become more present-oriented and enables us to focus on the now. In turn, doing yoga will lead you to ask, and hopefully answer, questions about your habits, about things that are bothering you and the changes you wish to see. Why are your turning to food after a long day at work? Why are you always angry at those closest to you? Is your lifestyle filling the void for something else?

Gaining appreciation

When the now becomes more prominent and your focus is on how your body is doing while you are performing the poses, yoga will lead you to the road of appreciation. With self-loathing being such a universal issue, finding appreciation in the strength of our bodies is another form of seeing ourselves and our bodies in a positive rather than a negative light. With every twist and turn of the body; with every downward dog and mountain pose, yoga makes us conscious of the tiniest parts of our body and the strength they hold in enabling us to do so much.

Acceptance over competition

Unlike other exercise forms and unlike the world of work – where we are continually competing and pushing to prove ourselves – yoga pushes us towards acceptance rather than competition. There is no rush to perfect the poses, there is no sense of having to excel in class. Rather, yoga encourages us to choose to accept what we can do today and see where we are today. Only when we accept the present can we see where we are and move forward to a better version of ourselves.

Yoga is more than another exercise option. Choosing to do yoga means we are choosing to become more in tune with ourselves with how we are behaving and going through life. As we gain acceptance of the present situation in our lives, as we become more appreciative of everything that we have in the now and as we understand what we are doing in the present time of our lives, we will then be able to start building on this and carve a better path to how we want our life to unfold.

We cannot control how our lives will turn out, but with yoga we can steer the direction to a saner, calmer and more conscious life, so that no matter where the future takes us and regardless of how good or how bad the situations we find ourselves in will be, we will nevertheless feel rooted, accepting the present and being patient about the future.

Regina Due is a yoga and fitness writer. Check out more of her work at The Upside.