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Yoga and Happiness

by Bonnie Gill

Yogis often get asked why we’re so happy and why we love yoga so much. At 213, we’re big on doing things #ToBeHappy.

We know that yoga is essentially breath-synchronised movements, postures, flows. These days, we work longer hours and at a faster pace with minimal focus on slowing down and drawing our attention inward. An integral part of our yoga practice is meditation – finding stillness.

Often meditation will focus on pratyahara and pranayama. Pratyahara is withdrawing the senses from external stimuli and drawing the senses inward, and pranayama is breath control. When we focus on our breathing, we are creating a more balanced life energy in our system and minds, bringing a sense of calm and clarity to our overall being.

Meditation allows us to let go of any weight on our shoulders, negative emotions, thoughts or feelings that aren’t serving us and in turn, brings harmony and space to the mind. By practicing yoga we are combining everything we are very often told to do by the experts.

We are releasing endorphins, meditating, moving the body and controlling the breath all of which recenter your mind and body to a much calmer state. Ever heard a yogi talk about a cloud-like state? Or tell you a class felt like a warm hug? Now you know why.

Not only that, but certain poses activate the parasympathetic or sympathetic nervous system – so they’re either energising you for a big day or calming you down after a long one. We also know that certain poses have more of an emotional release than others. Often emotional pain or anxiety can manifest physically and it is so important for us to address this and use our practice to release it.

So why are we so happy? All of the above and more. The sense of community, the music, the vibes. The list goes on.