When yoga was first introduced into the West, there was a sense of fear of what we did not understand. As more information was given to us about the practice, we realized all the many benefits we could experience. We were willing to look at the physical aspects of yoga and accept it. Today, as we have become more open because of our own experiences, we have come to realize that yoga is in fact, so much more than physical. Some of us have even taken the yoga teacher training and started spreading the benefits to others.
Have you ever experienced that sense of peace rushing over you in the middle of a yoga class? Many have. It’s when you relax the nervous system and go inside that you will feel something deeper within the practice. Through yoga poses, conscious breathing, and meditation, you become fulfilled for no reason. That happiness is the wisdom that exists in your intuition. The inner knowing that just the simple fact you exist is a reason to be happy and feel joy. When you are quiet enough to feel what is true about life, you are naturally going to feel more at peace and genuinely happy. Here are some specific ways that yoga trains you to feel unconditional happiness.
Yoga and Attitude
The training of yoga on a day-to-day basis helps you to adjust how you think and feel. This changes your attitude towards all parts of your life. Postures even specifically target emotions that can hold us back from conditional happiness. For example, Reclining Twist Pose releases tension and emotion from the back. When you are able to let go of those emotions, it reveals the happiness that exists.
Happiness is an attitude. You may have created a habit of unhappiness. These things manifest in your body. Your muscles and nervous system adjust to unhappiness. There is less spaciousness and the body becomes tenser. This does not aid in the ability to be happy for no good reason at all. By stretching out the body, you give your mind a fighting chance to adjust.
Turning Adversities into a Positive
As unconditional happiness is not just about being positive when things are good, it’s important to hone the skills of moving through adversity. Yoga trains the mind to smile regardless of circumstance. So if you’re in a pose that is hard to do like Boat Pose, you can learn to smile through it. There are parts of your yoga practice that will feel uncomfortable. Emotions may even come up.
In the safe space of your yoga training, you can learn to shine a light on the physical and emotional discomforts you go through. Even if something hurts, you can smile through it and maintain the happiness. Meditation also helps you to become mindful enough to keep an open heart to whatever pain arises. Keeping an open heart is what allows us to feel the beautiful energy of happiness.
Heart Opening Poses
In yoga, there are varieties of poses that physically ask you to open your heart. This physical act of opening up the heart helps the mind to emotionally open up too. A big heart opener like Camel Pose might feel slightly uncomfortable at first but its benefits are numerous. One of them is that your heart opens up to the sky. This is a powerful message being sent to the brain and the rest of the body. The opening of the heart is related to happiness. We are more capable of having the emotional elasticity to deal with downfalls of life when the heart is open. We see things in a more compassionate way. For ourselves and for the people in our life. Accessing pure love through our heart gives us energy and makes us feel positive about life.
A Product of Your Surrounding
In your work life, you may find that you’re being ridiculed for how happy you are. It may even feel like people are annoyed with your easy-going nature and constant smile. This is obviously because people feel threatened. They see their own misery when they notice how happy you are. It’s as though a spotlight has been put on their life and they blame you for it.
However, when you express that happiness in your yoga class, you’re probably going to attract people. With the open-heartedness that exists in a yoga community, you will find that they understand your unconditional happiness even if they’re not there themselves. People doing consistent yoga training are striving to feel the happiness that can’t be touched by external circumstances. People around a tribe of people that accept your happiness are supporting your journey. As we are pack animals, being accepted is a natural, normal part of our make-up.
Lessons of Yoga
Yoga teachers will often talk about the important aspects of the beliefs that exist in the ancient practice. The eight limbs of yoga come with a set of rules on how to be in life. These ways of being will promote our path to unconditional happiness.
Virtues are talked about in yoga such as:
- Letting Go
They will guide you in the direction of figuring out how you too can experience unconditional happiness. By peeling away the layers of yourself, you will find that emotional triggers are released. Your mind becomes a clean slate and you’re more capable of hearing your intuitive self. When there is love, there is no fear. Your heart doesn’t close down because you don’t let it. These are lessons you will learn in yoga through spoken words and through your own knowledge.
One of the most enlightening aspects of taking yoga teacher training is the immersion will prompt that feeling of unconditional happiness. You may be learning, dealing with tropical heat in a training facility in India, and eating vegetarian for the first time. Yet, with so much yoga in your life, you’ll feel fulfilled and take in that unconditional happiness. Regardless of your circumstances, you’ll just feel good and happy. If you choose to teach, you can instill that notion in your students.
About the Author
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga.
This article (How Yoga Trains Us to Feel Unconditional Happiness) is copyrighted by Awareness Junkie, 2018. You may not copy, reproduce or publish any content therein without written permission. Feel free to share this article on social networks and via email. If you have questions, please contact us here.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Moreover, views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Awareness Junkie or its staff.