Overcoming bad habits that are self destructive can be a complex issue. Without a change in behavior and lifestyle, the habits will often return. Sometimes worse than before.
Practicing yoga is one way to bring about that change in lifestyle and behavior. It also has the added benefit of improving your health and fitness.
There are many root causes for bad habits and many are linked to poor emotional well being. Yoga can help with this too. It can bring about increased self-awareness and a will to improve mind, body, and spirit.
The principles of yoga also encourage satya, or honesty. By developing satya, you become honest. You also become aware of habits that affect your life in a negative way.
Ultimately, yoga is about self-discovery. The journey required to bring about change to stop bad habits is also needed to practice yoga successfully.
Getting to know yourself is a key factor in stopping the habits that are causing the damage. Yoga unites mind and body, and this is where the journey begins.
Below are some examples of common bad habits and how yoga can help.
Smoking can be a difficult habit to kick. One of the key aspects of smoking is the temporary relief from stress that the tobacco brings. This stress relief often causes the smoker to cling onto their addiction.
Yoga is a fantastic substitute that can help relief stress in a natural, harmless way. At the same time, it will bring about physical, mental, and spiritual well being.
Keeping a relaxed mind and body is essential to both quitting smoking and the successful practice of yoga.
There is also evidence that the damage done to internal organs from smoking can be repaired. The cardiovascular systems, long starved of oxygen, enjoy the increase in blood flow that yoga brings about.
Furthermore, the concentration of breathing combined with movement helps balance the respiratory system. This serves to beat the ill effects that smoking has wrought on the body.
Drinking is another habit that can be harmful to the body. Although most people drink in moderation, there are still detrimental effects to the body. If consumed in greater amounts, the effects are even worse.
Like smoking, some people drink to relax. Yoga can be the replacement you need to stop drinking. The breathing and movement yoga requires helps you cope with stressful situations.
You can try doing yoga in the morning or evening – see which best helps your stress, or stops the need for a drink.
Instead of a glass of wine at the end of a stressful day, try some yoga to remove the stress of the day.
Or, begin the day by practicing yoga to set you up for the daily challenges that life brings.
The habit of over-eating can be curbed by practicing yoga. Unlike smoking and drinking alcohol, we need to have some sort of relationship with food to survive.
Yoga can help you develop an awareness of your body that brings about a healthier relationship with food. Keep in mind that if you are overweight there are some forms of yoga that will be difficult. But don’t let this stop you.
Over stressing the body at this stage can be more harmful and sometimes dangerous. But there are beginner classes that are suitable for the overweight person. And with time, it is likely that your weight will decrease if you practiced yoga regularly.
The goal here is to promote ‘satya’ (honesty) within yourself so you can become aware of what you put in your body. This includes being aware of the portion sizes and quality of the food you consume. These can all be affected when you practice yoga and satya successfully.
End Emotional Eating
Finally, emotional eating can also be overcome with yoga.
Emotional eating is not just about eating fatty foods at times of emotional stress. It is also linked to constant dieting and being unhappy with your body and mind.
With a focus on better well being, yoga can help you fix the problem by making you aware of your body.
Yoga is about learning to love yourself.
Practicing yoga on a regular basis will help you become more aware of your eating habits and the reasons for them.
Meditation is often associated with yoga. It can be a great help in creating relaxation and happiness within yourself. This will go a long way to help you overcome emotional eating.
Yoga is a great way to overcome bad habits – regardless of how self destructive they have become. It is the mental benefits that will be of greatest benefit at the outset. But in time, the physical benefits will also play a great role in better health and well being.
If you have any bad habits you would like to stop, including those above, give yoga a try.