Yoga and Wellness – Benefits Beyond the Physical
August 31, 2022
Did you know there is more to your health than just physical wellness? Depending on which resource you use, researchers have identified up to eight components in what is known as “the Wellness Wheel”.
If you needed one more reason to start your yoga practice and/or become more consistent in showing up on your mat, this could be it! While most of the western world views yoga as physical exercise, it actually benefits many aspects of the wellness wheel. In this blog, we will break down a few of the components of the Wellness Wheel and how practising yoga can help you improve in five of those areas.
“Physical Wellness” refers to your body’s physical health, including exercise, nutrition, sleep, hydration, etc.. It’s pretty apparent, but yoga provides numeral benefits when it comes to the physical asana practice. Yoga provides mobility and balance training, core stabilization, as well as some muscular endurance and cardiovascular benefits. Having a regular yoga practice (or any physical exercise regime) can also improve your sleep as well.
“Emotional Wellness” is the ability to understand and constructively express your feelings and emotions. It also deals with effectively using coping mechanisms to manage stress. Yoga teaches many stress management techniques, from pranayama (breathwork) to meditation, mantras, and even chanting. Moving your body is an excellent way to complete the store ss cycle, as well.
“Spiritual Wellness” relates to your beliefs and values that guide your life decisions and your sense of purpose in life. This can be achieved through religion or simply through mindfulness and meditation. Your yoga practice allows you an opportunity to connect with your highest self whether you refer to that as your soul, spirit, consciousness, or light. Spiritual wellness is a very individual experience that leads you to trust your own inner guide.
“Intellectual Wellness” focuses on lifelong learning and building curiosity for topics that interest you! One of the niyamas (personal practices) on the eight-limb path of yoga is “swadyaya”, which means self-study. This can be achieved by enrolling in yoga teacher training to deepen your knowledge of the practice and yourself. If yoga is an area of curiosity for you, there are thousands of books on the different aspects of yoga. Stay tuned for a future blog post about some yoga books you will love!
Social Wellness is your sense of connection to others and building and maintaining positive relationships in your life. Joining a yoga community, such as Uptown Yoga, is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals who have similar interests and goals as you. Joining a yoga studio is a great way to make friends, even if you consider yourself to be on the shy side. Being a part of a yoga community allows you to surround yourself with positive people and ideas and can give you a sense of belonging.
Whether it was learning about the different components of the Wellness Wheel or gaining a new perspective on how you benefit from your yoga practice, hopefully, you learned something new! Next time you step on your mat, think of how you are improving your whole wellness!
Lisa is a 500hr- ERYT and fitness educator. She has a passion for training yoga teachers and other fitness professionals to spread the love of movement. Her mission is to help everyone find freedom through movement by getting out of their heads and into their hearts.