Yoga helps balance human experience

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.”
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Is the glass half empty or half full? It’s a simple question, and there is no single answer. Perception and perspective determines a great deal of how we see and treat ourselves. The mind is highly influenced by the experiences and environments that shape perception, and philosophies about these ideas have been the topic of discussions for centuries. Everyday people say to themselves in the mirror, “I want to get fit for the summer.” But they can still find themselves caught off guard with exercise, steroid, and diet pill addiction. Even a person who has trained their mind to operate on a level of gratitude might find that the milestones they achieve are never enough, because they aren’t perfect. Why?

Healthy avenues to dieting, weightlifting, or exercising are always great ideas. But you can rob your body and brain of essential needs if less than healthy habits are created. This is true with diet pill addiction. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are behind the motivation of getting the body shape you desire; when yoga is used as a weight loss management tool, it eases the mind, body, and spirit. Some people want to practice health prevention measures, while others just want to increase their self-confidence while lounging on the beach.  Many feel for certain that achieving the desired results of a toned, lighter body is just another piece of the puzzle for happiness.

Positive body image is important, and regular practitioners might find themselves more content with their body. Men and women with an ideal body shape may feel like a mouse on a spinning wheel. Diet pill addiction and various unhealthy activities manifest themselves when a person is also unhealthy from within. The benefits of the ancient practices of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga plant seeds are fruitful beyond a good physique. The beauty that shines from within a person can radiate.

Scientific evidence proves how every time meditation and mindfulness living “increases in gray matter and cortical thickness.” The brain maintains its youth and vitality the same way the body does. Cell renewal is one of the main ways the human body heals damages from everyday toxins, pollutants, and other undesirable matter lurking around. Brain cells also go through changes throughout the years, for multiple reasons. A particular diet, pill addiction, old age, or trauma are a few examples that can morph with our brain cells. Increased gray matter can lead to more pain tolerance, better memory, learning, and retention, motor skills, emotions and critical thinking skills overall.

Regular yoga practice for 12-weeks and more is included in the extensive “research on the beneficial effects of exercise on depression and anxiety”. People express a sense of well being and clarity after simple yoga exercises. Yoga is credited to driving more of the Gamma Amino-Butryic Acid (GABA) neutro signals into the fast lane. This is a good thing if a person suffers from emotional impairments, such as anxiety and depression.  GABA levels are guessed to increase by a mind altering 27 percent after 60 minute sessions 3 days per week. Chronic negative thinking and stress is harmful for both the brain and body, and increasing GABA levels can ease your symptoms. Medical physician Korb explains how yoga changes the brain. “If you’re stressed, your muscles will tense (preparing to run away from a lion), and this will lead to more negative thinking.  Relaxing those muscles, particularly the facial muscles, will push the brain in the other direction, away from stress, and toward more relaxed thoughts.” The brain is a fascinating organ, and the new discoveries of the ways it can be rewired are remarkable.

Our cerebral cortex is the largest part of the brain. Scientists believe that this is where all the magic and mystery happens, since this gray matter is loaded with active neutron signals. The complex nature continues to be studied by the world’s most advanced neuropsychologists. It is responsible for the most recognizable functions that allow us to be productive for day to day activities. Simple functions that we do without a second thought are carried out by signals in the cerebral cortex part of the brain. Moving your fingers through your hair, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, or smiling from a pleasant thought are often autopilot reactions for many of us. This is true even for negative thinking that can affect the body.

The purpose of yoga is to find balance among all facets of the human experience. The human experience includes the body, mind, and soul. A diet pill addiction is only a temporary solution for a weight loss problem, while yoga can work for a lifetime. The elements that make up a person will have to eventually align for them to remain healthy. The Yin and Yang philosophy of two different but interconnected elements is similar to us as human beings. Negativity in the mind via thoughts rewire brain circuits. And what the brain computes can manifest into daily habits in reality. What yoga and mindfulness do is to ensure that this domino effect falls into the right places.

Zena Dunn
Holistic Substance Abuse Recovery Advocate
Elite Rehab Placement



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