When I was a medical student, I was fascinated by the brain, the nervous system, the connections through our body & the rate of which information was being passed down. It was mind-blowing. Most of us are processing information so fast, that there are times where we need to step back and start bringing awareness of what factors have created the state of mind we are currently in now. This got me thinking about happiness, even my own, and what daily practices are implemented to create individual circumstances. We are creatures of habit and respond to instant gratification, whether its food, sex, alcohol, TV, Social media, travel, exercise or anything else that bring us that much closer to satisfaction. It takes time for the brain to adjust to these patterns and create pathways that we have developed for years. This process is called, Neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.
Now let’s just clear a few things up. Happy people do not have easier lives, less financial strain or work less. They’re simply more grateful for what they have and choose to be conscious of their contentment more often.
As a modern-day Yogi and yoga teacher, we use Yoga and meditation as a method of self-improvement. We do yoga simply so we can get better at it. Gain strength, flexibility, confidence, become kinder, look better naked & become more patient. We use different tools like meditation, breathing techniques, muscle engagement and creating a flow of energy throughout the Body, Mind & Soul.
When I had left medical school 3 years ago, I was at my lowest point. I was confused, ashamed, felt guilt and felt like a failure. I was looking for answers and knew I needed to change the course of life and my state of mine. I needed to feel good about myself and to rebuild my most important relationship: ME. I started connecting with local yogis in Toronto and began learning an ancient practice over 4000 years old. Yoga forces me to stop and do the things I know will help make me happier and consistency is the key to life. The benefits of practicing yoga have been known by yogis for thousands of years, but modern research proves that it truly can make you happier.
Different Yoga with Benefits
Many people envision yoga to just pose in a statue-like form, with complete flexibility. This is only a fraction of what yoga is. It completely aligns your Body to itself and creates that awareness between you and your body. To really fine tune movements and to ultimately heal yourself from any pain and trauma you have experienced. There are so many types of yoga, so I would definitely check out each studio on what they offer and how each type of Yoga can benefit you. There are very spiritually-focused and/or relaxing all the way up to very athletic and physically demanding.
Yoga changes your brain IMMEDIATELY
Did you know that studies have shown that the brains gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels spike just after 1 HOUR after yoga? Higher GABA levels are associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety.
Long-term yoga practice creates long-term changes
People who stick to practicing yoga regularly report to be happier and healthier. Yoga reduces fatigue, anxiety, and anger. Real biochemical changes created through yoga practice support better physical and mental health. Yoga created an incredible community of people, learning, diversity and opens up the doors to new possibilities.
Breathing makes you happier
Every yoga practice will always emphasize breathing. Breathing is the source of life, and as we learn how to breathe with more consciousness and purpose. When we understand how to inhale and exhale, we can then change our brain biochemistry. Research has shown that the ability to become aware of and regulate the breath is key in terms of lowering stress and to feel happier.
Yoga of all types strengthens that brain-body connection where the body sends messages to the brain that make it feel strong and positive. Yoga creates an incredible community of people, with so much ancient knowledge, diversity and opens up the doors to new possibilities. I encourage you to not only practice yoga but to find what are the activities that truly make you happy. Challenging yourself, ask questions, get out of your comfort zone. This will only deepen the connection to your soul. There is no one too old or young for such a beautiful practice. Anyone with any injuries past or present can do all types of yoga, even with modifications. I remind all those who have found their darkest moment alone, crying, angry, confused, depressed to truly evaluate what are the patterns that have lead to this. What are the next steps you are going to take to create those new connections of neuroplasticity in the brain, to create new pathways of self-love, improvement, and success? Happiness comes from within you and finding it is a different process for everyone. Don’t be afraid and gain as much knowledge as you need to start this beautiful journey and be patient and kind to yourself.
Hatha & Postpartum Yoga Teacher
Birth & Postpartum Doula
Thai Massage Therapist
Health & Wellness Entrepreneur