The most experienced yogis know our thoughts impact our physical health, mental health, and emotions. Recent research has demonstrated the powerful effects of cultivating positive emotions and practicing mindfulness on physical health. Northwestern Feinberg School taught 80 HIV-positive people five weekly positive thinking and mindfulness sessions. A follow-up 15-month study showed a 13% decrease in HIV patients’ viral loads and a reduction in antidepressant use! This study focused on the health outcomes of HIV-positive individuals. Still, it also confirms that the daily use of simple techniques can impact our physical and psychological well-being.
These practices are easy to learn, simple, and accessible. The majority of these practices come from the new field of positive psychology. However, after reading the list, yoga students might remember one of Patanjali’s sutras (1.33).
The study teaches eight daily practices
Every day, recognize a positive experience.
Please write the positive experience in your journal or share it with someone.
Create a gratitude journal.
Each day, list a strength and describe how you have used it recently.
Each day, set a goal that you can achieve and track your progress.
Report a minor stressor each day and then list positive ways to reappraise it.
Practice a little kindness daily because small acts can have a considerable impact.
Focus on your breath and practice mindfulness by doing a 10-minute breathing workout daily.
These practices are not only beneficial for those with HIV but also for anyone else. These exercises can be done at any time of the day. These exercises can be adapted and integrated into your yoga practice.
Here are some ideas for a start
Keep a journal in your yoga bag or next to your mat. Journal about the first six yoga practices. You can journal at either the beginning or end of your course.
Start or end your yoga practice with a few minutes of pranayama (or meditation).
Find ways to show kindness to yourself, your yoga teacher, and your fellow students in your yoga class.
Create or strengthen your relationship with a class buddy who shares your goals and accomplishments.
Please tell us how you incorporate one or more practices from this list into your Yoga routine. Let us know how you incorporate these practices into your daily yoga routine!