If you are a healthcare professional, or work in an industry affected by the global pandemic, you may be feeling the effects from a long month of social distancing, stressful work environments and just overall exhaustion from the constant negative news across the world. So, maybe it is time to unplug from the world around you and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul.
Through yoga, meditation and other healing art forms, you can help yourself get back on track to having a healthy routine, both physically and mentally. But before we get into how it affects your health, let’s take a second to go into the background of yoga and meditation and what it exactly does for us.
If you have ever been on Facebook, or more commonly, on Instagram, you might have noticed an increasingly popular trend of people striking difficult yoga poses for that picture-perfect photo opportunity. Because the more “likes” you can get on social media, the better, right? Wrong. Yoga is not about doing fancy poses to get more attention on social media, it’s about tying the mind and body together through physical exercise that’s based on a 5,000-year-old, ancient Indian philosophy.
Although there is no written record of when yoga was first created, it is believed to have roots in South Asia, which expanded to the rest of the world. Men who practice the art are known as “yogis” and women are known as “yoginis”. The earliest written record of yoga is in the “Yoga Sutra”, a 2,000-year-old guidebook on how to master the mind, control the emotions and grow spiritually. And even though modern day yoga tends to focus on fitness as a primary goal, this ancient, early form of yoga focuses more directly on expanding spiritual energy.
In the practice of yoga, there are six branches of philosophy. Each branch has its own unique way of implementing different strategies to narrow down what type of yoga best fits what you are trying to achieve. In modern yoga, you will use these techniques to focus on exercise, strength, flexibility and breathing.
There are many types and styles of yoga including:
Yoga has many other forms and types that you can find here. And you may have noticed a pattern by now, but meditation and yoga are different in the sense that meditation is a part of yoga, where you deal with mental relaxation and concentration.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what yoga and meditation are and how they are done, let’s get to the root of why people find it so appealing to add these practices to their daily exercise routines.
As previously mentioned, yoga is the practice of incorporating breathing exercises, meditation techniques and poses that are designed to keep your mind and body in check. Many health experts find that by incorporating yoga and meditation into your daily or weekly routines, you can witness a positive change in both your mental and physical well-being.
So, if you were on the fence before about pulling out your yoga mat, you might want to consider all the positive health benefits behind implementing a quick yoga exercise into your daily routine. It may be worth the extra 30-45 minutes a day to help improve your mind and body.
While yoga and meditation are pretty popular forms of the healing arts, there are many more variations that you can look into if you aren't feeling the right vibes. Healing arts are creative practices that promote healing, wellness, coping and personal changes that typically include music, art, dance/movement, poetry/writing and drama therapies.
There are multiple specialists and techniques that you can work with to find the right medium between art and psychology, which can help you both emotionally and physically on your road to recovery. Healing arts usually allow the individual to explore a deeper meaning to the images or songs in front of them. It allows for the individual to express feelings and emotions associated with the art, and allows for a deeper conversation with a professional who can help you cope or understand those feelings. Through these healing art techniques, people can live stronger, healthier lives and focus on the tasks in front of them more clearly.
So, whether it’s meditating to concentrate on your breathing or taking a paint brush to a blank canvas to express your feelings, actively participating in the healing arts can have insurmountable positive benefits to your overall well being.