The Effect of Yoga on Moods

If you will allow it, the effect of yoga on your mood can be profound. I’ve seen it, and I’ve experienced it, but since everything begins with the individual, the individual must allow it to happen.

Look, you can come to a yoga class with an open heart and mind and be open to whatever experience may come your way. Or you can be dragged unwillingly to a yoga class, with a closed mind or preconceived notions, and get absolutely nothing out of it.

So a definite prerequisite to the effects of yoga on you would be taking your yoga when you are ready. When you can leave any judgment at the door, you can open yourself to the experience.

We’ve all gone into class before in a bad mood. Whether it’s been a rough day, you don’t feel great, something is weighing on your mind, or you just feel sad, there are plenty of times and reasons that you enter class not in the best frame of mind. In that position, if you can be open to the class, listen to your teacher’s words without thinking too much, without being overanalytical or trying to think ahead. Be present in that time, that space, that moment. Try to use your breath to focus so that you can let the monkey mind quiet. Just let yourself go.

When you finish the class, examine your mood. You will invariably find that it’s lighter, that your chest feels less tight, your mind clearer and your focus more clear. You may even be able to solve a problem or two without the constant chatter of an unquiet mind.

I have experienced this progression as a student. I am privileged to see this progression in other students when I teach. When someone comes to class distracted, anxious or otherwise out of sorts, I can see clearly as the class goes on how the yoga effects the student. I can see breathing become more even … relaxation and grace creep into their muscles … faces smooth out … it is truly a privilege to witness, and more or less instant gratification for both me and the student.

This is when I know my offering of yoga is complete, when someone’s mood and point of view have changed so dramatically.

Imagine how nice it would be to start off your day that way. I’m a morning class person, so come visit me Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and Tuesdays at 6:30 a.m.

The light in me bows to the light in you. Namaste.