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How I Use Yoga to Combat Negative Thoughts

It's no secret that I love yoga. I love the movement, the strength, the flexibility, the relaxation, the calorie burn... And I love how it helps me combat negative thoughts.

I have been doing yoga off and on for years, but about three years ago I fully embraced the practice during I time I needed something uplifting and positive in my life. Little did I know what kind of impact yoga would have on my mental health and confidence.

The Need to Combat Negative Thoughts

Oh those nasty, ugly negative thoughts. They arise when I least expect them, causing me to lose confidence and decreasing my productivity and progress toward my goals. They can be simple or complex, but their goal is the same: To make me feel bad about myself and lose sight of my potential, divine worth, talent, and self love.

When do they show up? Like I said above, when you least expect it. They can show up when you're on the top of the world, reeling from a great win or accomplishment or when you're just beginning an endeavor and need all the confidence in the world to keep going.

I don't know if the negative thoughts ever really stop coming, but I do believe we can combat them, and put them back in their place--the nasty corner of the universe where they belong.

The Power of Yoga Against Negative Thoughts

Yoga is more than just moving in and out of poses and breathing. It is a moving meditation, a way of life, and a teaching tool that can help us improve in many parts of our lives, including quieting negative thoughts. Here are the aspects of yoga that I use to help combat negative thoughts.

Movement - The movement in yoga can feel much like a dance as I move in and out of poses. As I focus on each pose, the negative thoughts have no room to take root. Sometimes they may arise when I'm practicing, but because I'm so focused on the asanas and moving my body, the negative thoughts quickly quiet and melt away.

Moving Meditation - Meditation is all about quieting the monkey mind, or the thoughts that are all over the place. It's about letting go of thought and becoming present, with your mind centered on the here and now and what you're currently doing. As I practice yoga, because my mind is focused on the poses, I find myself in a meditation, releasing the tasks and worries of the day and giving room in my mind only for the present. When I do this, negative thoughts, just as mentioned above in Movement, have no where to stay and they quickly dissipate.