How Does Yoga Connect The Mind, Body, and Spirit?

Dr. Timothy McCall, Yoga Journal’s medical editor and author of the book, “Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing” describes the mind-body connection with three simple examples:

  • Your mouth waters when you think of your favorite food
  • You feel butterflies in your stomach as you prepare for a presentation
  • An athlete “chokes” at a big moment during their competition

Healing and restoration begins not only when we start gearing our thoughts towards it, but when our actions reflect those thoughts as well. The mind-body connection is ever too real, as expressed in the examples above. Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that has been around for thousands of years, and has been used to help people find peace, healing, and well-being in their lives. The postures that yoga incorporates are often symbolic of the feelings and messages we’d like to convey, whether that’s love, openness, courage, or something else. According to an article published by PLOS, yoga is based on embodiment, which is described by researchers Wilson and Golonka as, “…the radical hypothesis that the brain is not the sole source we have available to us to solve problems.”

Yoga involves a mind-body dualism, with the belief that the body’s processes can influence the mind. As our senses and perceptions change with each yoga position, so can our own perspectives on ourselves, others, and life. We can gain a more holistic view of our role in the world when we connect with our bodies in this way. In fact, certain yoga positions have been said to either stimulate the mind or promote a more introspective state of being, which opens a window of mind-body experiences for those who practice.

The mind, body, and spirit are all components that are central to holistic practice, because those three entities are what make up each person’s overall happiness, health, and well-being. By building the mind-body connection, the spirit can too become more intact with a person’s needs, wants, desires, and life purpose. Building these takes time, but yoga is an excellent place to begin.

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