Happiness + Yoga >>

The other day, a friend asked a really good question on the abhaya facebook page (btw, are we fb friends yet, because omg we totally should be). >>

"In my experience, I have yet to meet a pissed-off person that regularly practices yoga - what's happening here? Is it that yoga creates happiness, or are only happy-type people attracted to yoga?"

I thought this was a spectacular question, and I've given it some thought. I think it's sort of complicated and of course it varies a lot because there are just so many reasons that people come to yoga, and so many different types of people. But in general, and definitely for me, yoga creates happiness.

I didn't used to be happy. Not like I am now, anyway. I used to feel much more like a pendulum, swinging way up one way some days, way back the other way on other days, and the rest of the time some variation of up or down or blah. And honestly, before yoga I don't think I really thought about how I felt most of the time, unless it was a very extreme emotion like anger or ecstasy. I had very little self-awareness, and did not proceed with anything particularly intentionally.

Eventually, I realized that something wasn't working in my life. I was stressed out and anxious, and a little (okay, a lot) directionless. Some of it had to do with personal life circumstances which is life, it's just what happens. But the rest of it - my perspective- was coming from the inside. I didn't consciously start devoting myself to my yoga practice to solve any problems. I originally just did it because it was something that I liked to do once in awhile, and it seemed like more would be a good thing. But eventually, yoga sorta worked its way from the inside out on me, and one day I realized that it felt like the storm in my head cleared. It was a very distinct realization, and the only thing I could think of was that it had to be the yoga. So I did more. And I read more. And I practiced more. And I started this blog. And now I've started teaching. And I can honestly say that although my life isn't perfect and I still have some ups and downs, I have never been more happy in my life than I am at this moment.

Yoga creates intention, it creates awareness, it creates compassion, it creates creativity (you heard me). Those are things that were missing in my life, and I found a way to make space for them. If those are things that are missing in your life, than maybe yoga is for you, too. I don't necessarily think yoga is the answer for everyone, but I do think that finding what makes you feel whole and putting your heart and soul into it is. For me, it's yoga. What is it for you?

shanti >> sondra


  1. Great post Sondra! I totally am with you, I love yoga! I also have a huge love for Pilates. They really do foster happiness and peacefulness! Practicing yoga, Pilates, eating healthy food, being mindful of my thoughts and actions, rooting myself in nature, reading signs from the world, reciting positive affirmations, connecting with wildlife and just dreaming big are the things that have changed me to the person I am. To the person who feels whole and alive! They also have allowed me to extend my creativity into something I never knew I could ever accomplish by opening my Etsy shop :)

  2. I've been thinking about doing yoga for some time now but there's really not an opportunity that's close enough. Maybe you have to make some videos ;)
    By the way, I wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for a Liebster award :) You can see my post here: http://bodaciousthought.blogspot.be/2012/07/liebster-award.html

  3. abhaya_sondra7/29/12, 12:14 PM


  4. abhaya_sondra7/29/12, 12:14 PM

    testing reply

  5. The more I read from you, the more I think I need to pick up yoga. Maybe it's time I stop thinking it and I just do it!

  6. Great response, Sondra! Thanks for answering my random question. I especially appreciated that last part, about self-awareness and feeling whole. I feel like that is what is missing quite a bit in our society today, people are missing the understanding of who they are and where they fit in the "system" of life on our planet. Yoga has definitely helped me tap into that - same with hiking and experiencing the outdoors. And knitting.
    Keep writing! I love it!

  7. abhaya_sondra7/30/12, 4:03 PM

    Did you know knitting and other handcrafts activate the same brainwave patterns as meditation? That's why it makes you feel so calm... :)

  8. abhaya_sondra7/30/12, 4:08 PM

    It took me a long time of thinking about it before I actually started, too, but we all have our own journey, haha. There are some great online resources as well - I like yogajournal's site because they break it down by level, and they have lots of in depth info: http://www.yogajournal.com/video/level/beginner/