If you’re dealing with emotional pain, addiction, are feeling trapped or simply stuck in a rut, chances are your soul needs some nurturing. A purely intellectual approach to solving these issues isn’t enough, as repetitive negative thinking patterns serve only to intensify the experience of suffering.

The transformative practice of yoga invites balance and clarity into your life. This enhances flexibility of thinking, while releasing blockages held in the body, which in turn, can all aid in healing the soul.

Yoga releases emotional blockages

Your body and mind are intrinsically connected, in that every thought you have registers a feeling in your body. If your thoughts often gravitate towards anxiety-producing negativity, stress or resentment, they can alter your nervous system and trigger physical illness, all while amplifying emotional pain.

With regular yoga practice, you release the build-up of emotional and physical toxins stored in the body. Stretching your muscles. While focusing on the breath, shifts trapped feelings and frees the flow of life-force, otherwise known as prana.

You’re able to draw on this vital energy to confidently deal with problems, instead of feeling victimised, tired, frustrated or depressed because of them.

Yoga combats stress to ease your soul

In today’s busy world, it’s hard to escape stress. Whether it’s the constant ringing of your phone or pinging of devices, hectic traffic or just too many chores to fit into the day, stress can put us into ‘fight or flight’ mode unnecessarily. The body’s response to threat or danger is to speed the heart rate and release hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol.

The problem is, this system isn’t designed for over-use. If you react to anxiety in this way often, you deplete energy and increase your chance of health risks.

For example, your nervous system is responsible for putting the body into a ‘rest and digest’ cycle, whereby resources and energy are sent to help functions like digestion. When we react to something which has caused intense anxiety, these resources are taken away from primary physical functions and then sent to the muscles, because it appears to your nervous system as if you need to run away from a life-threatening predator!

Pranayama – breathing techniques – and flowing, meditative movement slow the heart rate, calm the mind and allow you to create space from repetitive thoughts that lead to undue stress. Over time, you become much more capable at naturally responding, from a clear perspective, to outwardly stressful situations.

Yoga heals addictions

The term ‘troubled soul’ is often used to refer to people suffering with addiction, which is a way to escape the reality of their lives. Truth be told, certain substances used, often induce very similar results as those brought about by a regular asana practice, as endorphins are released to alter your mood and increase happiness.

Addictions can also form due to the need for control, calm or a sense of security, though often the cravings are deeply subconscious. Yoga supports the process of delving deep within, to acknowledge and accept issues, in order to move towards self-improvement.

This transformational power helps close the gap that dangerous addictions attempt to fill. However, unlike unhealthy substances or behaviours, yoga brings deep and lasting change, as peace and unconditional love serve to eliminate troubles and soothe the soul.