Young woman in yoga side stretch on floor in front of wooden wall

Whether it’s low self-esteem, drinking, smoking, or a lack of control, we all have bad habits that we want to change. There are a lot of techniques to accomplish this feat but, the truth is, the majority of them don’t work. We may refrain from engaging in the habit or tackle it head-on, but habits are habits for a reason. And, if we are not diligent, they often come back to haunt us.

Thankfully, there’s a way to effectively remove these unhealthy habits from your life. How? It’s quite simple really - employ a more holistic approach (like yoga) to the problem.

Don't believe it? Check out 3 reasons why yoga eliminates bad habits below:

It builds self-awareness

Bad habits are deeply ingrained, that’s why they're your go-to responses. For instance, when you reach for that cigarette or slice of greasy pizza, you are not conscious, you are reacting to your craving.

Yoga helps you slow down so you can clearly see the compulsive behavior - the first step towards getting rid of the bad habit. With regular practice, you will find that you’ve developed the ability to pause and process your thoughts before you make a move. A skill that is quite useful off the mat as well.

For instance, your first instinct might be to wear any old pants during your yoga session. But, you may soon discover them to be lacking, whether they are so loose they bunch up or so tight they restrict movement. The distraction and awareness of this discomfort will inspire you to try proper yoga pants that fit comfortably while providing freedom of movement.

During every yoga session, you must deepen your breath and sync your movements with it. To do this properly, you have to pay attention to your feelings as well as how the things that you do affect both your attitude and body. Staying connected to your breath will let you know if you are moving through your postures too fast or pushing your body too far.

Yoga requires commitment

Deprivation never works. Trying to stay away from something you love (like your favorite fat-filled dessert) only makes it more tempting. This increases the possibility that you will give in to your baser nature at least once or twice.

Don't panic, this is normal human behavior. And, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing - if it only happens every once in awhile. In this case, the thing that matters is that you are making progress and that (for the most part) you stick to your plan.

Some yoga poses will challenge your balance - think tree pose. This pose isn’t the easiest to master and you are going to fall many times. But, the key to mastering the pose is simple - just try it again. This cycle (trying out a pose, failing, and trying again) teaches you to remain steadfast, even in times of adversity. Consistent effort over time equals to significant progress in your life.

It deepens your perspective

In today’s world, where many are used to instant gratification, yoga broadens your perspective. This new viewpoint will help you see what you need to achieve sustained happiness.

When you consistently practice yoga with its benefits, it helps you become more honest with yourself. For instance, virtually every yoga pose has a more challenging variation. When you are starting out, you may want to start things off slow. Pretty soon, you will notice the physical landmarks that signify that you are ready to advance (safely) to a harder version. In this way, yoga fosters a playful and light-hearted atmosphere where you can enjoy working toward your goal pose.

Yoga has the ability to help you build the strength, awareness, and willpower that will permanently eliminate your bad habits. Just remember that you should be patient with yourself and acknowledge your progress. When you recognize your capabilities it will inspire you to surpass your usual expectations. This empowering feeling will motivate you to make meaningful changes in your daily life.

Namaste.

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