Does it seem like an improbable connection? Apparently people are finding that yoga is helpful in dealing with the emotions that come up during divorce. I’ve been pondering why that might be.
First, yoga gets you out of your head and into your body. The first stage of yoga practice involves asanas, physical postures. When you are trying to stretch, relax, breathe, and maintain good form, it is nearly impossible to worry about anything else. This has to be good for you.
Second, the physical activity stimulates serotonin and other hormones that generate a sense of well-being.
Third, the focus on breathing—pranayamas–helps you to center and focus. Instead of having that sense of scattered, frantic uncertainty, you can settle into the here and now—this moment, this breath.
And, finally, the closing meditation facilitates deeper relaxation and another way for the thinking mind to rest. As you let your thoughts go by, as you note your feelings without judging them, you can better accept yourself and your situation. You can find some ease in the midst of stress, and you can build your capacity for expanding that ease.
Yoga isn’t exactly an antidote to the stress of divorce, but it can support you in minimizing some of the painful and negative emotions that come up. As a bonus, you’ll also feel healthier and more fit.