Episode 2: The Positive Impact of Yoga on High Sensitivity

Yoga In Nature

Hello beautiful people and welcome to Episode 2 of The Yogi C Podcast !

In this episode, we will talk about how yoga can help you with your high sensitivity.

First I’ll do a intro going through current things impacting our emotional body, then I will defined what stress and emotions are, after I’ll do a global presentation of what positive impacts do Yoga make, and finally I will dive deeper in 6 positive impacts that plan a role on High Sensitivity.

Despite having improved our physical conditions in the modern days we still encounter struggles in the management of our emotional body. Today’s society is pushing us to face stressful situations such as unemployment, competitions, non-atteignable targets, high expectations at work or family pressure which cause the increase of anxiety levels. 

 » Stress is not viewed as a singular event, but as a transaction between an individual and the environment that makes demand on all available coping resources of the body-mind complex.  » – cf. ref #2. 

When the levels exceed the coping abilities it can result in a negative emotion which can impulse aggressive reactions like irritability, anger… 

An emotion is defined as an intuitive response to an environmental stimuli that impacts the wellbeing and plays an important role in human behaviours. Those emotions are categorised in 2 groups: the positive and negative affects.

So I did some research, what are yoga positive impacts ?

There have been some studies showing the positive impact of Yoga on depression and anxiety but also in reducing physical pain such as chronic back pain or help with very stressful health situations such as cancer, asthma, post stroke patients…

Those benefits improve quality of life specially on flexibility, immunity, pulmonary functions which increase lifespan.

Yoga also improves cognitive functions which help with perception, memory & give better learning skill: Practicing yoga before exams also shows improved concentration, improved efficiency and increased attentiveness…. Plus, studies show the positive impact on the mood, indeed the relaxation response that we feel after a yoga session gives us the ability to answer a situation with more ease. 

It impacts Mental health indeed it cultivates a sense of calmness and wellbeing, it changes life perspective, self-awareness and it improves our energy to live a life with more enjoyment. Indeed, Yoga makes you turn within and guides you on your healing journey and shows that with a positive mindset healing happens faster.

 » Yoga should be considered as a complementary therapy or alternative method for medical therapy in the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders as it has been shown to create a greater sense of well-being, increase feelings of relaxation, improve self-confidence and body image, improve efficiency, better interpersonal relationships, increase attentiveness, lower irritability, and encourage an optimistic outlook on life. » – cf ref #2

Let’s dive deeper, and talk about the main 6 positive impact.

  • Reconnecting with your Essence

The thing that really bought it for me with Yoga was linking movement to the breath and doing movements that have the purpose to make me feel better. Highly Sensitives are always looking for purpose in everything they do but they might struggle in doing high impact sports. With Yoga being about honouring your physical, emotional and spiritual body as well as being a low impact practice, it is the perfect match. Your practice can be about feeling better in your body because of some injuries or chronic pain, it can be reconnecting with your inner child, reconnecting with the energies, reconnecting with the elements.

  • Yoga have an impact on the nervous system

Highly sensitives are constantly over stimulating their nervous system as we learned in the 1st episode of the Yogi C Podcast. The reconnection with the breath and the meditative states are beneficial to manage intense emotion, anxiety or stress. With Yoga working on both the mind and the body it actually helps with how one communicates with the other.

Also, yoga having different types of practice – here are 4 :

There is the classic Hatha Vinyasa Yoga where you hold a pose in between 3 to 8 breath, it is sequence to reach a peak and cool down to meditation.

There is Bikram Yoga also know as Hot Yoga where you practice in a 40 degrees room which help you burn calories, build bone density, boost your cardiovascular fitness…

There is Power Yoga that is vigorous and sweaty which is a real fitness session.

There is Yin Yoga that is slow and rejuvenating that helps and rebalance your energy system.

Taking different classes answer all the different needs Highly Sensitives have and help them reach balance.

  • Disconnect a circle of thoughts

One of the main things as highly sensitive is that we can easily be caught up in a circle of thoughts and process non stop information. This is very tiring mentally and physically which Yoga can prevent as it allows you to focus on one thing only. It brings your focus back on your body and sensations. You have to pay attention to your physical sensations to flow without hurting yourself. It is a sanctuary for you to take a break of all the outward stimulus and recenter on your own self.

  • It is adaptive

The beauty of Yoga is that it adapts to every body, every mind, every story. Most yoga classes would offer different variations of different poses. It is important to listen to your body ! Of course challenging your body a little bit is good but if you feel it is really not smooth then quiet your ego and take the easiest variation. Once you are very comfortable in this variation then you can think of taking the next step. If we take into account everything that can impact you like your sleep, your alimentation, your injuries, your stress, your practice can look different each day, and that’s alright ! Some days, you will want to set it out and challenge yourself, some other you will want to take it slow and breathe and all of this is alright , Yoga is made for this. Just listen to yourself, it is the key to feeling good in your body and in your mind.

  • Regulate your emotions

Emotions and physiological cues are actually referring to our inner energy in motion. You need to feel it, accept it to let it go though you. It’s important to take advantage of that space to process everything that impacts you throughout the day. With constant practice you will actually develop your intuition and understanding of what triggered you, how it feels physically, and what helps release them the best.

  • Realise how High Sensitivity can be power

While practicing yoga, you are allowed to be fully yourself. “ You have permission to enjoy questioning the big things, to find beauty in nature, to find joy in movement… It brings you back to your truth and what it is that lights your fire. This is, for me, when the HSP spirit truly thrives.” – Nichola Day. It allows you to build self confidence during the practice, testing yourself, pushing forward, accepting your  limits. But remember that the magic takes time to work and you won’t feel changed after one day. You’ll have to develop self discipline to keep showing for yourself even the days you really don’t feel like it. But you’ll see after some time, the benefits will be felt, you will find strength, resilience, peace…

Personal Experience

Before Yoga I was so easily overwhelmed by my high sensitivity it was a real handicap but with Yoga I have learned to manage it and live with it more peacefully.

For instance, I used to avoid spending time within. 

I would try to always be surrounded and do something so I wouldn’t have to face my thoughts and limiting beliefs. Going within was a place of anxiety for me growing up. 

But when I really got into Yoga and I started doing breath-work – Pranayama, I actually awoke to the pleasure of discovering my every sensation. Understanding my sensations allowed me to act accordingly to feel better with movement, meditation.. 

There are still some days where emotions will take over but Yoga gave me the tools to apprehend it. There are still some days where I don’t have the motivation to move but even if it is for 10 minutes I push myself and feel so grateful afterwards.

Yoga is my escape now, it allows me to find peace, recenter on my self and what really matters to me, so I can take the proper steps towards it.





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