As the days begin to lengthen, we begin to look forward to the onset of spring. For many people, this season is synonymous with spring cleaning; a clear-out of all of the junk that clutters up our home and our daily routine. What many of us may not realise is that much of the disorder in our lives is actually contained within our minds.

In the frantic pace of today’s modern world, it’s common to feel stressed, overworked and anxious. We all have a million and one things to keep on top of, so finding a moment’s respite feels like a luxury we can’t afford. But it doesn’t have to be like that – and it certainly shouldn’t. Achieving a clear mind is well within our reach, and yoga can act as the key. Incorporating as little as fifteen minutes of yoga every day – or better yet, signing up for a yoga course – can do wonders for our mental and physical state, relaxing the body and the mind in unison.

Silencing the voices

4833916031_e8205e7d17_bCopyright © 2010. Jean Henrique Wichinoski.

We all have an inner monologue that runs in the back of our minds. Worries, regrets, hopes, fears – these all play a prominent role in the daily function of our mental processes and they can cause undue levels of stress and tension. Quieting the background chatter through the simple use of silence can allow us to release our cares, leaving us refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges of a new day.

If you prefer sound, the repetition of mantras can also lead to inner tranquillity, since they act to silence all other thoughts and voices. In this way, the adoption of a mantra during yoga can release us into a state of mental wellbeing that is normally inaccessible to the human mind.

Breathe to relieve

Something as simple and everyday as inhalation and exhalation may seem so fundamental that it can’t possibly require any attention. However, by controlling the rhythms and patterns of our breathing, we can harness the focus of our bodies and our minds. Respiration and thought are intrinsically linked; if one becomes ragged, uneven or shallow, so does the other. Therefore, a smooth, silent and steady breathing pattern can enhance concentration and relieve the mind of anxiety.

There are a variety of breathing exercises which can help to calm a worried psyche and allow us to unleash an inner peace when used in conjunction with yoga.

From pose to repose

Adopting a yoga pose focuses the body and the mind on one specific action. The repetition of specific postures can not only increase flexibility and muscle strength, but actually work in tandem with the mind to realise a state of inner clarity and quiet.

This is true for exercises that are performed regularly in class or at home, or even at times of great stress and worry, whether that be in the office, stuck in a traffic jam or during an emergency. Certain poses in particular can provide instant relief from mental anguish, especially when used in conjunction with other aspects of yoga. If you’re feeling overworked, take a deep breath, strike a pose and let silence reign supreme. Clarity of mind is sure to follow.