10 Ways Yoga Has Made Me a Better Person

Samantha Allen
10 Ways Yoga Has Made Me a Better Person

If you’re like me, you probably started dabbling with yoga to get flatter abs and that oh-so-famous yoga pants butt. But now that my one year yoga-versary is coming up, I’ve realized I’ve gotten a lot more out of my practice than I first expected.

Though yoga has improved my strength, flexibility, and muscle tone, the most important changes I’ve experienced go more than booty-deep. Developing a regular practice has made me a better person in a whole bunch of surprising ways.

1. I’m A LOT more patient than I used to be.

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You know those people who sigh loudly and often when faced with a slow moving line? Sorry guys—that used to be me. Taking it slow with my yoga practice has made me much more patient.

2. I’m better at tolerating discomfort.

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For me, holding Runner’s Lunge for a few breaths feels like it takes hours. But by staying in that uncomfortable pose a little longer each time, I’ve learned that discomfort is tolerable and temporary. Now, I don’t lash out as much at my loved ones—even when I’m “hangry.”

3. I’m more open to adventure!

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Trying that first Handstand feels like a big risk, but all good adventures need risks! Facing my yoga fears has helped me face other fears, too, leaving me more open to the spirit of adventure.

4. I have more confidence in my abilities.

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If you’ve never struggled with doubts about your abilities, you’re probably not human. Achieving poses I never dreamed myself capable of gave me a new perspective, showing me I can do anything I set my mind to do.

5. I make better choices for myself and the planet.

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Yoga teaches us that we are inextricably connected to our world. My practice has made me more aware of how my eating and shopping habits affect the world as a whole. Small changes, like giving up bottled water, can make a big difference for the planet—and that benefits all of us.

6. I challenge negative thoughts before reacting to them.

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The meditative aspect of yoga helped me understand that a thought is just a thought—not an unshakeable truth that defines my reality. Mindfulness gives me the mental space to react with compassion, instead of anger or self-doubt.

7. I don’t “rage quit” anymore.

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“Didn’t do it right the first time. Better give up forever!” Yeah, that excuse doesn’t fly with me anymore. Committing to a yoga practice means committing to failure. Getting it wrong isn’t a dead end—it’s a pathway to success.

8. I actually listen when other people talk.

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Confession: I used to be so socially anxious that I would stress about my facial expressions instead of actually listening to what other people were saying.

Yoga has dialed back my anxiety overall, so I find it much easier to just relax and be myself. Now I actually listen, and that makes me a much better friend.

9. I appreciate my surroundings.

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Instead of reaching for my phone, sometimes I take a deep breath and actually look at the things going on around me. Noticing the birds outside or the feeling of a breeze on my skin brings a whole new meaning to #nofilter.

10. I believe that anything is possible.

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Solving world hunger? No problem! Achieving world peace? That shouldn’t be hard! If I—the consummate couch potato—can commit to a regular yoga practice, then pretty much anything can happen.

How has yoga changed YOUR life? Let us know in the comments!