Practicing yoga can come with many benefits—increasing physical strength, tightening your core, increasing flexibility—but for many, the benefits extend far beyond the physical. In fact, whether through wisdom imparted by the teachers or stilling the mind through the breathing exercises, the practice of yoga has led some to find themselves.
We asked 9 yogis to share how yoga has changed their lives and here’s what they have to say.
Why So Serious?
“Serious is my middle name. There are only so many times a girl can be asked “Why so serious?”. Over the years of yoga practice, I’ve learnt that yoga is not about all work and no play. It’s OK to laugh at myself when I wobble and topple over during class and it’s OK to laugh at myself when I make mistakes outside of the mat. Yoga is now a constant reminder for me to always be silly, honest and kind.” – Joey
Finding A Community
“Yoga always gives me what I want. When I wanted to learn and grow, yoga led me to many wonderful yoga teachers who continue to inspire me until today. A little over a year ago, when I moved to Singapore, I decided I wanted friends in Singapore. As soon as I put myself in a yoga community, I met many loving souls who I hope to continue to get to know. Not only do yoga lovers meet at the practice space, we also have moments during the practice to reflect on our deeds and desires. I feel that as long as we are congruent in our thoughts and actions, we will always get what we want.” – Jib
Dealing With Stress
“Moving to Singapore was exciting, but it was also a big transition in my life. It was my first time not having a full-time career and I hadn’t realized how much of my self-worth was connected to pursuing career goals. Yoga—particularly finding a yoga studio I loved—not only helped me feel a connection to home, but also helped me find peace of mind and a sense of belonging in the midst of a stressful time. Yoga is universal, no matter where in the world you are or who is teaching. I could find comfort in my practice and let go of worries, stress, and even leave behind an aching ego that was tied up in achievement and independence. And the great thing is, yoga ended up providing me with a rewarding career here as well.” – Lauren
“Failing the SIA cabin-crew medical helped me discover the severity of my scoliosis. That made me determined to do all that I could to be healthy and happy. I saw it as a blessing in disguise, as it led me to seek out natural ways to heal the body such as through movement, strengthening and a vegan lifestyle. I’ve seen and felt a huge improvement in my spine since. Having a consistent yoga practice was the best decision I’ve ever made. The journey, though not always easy, is something I will choose over and over again.” – Trish
Saying “Yes” More Often
“The more I showed up on the yoga mat, the more open I became to saying yes to opportunities I probably would’ve said no to previously. I enjoy being independent and doing my own thing — there’s nothing wrong with that — but I was starting to get too comfortable with being by myself that I noticed I was alone most of the time. Yoga helped me learn to say yes and to surround myself with people more often. Shifting my energy from a “no” to a “yes” created that possibility. Also, it makes me stretchy — super life changing!” – Kaj
Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone
“Yoga has slowly peeled my layers away, allowing me to face my deepest fears, insecurities and desires. I am able to let go of doubt, attachment and the fear of moving to new beginnings. This was apparent when I had to make the decision to leave my stable job and relationships behind in order to move to Maldives for a new career. It never occurred to me that there were other opportunities waiting for me. Yoga helped me gain the confidence to move forward and to never look back. Since then, I’ve never been more in control of my life. ” – Aly
Finding My Authentic Self
“I’m from Vietnam and have been working in Singapore for 6 years now. I always believed that my English sucked because it’s what my colleagues have told me. Yoga has opened my eyes to question and find out who I really am, my authentic self and not what someone once said about me or what I deduced from past life incidences. They are completely wrong; my English isn’t as bad as I thought it was!” – Anna
Change In Perspective
“Recently, I missed my step and tumbled down the stairs. Normally I would have cursed and swore but instead I said to myself, “whew, I got down those stairs fast!”. It came to me that my yoga practice has taught me how to shift my perspective on and off the mat. When I take on a different perspective, I see things differently and hence, respond differently. That change made me realize that I can take control of my thoughts, emotions and outlook on life.” – Matt
Confidence Inside And Out
“With my hectic work schedule, yoga is the only time I feel I am dedicating time to myself. Yoga has taught me many things in life; to be patient, to not rush the process. Everything I experience on my yoga mat can be applied in life. I became more confident as I practiced more and more (like when you see NBA Basketball players walking like there’s wind blowing through their hair with their head held high, full of pride, that’s how I feel). Yoga is a big part of my life and I will yoga till my hair turns white.” – Meerly
Yoga isn’t just about doing headstands and wrapping your legs behind your head; it’s about honoring the light from within and finding calm in the chaos. That said, yoga takes time, patience and determination—there’s no quick fix. It can touch your mind, your heart and your soul and with a constant practice, yoga just might give you a fresh take on life. So, let’s inhale the good shit and exhale the bullshit, Namaste.