Eva Norlyk Smith: Many people who practice yoga regularly say that not only does it get easier to get on to the mat, it also becomes easier to make better lifestyle choices -- eat more healthful foods, get enough rest, engage in more physical activity, and so on. Why is that?
Dr. Timothy McCall: That's the other piece of the puzzle. When yoga is practiced with sensitivity and attention, it gradually increases awareness. It awakens your ability to feel what's happening in your body, heart, and mind. When you become more aware of your body, more aware of your mind, more aware of your breath, you start to notice the consequences of your behavior. So a particular food that might not be so healthy may taste good to you, but you may start to realize that when you eat it, you feel crummy. When you notice that connection, you say, "You know what, I don't think I want to eat this anymore."
That's another way that yoga can help us to change habits. It comes from the inside. What the doctor tells you is one thing. But when you notice the consequences of your actions, it's a very different -- and much more effective -- motivator. This is your body's internal wisdom talking to you, and that advice is a lot easier to follow than that of a doctor.
I have found this to be true for myself personally. And it's way easier than fighting a bad habit.
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