Let's smile! I have gathered a few little stories from clients and friends showing how yoga has changed their mood- for the better! Would love you to share yours too.... Also I'm musing about Maslow and the Big Issue Vendors....
Look, I really can't speak for the neuroscience or the psychology of this, merely from an experiential/annecdotal perspective. However, this evidence is so overwhelming, my clients are made happier by practicing.
Inspired by the guest blog earlier this week where Lucy has been feeling less stressed through yoga. I thought it would be worthwhile gathering more of these anecdotes.
My friend from Glasgow and I were having a coffee today, and her yoga teacher had a client who had just lost his job of 30 years and was in a bad way. He tried yoga, after one week he was feeling more on top of things. so much so he did a clear out of his house a spring clean for his wife! She was so happy with that because he had never done that in 30 years. He was inspired by the yoga tradition of making your environment a pleasant place to be.
Another friend of mine took to yoga after her divorce. She is now much happier and centered teaching and loving it!
How much does yoga help you do this? Or do you come to yoga when you are ready to move on from grief and into a happier place? I don't know.
I am trying to test this by introducing yoga to people in bad places at the moment. The Big Issue class is finally on Friday! We made the quota for this weeks ago, but I'd booked it in way in advance never dreaming I would make 50 clients by November! Obviously we have! But Big Issue vendors are in a bad place right now. Probably not as bad a place as they have been in- they are holding down this regular business/job and getting less homeless if that is a verb.... but I'd say (and I think the guys who do it and I regularly chat to would say) that they are in a bad place.
On Friday we can see if this does make people happier.
I think it will help. but have you heard of Maslow's Heirarchy of needs? If your basic needs (shelter and food) are not being met you're not going to be so interested in higher needs that yoga will satisfy (self fulfillment, honing your health) apparently the turn out for the Big Issue health week events are typically low. So I'm preparing myself for a low turn out. But I'm also providing cake,teas and coffees.
It is a fact that if you're struggling for the basics (shelter) you may not be motivated to turn to yoga. But I don't think this undermines Yoga Quota's aims to spread yoga to all groups of people. At the moment only the most comfortably off try yoga, and they are working on the top of their Maslow pyramid typically. But it could mean the type of yoga and the way I pitch it to the Big Issue vendors will be adapted. And it doesn't mean that only the rich and housed and comfortable could do with doing yoga.