Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Integration

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Integration In Yoga

A Transformative Exploration of Thoughts, Patterns, and Emotions for Enhanced Well-being - By Linda Kleida Romera

Reading time: 4 minutes

Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with your journaling* and yoga practice can open up powerful insights and level up your yoga practice (and life). As always, yoga is much more than what we do on the mat -  With the inspiration of CBT, we can explore our thoughts, emotions and patterns.

I invite you to explore these 5 key areas of CBT and how you can adapt them to your yoga practice. Also, here are CBT-inspired journal questions to reflect on.

Automatic Thoughts:

Automatic thoughts refer to the initial quick stream of thoughts that enter and shape our minds in response to situations in our daily lives. By becoming aware of these automatic thoughts, we can actively identify and challenge those that contribute to negative emotions and behaviours. We can also start to observe any patterns that come up and make changes.

  • What thoughts quickly come to mind when I face a challenging yoga pose or situation?
  • Are these thoughts helpful or unhelpful in achieving my yoga goals?


Patterns and Triggers:

By using CBT-inspired reflection questions, we can then start to notice patterns and triggers in our yoga practice and daily life. Patterns are repetitive and consistent thought patterns, emotional responses and behavioural reactions that we experience in different situations. Triggers are specific events and situations that activate these patterns of automatic thoughts, emotions and behaviours. By bringing this awareness to our yoga practice, we may start to deepen our understanding of what patterns we can work on and what triggers we have.

  • Are there recurring thoughts or emotions that surface during specific poses or sequences?
  • Can I identify patterns and potential triggers for these reactions?

Identifying Distortions:

In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), cognitive distortions are biased and irrational ways of thinking that often play a role in our negative perception of our Self, others and the world around us. Common and simple examples of this are catastrophizing, expecting the worst-case scenario or outcome and when we adopt an all-or-nothing approach with no middle ground. When we observe, identify and challenge these distortions, we can replace them with healthier and more balanced thoughts, emotions and behaviours.


  • During my yoga practice, am I engaging in cognitive distortions (e.g., all-or-nothing thinking, catastrophising)?
  • How might challenging or reframing these distortions improve my experience on the mat?
  • Can I rephrase negative thoughts and self-talk with more compassionate and understanding language?

Goal Setting:

Goal setting plays an important part in CBT for setting intentions to create positive changes in our thoughts, emotions and behaviours. This also helps us to gain clarity, keep us inspired and track our progress along the way. The key is to create a practical framework for measurable improvements where we can reflect and revise regularly. Also, it is important to celebrate our achievements!

  • What specific goals do I have for my yoga practice?
  • Are these goals realistic and achievable, or do they contribute to stress and frustration?
  • Over time, how have my yoga skills and mindset evolved?
  • What successes or improvements can I celebrate and feel gratitude for in my yoga journey?

Emotional Regulation:

Emotional regulation is the ability to manage our emotions in response to various situations. This helps us understand our connection between thoughts and feelings as well as develop a deeper awareness of our emotional triggers. Through mindfulness and awareness tools, we can explore how powerful our emotions are and how we can healthily channel them when we face challenges.

  • What emotions arise during my yoga practice?
  • How can I use my breath and mindfulness to regulate these emotions on the mat?
  • What positive affirmations can I incorporate into my yoga practice to nurture a more positive mindset and emotional connection?
  • Are there specific emotions or thoughts connected with certain physical sensations?

The goal of these CBT-inspired journaling questions is self-reflection and awareness. Use your responses and observations to guide your practice, to build your intuition and goals and to foster a positive mindset - both on and off the yoga mat.

*commission earned from this link.

Linda Kleida Romera

Therapist, health coach, yoga teacher and complementary health practitioner - 2 Decades of working with clients worldwide. Specialises in burnout and working with empaths and HSPs. Based in Central London and online.