Yoga: a survival guide for 2023
If you want to thrive and not just survive in the year ahead, then it's high time you turned to yoga.
Plague, war, famine, death… at times, it might feel that the four horsemen of the Apocalypse have already arrived in modern times. But not so fast. While there’s no denying the last few years have been a great challenge for most of us, 2023 marks a fresh start. It’s a chance to wipe the slate clean and begin again.
Yoga is a great way to do that, like an anchor holding your ship steady as the seas bobble up and down and the winds change direction. We can’t materially influence major world events on our own, nor can we tell governments to stop getting our countries into huge debt, but we can hold ourselves accountable for our own individual actions.
With the help of yoga, we can begin to put in place positive behaviours to improve our lot. Even if that’s minuscule changes at the start, it can add up to a lot of over time. Transformation happens not in one go, but in one day, even one single moment, at a time.
No matter how crazy our world, our governments, or the big corporate interests that seem to influence them, we can still set a new course for ourselves and define our own reality and lived experience. We don’t need to repeat the mistakes of the past, we can set a new course for our little ship. Let yoga can be your compass, or GPS, to carry you there into better times.
Here are five reasons why this ancient practice can be trusted to bring great things into your world.
1. Yoga is actually really good for you
Yes, it’s true! All those things you may have heard about yoga being a great workout are 100% correct — and much of it is confirmed in a whole heap of scientific papers too. As the ultimate holistic workout, yoga is great not only for your body but also for your mind and soul. You just need to begin! Okay, so the classic image of yoga studios packed with lots of lithe bodies might not always reflect reality, but there’s no denying that this ancient practice can do wonders for your all-round health and fitness.
2. Dial down the madness with meditation
Yoga is a great source of stress relief — and so too is meditation. Even if you’re not especially into the physical side of the practice, meditation can be a great way to access some of the huge mental health benefits. It’s accessible anywhere (you don’t need to be in a temple, you can do it on a bus on the way to work) and will help to dial down the frenetic pace of modern life. If you struggle to sit still and focus, join the club — nearly everyone does at first! But stick with it as the benefits in bringing a little inner stillness into your life are well worth it.
3. Get a sense of perspective
For many people, yoga is also a gateway into thinking (often for the first time) about the spiritual side of life. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a strong religious background to fall back on, so for lots of people the exploration of spirituality through their yoga practice can bring with it a greater sense of peace and inner wellbeing. This can help you view life and your place in the big wide world with a new sense of balance and perspective…not bad in a world gone mad! Of course, many people also enjoy yoga as a purely physical pursuit, which is fine too. You’re the boss!
4. Make friends, not war
Yoga can connect you to a wide and very supportive community, which is another great way to boost your mental wellbeing. Do yoga, make friends! It has been proven that participating in classes can provide an environment for group healing and support, and even ease loneliness. Plus you’ll probably have a good laugh too! After the isolation of recent years, there’s no better way to break out than enter the doors of your local studio. Or just head to the OM Yoga Show (omyogashow.com) later this year to see and feel how amazingly vibrant and life-affirming this yoga community
5. Turn off the news
And here’s a bonus (non-yoga) life hack too: just turn off the news! We don’t really need to know everything that’s going on, we can still be aware of any major developments without being sucked into the minutiae of it all, whether that’s plagues, pandemics or indeed four ominous-looking apocalyptic horsemen riding into town! You could say the same about social media too. Just ditch it entirely. People survived and thrived without it once before and it seems reasonable to assume that they still can in 2023. Instead of 15 minutes scrolling, spend 15 minutes stretching. It’ll change your life.
Why not commit to a 2023 yoga challenge? Make this the year you really thrive with a commitment to you and your amazing uniqueness, using yoga as your companion and guide. Here at OM, we’ll be cheering you on all the way!
Do let us know how you get on, we’d love to hear from you and share any tips you might have with our readers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.