Yoga made me happy!

Recently I taught a yoga class for our high school’s varsity basketball team, and I loved hearing all the positive feedback after class from the boys. One of them was able to reach their toes for the first time, and another said that his shots were more accurate after our practice. Their assistant coach, who also participated, would like to incorporate yoga into their training routine to help reduce injury and speed up recovery after games, while improving mental focus and flexibility. If yoga is good enough for LeBron James, a pretty decent ball player, than its good enough for the PFHS basketball team!

One simple comment stuck with me: “Yoga made me happy!” How great is that! We all have different reasons for practicing yoga, and they are all valid, but I love this one! I have read many books on positive psychology, happiness, and joy, and I’ve learned that happiness is mainly a choice we make through our actions and habits. There are many things we can do — like forgive others, treat everyone with kindness, and express gratitude — and things we shouldn’t do — like make excuses, seek others’ approval, and hold grudges — in order to develop and maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with ourselves. If practicing yoga can contribute to teenage boys’ emotional well being (and surely we all think of the physical and mental benefits first), then I am all for helping any coach or parent who is interested.