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Yoga and Positive Psychology, Part 1

by Sandy BlaineAfterglow by Maxfield ParrishA couple of years ago, Ram wrote a lovely upright on yoga and positive psychology. He spoke of positive psychology as a brand-new and burgeoning field of study, pioneered, in its current incarnation, by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. A serious yoga practitioner for decades, I was at the time just beginning to submerge myself in the study of positive psychology, and his thoughts on the connections between this area of psychology and yoga reverberated strongly with me; I too felt profound connections between the two restraints. Now, having made my Master’s degree in Professor Seligman’s influential curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania, I can say with more official that Ram got everything right, even down to his usher to stressing Professor Csikszentmihalyi’s daunting honour. I adoration what he had to say about how we yogis experience the sense of submersion and timelessness, are specified in Professor Csikszentihalyi as flow, when we practise. “Thats one” of numerous bonds that can be made between both the results of the study and rule of yoga with positive psychology, and here, in this streak of posts, I would like to explore some of the others.I tracing my original interest in positive psychology to a time, years ago, when I happened to hear a tale on the radio about the happiness specified quality presumption, the idea that some or perhaps all of our capabilities for personal delight is rooted in our genetic ability chemistry. This brand-new( at the least to me) concept struck me as very plausible, and my initial thought was how fortuitou I was, as I remember my own capability for prosperity was on the highest feature. Just a bit more supposed, though, had me questioning to what extent my years of daily yoga practice might have affected that the abilities and “set point.” Like many–perhaps most–modern practitioners, I initially came to yoga for the physical exercise and health benefits, and I didn’t question or inspect passionately into the profound improve to my overall well-being I found there; it all went filed under the general category of “feeling good.” I hadn’t even been particularly interested in yoga when a love pretty much dragged me to my first class some 30 years ago, but afterwards I could hardly conceive how great I felt. This was the steal that retained me coming to yoga classifies, and then produced me to develop my own personal yoga practice at home, something that over the years became a cornerstone of “peoples lives”. The deeper psychological and/ or spiritual( depending on your orientation and point of view) particular aspects of yoga snuck into my consciousness gradually and organically as I affix with these best practices and grew serious about it. The said he wished to share these benefits and incorporated into others’ well-being is what eventually generated me to teaching. Once that set-point conjecture was introduced into my attention, the chicken-versus-egg question it inspired about the link between happiness and the judgment/ body connection stayed with me. Even to this day, certain differences I feel before and after practising can startle me. In additive, it wasn’t long into my practise that I understood potential benefits I was realise were cumulative as well as immediate. No matter what else is going on, a week with more practice occasion is better than one with less. When I equated what seemed to be my own personal set-point–my predilection is in accordance with a good mood and general orientation toward being a cup half-full person–with family members who apparently were genetically similar to me but struggled more with emotional equilibrium, I had to wonder what to be taken into consideration the difference. Yoga was such a coherent and positive part of “peoples lives”, it disturbed me that the prospect it was affecting my mentality chemistry could perhaps be a conclude. This also parent some interesting questions for me about the overall connections between physical health and mental/ psychological well-being. I gradually realized this was something I wanted to investigate. While looking for categories in health psychology, I happened upon an preparatory positive psychology class is available through U.C. Berkeley extension, and I knew immediately “its for” me. This intuition was validated throughout the 15 -week course, which I felt both fascinating and spurring. It was in this class that I predict Seligman’s notebook Flourish and learned about the Master’s program he had developed and helmed at the University of Pennsylvania, which I later applied to, attended, and ultimately completed in drop-off 2016. I came to UPenn’s MAPP program with the intention of considering and writing about prosperity and the head/ body connection. What I speedily learned was that this, and anything to do with their own bodies and our physical know-how of life, is a recently held sphere of analyse in positive psychology, which is itself a relatively recent battlefield. Positive psychology is the study of human merriment, often referred to as subjective well-being in academia, and of how we find fulfillment and sense in life. While I was in school and would mention I was analyse positive psychology, a common question, often asked ironically and with gratification, was “As opposed to negative psychology? ” Well, yes. Although psychology is the overall learn of the brain, it was developed mainly to study and find solutions for mental illness and pathologies, and this is largely where the focus remained for the first 100 times. This is understandable; human progression gave us a negativity bias( which I will explore in greater depth in a future post) to be alert to threats and better help us live them. Positive sensations and experiences are, in evolutionary calls, secondary to basic survival. And there is no denying that mental illness is a serious begin of tolerating for both individuals and society as a whole and involves serious attention. Beyond that, however, there is a whole range of human rights happiness, accomplishment and even greatnes to be explored. This is the realm of positive psychology: What is it that is happening when happenings go right, psychologically speaking? What is impossible to learn, and educate, about the positive side of the human experience? How can we build on that knowledge to generate more happiness and realization for individuals, and can we expand from there to develop more positive, amicable functioning of organizations and societies? How, in short, can we establish more happiness and authentic positivity in the world? Although this may be slowly changing, the notion of memory/ body dualism, or the notion that head and person are separate–and that the sentiment is inherently superior–is a strong, pervasive bias in academia. For these considerations, there have been two similarity lines, positive psychology and imagination/ person science, for quite some time. Again, this is changing, mainly because of those, like me, who recognize that there are many the locations where these two punishments meet, and too that our experience of delight, and really, of life itself, is inseparable from our physical manifestation. In information, as science is rapidly detecting and remembering, there is no noticeable estrangement between thinker and organization, and there is a stretching push in positive psychology to includes the physical dimension to the definition of grow. My work in the field predominantly centers around the robust and flourishing the linkages between these two formerly separate racetracks, and my sentiment that conceptualization of sentiment and organization as separate is an altogether incorrect erect. We are, each of us, one amazing and fully integrated organization, operating on a endless thought/ body feedback loop. While we frequently refer to this as the head/ body connection–a call that reflects how ubiquitous the idea that they’re separate is — I would actually distinguish it as the terminated interconnection and consolidation of recollection and organization. We yogis knowledge this profound feel of integrating for ourselves through our rehearse. While hatha yoga may be defined as a physical activity, the majority of practitioners recognize that the feeling of well-being we feel after practising are beyond the physical. And few would deny that feeling better in our organizations freshens our brains, hoists our overall feelings, and gleams our dates. Although yoga is universally associated with the body and the physical rehearsals of asana and pranayama, the broader structure of yoga is likewise, like psychology, the study of the memory. It could even be considered one of the precursors to modern psychology.Disciplines such as yoga that aim to support body, spirit, and character have moved from the peripheries to the mainstream over the past couple of decades, as both direct ordeal and academic and medical investigate have given credibility to the claimed holistic appraise of these practices. When I posted this Harvard Medical School section about the health benefits of yoga on Facebook recently, another yoga teacher mentioned “I don’t involve science tell me yoga is good for me. My organization/ memory tells me every day.” I agree! Yet both the validation and the specific information that discipline can give us are helpful. While I didn’t need discipline to confirm my own experience, positive psychology has been very helpful in “re giving me” communication to explain it. Prominent positive psychologist Barbara Frederickson, technical experts on positive passions, coined the call “upward spiral, ” which is a kind of escalating positive feedback loop-the-loop that occurs when an activity makes us a felt increase in our well-being, which then bolsters our motivation to repeat that activity. This was very much my own experience when I was developing my yoga practice. When parties have mentioned on my “great discipline” in sticking with my practise for so long, I’ve long replied that it’s not self-discipline, it’s reason, and I’m keenly aware that there is a distinct gap. My practice has always been based on, as we say in positive psychology, intrinsic motivating rather than any sense of obligation. I was delighted to discover that there has been extensive work done in positive psychology that has delineated various types of motivating, as well as what one leading intellectual expressions passionate date with specific activities, and has studied their different outcomes. Three decades and counting since my first meeting with yoga, these positive psychology theories describe my own experience and process exactly and explain the reasons that I have remained so generally motivated to come to my matted more days than not in any handed week. It starts with the reliable, immediate, and profound enhance to my well-being, figure and thought, that comes from practising. On top of the in-the-moment welfares, this consistent knowledge continuously reinforces and increases both my motivating and passionate commitment. It cures get me through the plateaus and inevitable days or weeks of fighting or wearines. Most fascinating, perhaps, it has also helped me develop both confidence and self-reliance as I’ve learned how enormously I can affect my own merriment, and whether I have a good day or a crappy one. This is the stuff of positive psychology, and why yoga has been, for me, a merriment practice.Sandy Blaine has been teaching yoga for 25 times and has worked with all levels of students, from brand new beginners to teachers and advanced practitioners, and even elite jocks. She has a delightful devotion to her daily yoga practice, and seeks to creating these calibers to her class, which blend her ordeal and training in the Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa, and Kripalu techniques. She is Yoga Alliance showed at the highest level, E-RYT, and also an authorized continuing training provider( YACEP ). Sandy’s writing has been issued in Yoga Journal, Yoga International and Ascent periodicals, and she is the author of two journals, Yoga For Healthy Knees and Yoga For Computer Users, both currently available from Shambhala Books. Having made her Master’s degree in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016, Sandy is now working on a brand-new journal about positive psychology, wellness and spirit/ figure incorporation. An expert in workplace wellness, she has spoken at Kaiser and Google, and labours as a wellness coach and consultant for Pixar Animation Studios as well as serving as their tenant yoga instructor.More informed about Sandy’s work is available on her website www.sandyblaine.com.Subscribe to Yoga for Healthy Aging by Email deg Follow Yoga for Healthy Aging on Facebook and Twitter deg To say Yoga for Healthy Aging: A Guide to Lifelong Well-Being, go to Amazon, Shambhala, Indie Bound or your local bookstore.

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