How Does Yoga Build Self-Acceptance? - Aura Wellness Center

How does Yoga Build Self-Acceptance?

Yoga for Self-AcceptanceBy Faye Martins

Can Yoga practice boost self-acceptance? Some people live a lifetime of guilt. For one reason or another they believe that they are not worthy of one good windfall in life. Some of them blame society, oil companies, politicians, lawyers, their parents, their kids, the rich, the poor, or the middle class, for their lot in life. Some people say it’s fate to be born with a dark cloud over your head for life. Rather than point the finger, I’m going to point to a path of healing and self-acceptance.


Yoga for Self-Esteem

Self-acceptance is the act of embracing our shadows as well as our positive qualities, and it’s usually our negative thinking that makes it so difficult for us to do. Whether we strive to keep up with our neighbors or beat ourselves up for our shortcomings, most of us have endless loops of self-criticism going on inside our heads. What if researchers offered us a program guaranteed to help us understand, like, and accept ourselves? That’s what Yoga does, and it has 5,000 years of evidence to back it up.


Accepting Ourselves with Yoga

One of the blessings and curses of 21st century living is our endless accessibility to information and our tendency to over analyze every decision until we overwhelm ourselves. Based on the advice from the 14th century author of “Hatha Yoga Pradipika,” we aren’t the only civilization to think too much. In his teachings, he says: “Abandon all thoughts, then don’t think of anything.”


If you’ve tried to meditate, you know how hard it is to clear your mind. That’s why we need special breathing techniques and postures to prepare us. When we concentrate on our inhalations and our exhalations, we allow our conscious and subconscious minds to connect, revealing information we can’t otherwise access in our busy lives. Breathing connects us to the present moment and takes us away from the negativity and chaos of our chattering brains.


Positive Results

When we practice Yogic exercise for self-acceptance, our muscles relax, our blood pressure slows down, and our body releases hormones that create feelings of well-being and contentment. Poses also massage our organs, remove toxins, strengthen our immune system, and increase the flow of fresh oxygenated blood to the heart and brain.


When our minds and bodies slow down, we gain insight into the problems and habits of our daily lives. Our ability to access our intuitive wisdom gives us information about our health, our emotions, and our spiritual needs. We understand ourselves and the world around us more clearly, and we become more compassionate and loving.

With Yoga comes wisdom. With wisdom comes self-acceptance.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division


Click here too see our online Yoga Nidra teacher training course.

Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Special Discounts and New Products

Related Resources


52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice

by Rina Jakubowicz.


A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman.


by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens


Clark, M. M., Jenkins, S. M., Limoges, K. A., Hagen, P. T., Lackore, K. A., Harris, A. M., . . . Olsen, K. D. (2013). Is usage of a wellness center associated with improved quality of life? American Journal of Health Promotion,27(5), 316–322.

Holmgren, K., Fjallstrom-Lundgren, M., & Hensing, G. (2013). Early identi- fication of work-related stress predicted sickness absence in employed women with musculoskeletal or mental disorders: A prospective, longitudinal study in a primary health care setting. Disability and Rehabilitation, 35(5), 418–426.

Lindegard, A., Larsman, P., Hadzibajramovic, E., & Ahlborg, G., Jr. (2014). The influence of perceived stress and musculoskeletal pain on work performance and work ability in Swedish health care workers. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 87(4), 373–379.

Chu, I. H., Lin, Y. J., Wu, W. L., Chang, Y. K., & Lin, I. M. (2015). Effects of yoga on heart rate variability and mood in women: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 21(12), 789–795.

Oken, B. S., Zajdel, D., Kishiyama, S., Flegal, K., Dehen, C., Haas, M., . . . Leyva, J. (2006). Randomized, controlled, six-month trial of yoga in healthy seniors: Effects on cognition and quality of life. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 12(1), 40–47.

Ross, A., & Thomas, S. (2010). The health benefits of yoga and exercise: A review of comparison studies. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(1), 3–12.

Streeter, C. C., Whitfield, T. H., Owen, L., Rein, T., Karri, S. K., Yakhkind, A., . . . Jensen, J. E. (2010). Effects of yoga versus walking on mood, anxiety, and brain GABA levels: A randomized controlled MRS study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(11), 1145–1152.

Culos-Reed, S. N., Carlson, L. E., Daroux, L. M., & Hately-Aldous, S. (2006). A pilot study of yoga for breast cancer survivors: Physical and psychological benefits. Psychooncology,15(10), 891–897.

Danhauer, S. C., Mihalko, S. L., Russell, G. B., Campbell, C. R., Felder, L., Daley, K., & Levine, E. A. (2009). Restorative yoga for women with breast cancer: Findings from a randomized pilot study. Psychooncology, 18(4), 360–368.

Cohen, L., Warneke, C., Fouladi, R. T., Rodriguez, M. A., & Chaoul-Reich, A. (2004). Psychological adjustment and sleep quality in a randomized trial of the effects of a Tibetan yoga intervention in patients with lymphoma. Cancer, 100(10), 2253–2260.

Cheema, B. S., Houridis, A., Busch, L., Raschke-Cheema, V., Melville, G. W., Marshall, P. W., . . . Colagiuri, B. Effect of an office worksite-based yoga program on heart rate variability: Outcomes of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine,13, 82.

de Bruin, E. I., Formsma, A. R., Frijstein, G., & Bogels, S. M. (2017). Mindful2Work: Effects of combined physical exercise, yoga, and mindfulness meditations for stress relieve in employees. A proof of concept study. Mindfulness (N Y),8(1), 204–217.

Hartfiel, N., Havenhand, J., Khalsa, S. B., Clarke, G., & Krayer A. (2011). The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 37(1), 70–76.

Lin, S. L., Huang, C. Y., Shiu, S. P., & Yeh, S. H. (2015). Effects of yoga on stress, stress adaption, and heart rate variability among mental health profession- als—A randomized controlled trial. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 12(4), 236–245.

Wolever, R. Q., Bobinet, K. J., McCabe, K., Mackenzie, E. R., Fekete, E., Kusnick, C. A., & Baime, M. (2012). Effective and viable mind-body stress reduction in the workplace: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17(2), 246–258.

Hartfiel, N., Burton, C., Rycroft-Malone, J., Clarke, G., Havenhand, J., Khalsa, S. B., & Edwards, R. T. (2012). Yoga for reducing perceived stress and back pain at work. Occupational Medicine, 62(8), 606–612.

Bazarko, D., Cate, R. A., Azocar, F., & Kreitzer, M. J. (2013). The impact of an innovative mindfulness-based stress reduction program on the health and well-being of nurses employed in a corporate setting. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 28(2), 107–133.

Flett, G. L., Besser, A., Davis, R. A., & Hewitt, P. (2003). Dimensions of perfectionism, unconditional self-acceptance, and depression. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, 21(2), 119–138.

Chamberlain, J. M., & Haaga, D. A. F. (2001). Unconditional self-acceptance and responses to negative feedback. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, 19(3), 177–189.

Clark, M. M., Warren, B. A., Hagen, P. T., Johnson, B. D., Jenkins, S. M., Werneburg, B. L., & Olsen, K. D. (2011). Stress level, health behaviors, and quality of life in employees joining a wellness center. American Journal of Health Promotion, 26(1), 21–25.

Berger, E. M. (1952). The relation between expressed acceptance of self and expressed acceptance of others. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 47(4), 778–782.

Burns, R. B. (1989). Acceptance of self, acceptance of others, and preferred teaching approach. Australian Educational Researcher, 16(4), 69–78.

Denmark, K. L. (1973). Self-acceptance and leader effectiveness. Journal of Extension, 11(Winter), 4, 6–12.

Locke, D. E., Decker, P. A., Sloan, J. A., Brown, P. D., Malec, J. F., Clark, M. M., . . . Buckner, J. C. (2007). Validation of single-item linear analog scale assessment of quality of life in neuro-oncology patients. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 34(6), 628–638.

Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24(4), 385–396.

Neff, K. D., Rude, S. S., & Kirkpatrick, K. L. (2007). An examination of self-compassion in relation to positive psychological functioning and personality traits. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(4), 908–916.

Rummans, T. A., Bostwick, J. M., Clark, M. M., Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Quality of Life Working Group. (2000). Maintaining quality of life at the end of life. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 75(12), 1305–1310.

1 thought on “How does Yoga Build Self-Acceptance?”

Leave a Comment

Your Cart