Yoga and Positive Psychology - Aura Wellness Center

Yoga and Positive Psychology

Yoga and positive psychologyBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP

What is the connection between Yoga and positive psychology? Positive psychology is a relatively new field in studying the internal dynamics of human consciousness. It is a psychological field that emphasizes how and why our lives go right instead of what goes wrong.


Understanding Positive Psychology

Incorporating an understanding of positive psychology into teaching and practicing Yoga will support you in the process of creating a life filled with meaning, purpose, and joyful celebration. Positive psychology does not deny the negative; it simply helps you to focus in equal measure on what does work for you and why.

A positive psychology mentor (whether this person is a counselor, personal mentor, or a Yoga teacher), will help to nurture the talents and innate intelligence of each of his or her students. The awareness of what makes you and/or your students happy, and thrive, will support you in cultivating a deeper and more permeating sense of well-being, on all levels.


Becoming mindfully aware of the present moment, without anxiety or expectation, is one of the hallmark ways for an individual to reduce anxiety, stress, depression, and even chronic pain “on and off the mat.” Mindfulness is an ancient spiritual practice that has been integrated into the techniques of Yoga and positive psychology.

Mindfulness meditation practices are found in many traditions and philosophies. The goal of mindfulness is simply to be in the present moment. The challenge of mindfulness is to be truly present, without attaching a story to the simplicity of the moment at hand.

In Yoga practice, mindfulness helps both the teacher and the student to be fully present in “what is,” instead of ” what should be.” This allows the practice of Yoga to be fluid, respectful and non-violent, as it nurtures well-being in the practitioner.


Intense Absorption

Flow is another aspect of positive psychology that has a direct application to Yoga practice. A state of flow is characterized by an intense absorption in the activity, in which one is engaged, a sense that time is flying by, a loss of the sense of an individual self, and the feeling that one is perfectly matched to the challenge at hand.

This is an important point in positive psychology: the challenge of the moment must match an individual’s abilities in order to net the most positive result. For example, if a beginning Yoga student signs up for a class that is well beyond his or her current ability level, the end result will be frustration, possibly injury, and a deflated sense of self-esteem.

As a Hatha Yoga teacher, it is important to make sure that your students are in the correct class for their level of practice, and that you incorporate poses, sequences, meditation, and pranayama techniques, which provide a substantial challenge, without exceeding the students’ abilities.


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our selection of Online Yoga teacher training courses, please visit the following link.

Are you interested in Meditation Teacher Training?

Click here to 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

The Positive Psychology of Buddhism and Yoga: Paths to A Mature Happiness

Related Research

Bhatia, T., Agarwal, A., Shah, G., Wood, J., Richard, J., Gur, R. E., et al. (2012). Adjunctive cognitive remediation for schizophrenia using yoga: An open, non-randomised trial. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 24(2), 91–100. doi:10.1111/j.1601-5215.2011.00587.x.

Bonura, K. B. (2011). The psychological benefits of yoga practice for older adults: Evidence and guidelines. International Journal of Yoga Therapy, 21, 129–142.

Brisbon, N. M., & Lowery, G. A. (2011). Mindfulness and levels of stress: A comparison of beginner and advanced hatha yoga practitioners. Journal of Religion and Health, 50(4), 931–941. doi:10.1007/s10943-009-9305-3.

Related Studies

Beard, K. L. S. (2009). An exploratory study of academic optimism and flow of elementary school teachers. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 69(8). (2009-99031-036).

Benson, H., Wilcher, M., Greenberg, B., Huggins, E., Ennis, M., Zuttermeister, P. C., et al. (2000). Academic performance among middle-school students after exposure to a relaxation response curriculum. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 33(3), 156.

Bernier, M., Thienot, E., Codron, R., & Fournier, J. F. (2009). Mindfulness and acceptance approaches in sport performance. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 3(4), 320–333.


Yoga and Positive Psychology – The Best of Both Worlds
By Sanjeev Patel, CYT 500, and Faye Martins

Consider the fascinating intersection of yoga and positive psychology! If you want to enhance your overall well-being and cultivate a positive mindset, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s investigate how the practice of yoga can complement and amplify the principles of positive psychology. Get ready for an enlightening journey that will leave you feeling inspired and empowered.

The Relationship Between Yoga and Positive Psychology

Yoga and positive psychology may seem like two distinct disciplines, but their relationship becomes apparent upon closer examination. Both aim to promote well-being and cultivate a sense of happiness and fulfillment in our lives.

At its core, yoga is not just about physical exercises; it encompasses a holistic approach that integrates the mind, body, and spirit. Through various postures (asanas), breathwork (pranayama), and meditation techniques, yoga helps us develop self-awareness, mindfulness, and inner peace.

Positive psychology, on the other hand, focuses on understanding what makes life worth living. It emphasizes cultivating positive emotions such as gratitude, resilience, optimism, and compassion by shifting our mindset towards positivity and harnessing our strengths to overcome challenges effectively.

When combined with the principles of positive psychology, we can enhance our yoga practice by intentionally cultivating positive states of mind during each session. Yoga provides a space for self-reflection where we can explore themes like gratitude or self-compassion through intentional movement.

Integrating both practices allows us to tap into deeper levels of awareness while reaping the benefits of increased positivity. In this way, combining yoga with positive psychology creates synergistic effects that lead to greater overall well-being.

By incorporating elements from positive psychology into your yoga practice – such as setting intentions before each class or focusing on affirmations during meditation – you can amplify the transformative power of these practices, allowing them to influence all aspects of your life off the mat positively.


The Benefits of Yoga for Positive Psychology

Yoga and positive psychology may seem like separate practices, but they complement each other beautifully. Regarding positive psychology, the focus is on cultivating well-being and happiness in our lives. Conversely, yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

One of the key benefits of yoga for positive psychology is its ability to enhance self-awareness. Yoga makes us more attuned to our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This heightened awareness allows us to understand ourselves better and make conscious choices that align with our values and goals.

Another benefit of yoga for positive psychology is improved emotional resilience. Regular practice helps us develop coping mechanisms to navigate life’s challenges easily. Connecting breath with movement during yoga poses teaches us to stay present even when faced with discomfort or difficulty.

Deeper Benefits

In addition, yoga can profoundly impact our overall mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. The combination of deep breathing techniques and gentle movements promotes relaxation while releasing tension from the body.

Furthermore, yoga encourages mindfulness – paying attention intentionally without judgment – a core component of positive psychology. By bringing our full attention to the present moment during yoga practice, we cultivate an attitude of acceptance toward ourselves and others.

The benefits of incorporating yoga into your positive psychology journey are numerous. Yoga offers much, from increased self-awareness to enhanced emotional resilience and improved mental health.

By integrating these two powerful practices, you can work toward creating a life filled with positivity, happiness, and well-being.


Combining Yoga and Positive Psychology

Yoga and positive psychology might seem like two separate practices, but they complement each other quite well. Both focus on enhancing overall well-being and cultivating a positive mindset. Yoga and positive psychology can create a powerful synergy that promotes physical, mental, and emotional health.

Yoga is not just about physical postures; it encompasses breathing techniques, meditation, mindfulness, and self-reflection. These aspects of yoga align perfectly with the principles of positive psychology. You can develop greater awareness of your thoughts and emotions by engaging in yoga practices such as pranayama (breathwork) or dhyana (meditation).


Positive psychology emphasizes developing strengths, gratitude, resilience, optimism, and finding meaning in life. Yoga provides a supportive environment for practicing these concepts by promoting self-acceptance and inner peace. It encourages us to let go of negative self-talk or limiting beliefs while fostering self-compassion.

Combining yoga’s mind-body connection with the science-backed strategies of positive psychology creates a holistic approach to personal growth. Through regular practice, individuals may experience increased happiness and reduced stress and anxiety.

You can enhance your overall well-being by incorporating elements from both disciplines into your routine – whether through mindful movement during your yoga practice or consciously applying positive psychology principles throughout your day.

Remember that combining yoga and positive psychology is not about perfection or achieving immediate results. It’s about embracing the journey toward personal growth while honoring yourself at every step.


The Best Time to Practice Yoga and Positive Psychology

Finding the best time to practice yoga and positive psychology can significantly enhance the benefits you receive from both practices. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, it ultimately depends on individual preferences and schedules.

Morning sessions are often recommended as they allow you to start your day positively. Engaging in yoga poses and mindfulness exercises in the morning can set a calm and focused tone for the rest of your day. It helps ground you, clears your mind, and cultivates a sense of gratitude.

However, evenings may be more suitable if mornings aren’t ideal for you due to work or other commitments. Practicing yoga and positive psychology in the evening releases any stress or tension accumulated throughout the day. It allows you to unwind and relax your body and mind, promoting better sleep quality.

There’s also value in incorporating mini sessions into your daily routine whenever feasible – even just 10 minutes during lunch break or before bedtime can make a difference.

Listen to your body’s cues and choose a time that aligns with what feels most comfortable for YOU!

Tips for Getting Started with Yoga and Positive Psychology

Getting started with yoga and positive psychology can be a transformative journey toward greater well-being and inner peace. Here are some tips to help you begin your practice:

1. Start small: Incorporate just a few minutes of yoga and positive psychology into your daily routine. Gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable.

2. Find a quiet space: Choose a calm, quiet area where you can practice without distractions. This will allow you to focus entirely on the present moment and connect with yourself.

3. Set realistic goals: Setting achievable goals is essential when starting out. Instead of aiming for perfection, focus on progress and enjoy learning and growing.

4. Seek guidance: Consider joining a yoga class or working with a certified instructor who can guide you through proper techniques and offer valuable insights on incorporating positive psychology principles into your practice.

5. Be consistent: Consistency is critical in reaping yoga’s and positive psychology’s benefits. Make it a habit by scheduling regular practice sessions that work best for your schedule.

6. Coordinate breath and movement: Pay attention to your breath during each pose or exercise, allowing it to flow naturally as you move through different postures or engage in mindfulness exercises.

7. Be patient with yourself: Remember that everyone’s journey is unique, so be kind and patient as you navigate this new path.

Remember, getting started is often the most challenging part – but once you take that first step, the possibilities for growth are endless!



We have explored the powerful relationship between yoga and positive psychology. We have seen how these two practices can work together to cultivate a sense of well-being, happiness, and fulfillment.

Yoga offers many benefits for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By practicing yoga regularly, we can improve our strength, flexibility, balance, and overall fitness. But beyond the physical aspects, yoga also profoundly affects our mental and emotional state.

Positive psychology cultivates positive emotions such as gratitude, kindness, optimism, and resilience. It teaches us to shift our focus from what is wrong in life to what is right. By combining the principles of positive psychology with the practice of yoga, we can enhance not only our physical health but also our psychological well-being.


One key aspect to consider when integrating yoga and positive psychology into your life is finding the best time to practice. Whether it’s starting your day with a gentle flow or winding down before bed with restorative poses and mindfulness exercises – find a routine that works for you.

If you’re new to yoga and positive psychology or unsure where to start on this journey toward greater well-being – fear not! Here are some tips:

1. Start by incorporating simple yoga poses into your daily routine.
2. Explore different styles of yoga until you find one that resonates with you.
3. Practice mindfulness meditation alongside your regular yoga sessions.
4. Cultivate gratitude by keeping a journal or engaging in acts of kindness.
5. Surround yourself with positivity by spending time with uplifting individuals or reading inspiring books.

Remember that progress takes time – be patient with yourself as you embark on this journey toward holistic wellness by integrating yoga and positive psychology.

By embracing both practices simultaneously and reaping their benefits while harnessing their synergistic effects, you can optimize your well-being and live a more fulfilled life.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division


6 thoughts on “Yoga and Positive Psychology”

  1. Incorporating of positive psychology into teaching and practicing yoga support us in the process of creating a life filled with meaning, purpose, and joyful celebration.

Leave a Comment

Your Cart