Watching these five insightful Yoga TED Talks and reading about it, the more I learn about Yoga the more fascinated with it I become. Yoga is so much more than exercises to improve flexibility and strength. Yoga is a practice to control the mind, and a way of living to discover The Self, or Brahman in Yoga philosophy.
Yoga beginners may not be ready to pick up a bunch of technical Yoga textbooks to learn more about Yoga Poses (Asanas) and breathing (Pranayama) benefits and techniques. Therefore, I have collected these insightful Yoga TED Talks for those of you who are interested in learning more.
At the end of each video I have included journal prompts to help you discover more about yourself, your Yoga practice, and how to incorporate the benefits of Yoga into your daily life.
Insightful Yoga TED Talks
1. 90% of Yoga is Off the Mat | Dena Jackson
This video by Dena Jackson is a great video to watch to help you start thinking about how the lessons you learn on your mat apply off your mat in your life.
Off Your Mat Journal Prompts:
- What lesson/s have you learned in your Yoga practice that you can take off your mat to help you live your best life?
- List 5 (or more) benefits you have received from practicing Yoga (Body, Mind, and Soul).
- What are your Yoga goals? What do you want to learn from your Yoga practice? Think about physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of Yoga.
2. Change Your Breath, Change Your Life | Lucas Rockwood
In this TEDxBarcelona Talk, Yoga teacher, Lucas Rockwood, demonstrates how to practice three simple breathing techniques. These types of breathwork are powerful techniques that can change the pH of your blood, boost digestion, reduce cortisol levels, lower heart rate, and aid sleep.
Breathing Journal Prompts:
- During the day, when does your breath quicken or feel stuck? What are you doing at this time?
- While on your mat, when does your breath feel stuck or difficult to control? Are there any specific poses or movements you regularly lose control over your breath?
- Looking at your answers to the above questions do any similarities arise? Do you get stuck or lose focus at times of transition, or during holds?
Related: 5 Meditation TED Talks
3. Yoga and its Connection to Mental Health | Nikolai Blinow
If you’re new to Yoga Philosophy and how Yoga can help improve your mental health this talk by Nikolai Blinow is a good place to start. Nikolai delivers a brief overview of The Eight Limbs of Yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy. She then describes the similarities between the two how we can integrate Yoga for a holistic healing experience.
Yoga & Mental Health Journal Prompts:
- What first inspired you to start a Yoga practice?
- Have there been any surprising benefits you didn’t expect from practicing Yoga? (Body, mind, spirit)
- Knowing more of the depth and philosophy of Yoga, how can you use this information to help you work on improving something you struggle with emotionally or mentally?
Related: 10 TED Talks About Managing Stress
4. Recognizing Your Self Through Yoga | Aimee Bohn
This talk by Aimee Bohn explores more into Yoga philosophy to explore what The Self is. She explains how what we perceive ourselves to be and our ultimate self differ. What we see as being our self is formed by internal factors which we have the power to change if we so wish to.
Finding the Self Journal Prompts
- What do you believe yourself to be? Write down both positive and negative aspects of yourself.
- Thinking deeply now, how were these aspects of yourself formed? What have environmental, societal, or personal belief systems influenced who you are?
- Since external factors have formed your current self if you could shed these right now at this moment, what do you want yourself to be?
- How can you start to manifest those attributes of yourself you want to have now?
5. Moving deeper into yoga | Itai Ivtzan
Last but not least, this may be the most important of these five talks. The reason I have it at the end is that Itai dives deeper into Yoga philosophy and living a life of Yoga.
Dive Deeper into Yoga Journal Prompts:
- What do you find yourself getting frustrated with during your Yoga practice?
- How can you incorporate the first Yama, Ahimsa (non-harming) into your Yoga practice and daily life?
- Take a moment to sit quietly, breathe, and become aware of your body. Scan your entire body. Where do you feel tense, stuck, or numb? Breathe into that area without judgment and observe, does the feeling change?
I hope you found these insightful Yoga TED talks useful. Practicing Yoga Asanas (poses) are only a small piece of the Yoga puzzle. When used to its fullest potential Yoga has the power to transform mind, body, and spirit with the ultimate goal of finding your True Self.
Which aspects of Yoga have you found the most transformative and inspirational?
What more do you want to learn about Yoga?
Please leave a comment below so I can create content that helps you on your Yoga journey ????.