Can Yoga Make You a Better Language Learner?

by Tiffany Harper last updated -

Yoga is proven to have many benefits for your health! Science shows that practicing yoga regularly can strengthen your nervous system, eliminate heart disease risk factors, manage irregular heartbeats, and even help you deal with stress and anxieties. Amit Ray, yoga teacher and practitioner, admits that “Yoga is bringing fitness in body, calmness in mind, kindness in heart and awareness in life.”

Learning a new language is not challenging when we practice yoga because it not only helps improve our physical health but also develop mental strength and willpower.

How Does Yoga Make You a Better Language Learner?

1. It’s About the Habits

“Setting goals is one of the most challenging goals for me, as ironic as that is, admits Laila Johnson,” IT designer at a popular assignment writing website. “Whenever I’m trying to come up with realistic plans, I have a hard time focusing,” continues Laila.

A black and white silhouette of a person performing Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar or Salute to the Sun or Sun Salutation Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Many people have problems setting goals, but in fact, the real problem comes when we set habits. Setting the goal itself is not as challenging as fulfilling it. Let’s take the example of playing the guitar. Setting the goal – I want to learn how to play the guitar in three months – it is not as challenging as following up with the habits of actually playing guitar each day to make room for improvement.

In the language learning process, many people get stuck here as well. They want to master a language, but they won’t speak it, read it, or listen to it daily. Unfortunately, that is why most of them do not make any progress. Creating the actual habit of practicing the language every day is the most difficult step of the way.

This is where yoga intervenes. Yoga is a habit. Waking up every day and practicing asanas is not the easiest job. You need patience, perseverance, determination, and a strong will to do this every day.

So, point one: does yoga help us develop the habits of learning a new language? Yes, it does, by teaching us patience, dedication, and constancy. Research has long shown the benefits of yoga learning to stretch your mind and body, as studies can prove.

2. It’s About the Present Moment

Another essential life lesson yoga teaches us is that being present is all that matters. When struggling to keep your poses (asanas) for a very long time, the first thing that pops into your mind is, “breathe and it will be OK.” That’s because yoga teaches us five things when we struggle – breathe, cleanse, embrace, accept, love.

Yoga thus teaches us to let go of fears, uncertainties, anxieties of the past or future and focus solely on breathing – which is, in fact, the definition of the present moment. You cannot take back any breath or create another one identical to it. This breath you are taking right now is in the present; that’s it.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor,” writes Thich Nhat Hanh in his book, Stepping into Freedom.

Practicing yoga helps us realize that language learning is not an ever-lasting process if we are present. As long as we can seize the day and practice constantly, that is all that matters. Of course, progress counts – so definitely keep track of it! – but mastering the language should not be the end goal of your journey. Instead of focusing on reaching a level of proficiency, better concentrate on making the best out of every second of the learning process.

So, point two, same question: does help us develop the habits of learning a new language? Yes, it does, by helping us become mindful and thus increasing our focus.

A close-up shot of pebbles stacked on a beach

Serene and calm! Photo Credit: Shutterstock

3. It’s Not About Competing

Novice yogis always compare themselves with other practitioners. You might think, “how can they keep that asana for so long when I can barely do a balanced yoga pose?” We’ve all been there, done that – we’ve all compared ourselves to others.

After some time of practicing yoga regularly, you’ll realize that it is never about competing. It is about accepting things as they are without being oblivious, embracing the present moment with your entire heart, and becoming self-aware. In fact, you start improving the moment you let go of useless comparisons. Ask any yoga practitioner and they will tell you the same thing – once you let go, you become balanced (internally first, and ultimately, externally).

Yoga is the perfect allegory for learning a new language. If you compare yourself with other learners, thinking, for instance, that their vocabulary is more extensive than yours, you will end up disappointed. Comparing yourself to others comes from a lack of self-confidence. Feeding that feeling will only make it worse; it will never make it go away.

To learn another language faster, stop considering what other people think and just do. Don’t even look around to have the opportunity to compare yourself with them. Look within, that is where you will find everything that you need. Keep in mind: peace comes from within, the universe is within all of us, all manifested reactions are the outcome of a causal factor. Don’t cause yourself harm. Simply be. Simply learn.

So, the third point, same question, same answer: Yoga helps us learn a new language by teaching us that comparisons are futile, and our progress depends solely on how much we inherently trust ourselves.

4. You Realize: The Work Is Outside the Classroom!

You won’t stop implementing yoga principles into your life once the class is over. Serious practitioners know that yoga practice resembles real life perfectly. Yogis are not only balanced within, but they are also relaxed, disciplined, and organized in their day to day life.

They learned that the most important point of energy is situated within their internal bodies; so, they manage to work with those energies in such way that they help themselves stay calm and mindful throughout their lives. The practice of yoga becomes part of your life once you begin on this path, no doubt.

The same thing goes with learning a new language – when you are not incorporating your lessons in your daily life, how could you progress? The work has to be performed outside of the classroom for results to reach a high peak.

So, point four, what does yoga teach us about acquiring new language skills? That we should nevertheless practice our language skills as much as we can, whenever we can!

A silhouette of a person doing yoga on the beach at the time of sunset

Doing yoga on the beach has many health benefits. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

5. Finding Resources

The best method to learn a new language is living in a country whose vocabulary you’d like to acquire. Want to learn French? Get a job in Paris and practice your skills. Want to learn German? Book a one-way ticket to Berlin. “But things are not as simple as they sound. I can’t leave everything behind and just leave,” one might think. It’s true; when you don’t have any job proposals and no financial way to support yourself working in another country, things get complicated. But there are multiple opportunities to earn good money while traveling

  • Teach English! Writing services recommend searching for language exchange programs within international academies.
  • Work for various assignment writing services across the ocean. Being a freelance writer is super-fun!
  • Get a travel nanny job!

Remember! “The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body.” — Jason Crandell

Wrapping Up

Practicing yoga will help you learn a language much faster! Don’t forget to practice as much as you can, live in the present moment, form healthy habits (and stick to them!), and forget about competing. We’re all friends in the end. Good luck! Protection Status
About the Author

Tiffany Harper is an experienced writer from New York (USA) and an extremely active woman. She began her career as a journalist mostly in wellness and a healthy lifestyle area. She gets inspiration for writing from travels and meeting new people, feel free to contact her on Twitter.

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