If you want to feel balanced, centered, cleansed and alive, yoga and psychotherapy are great avenues that have more in common than you might think. Here’s how therapy compares to the popular body/mind/spirit sport:

Just Show Up: Once you get yourself to a yoga studio and find a space for your mat in a room full of eager strangers, the hard part is behind you. Moving through the postures is stress-free, because there’s no pressure to perform. The same can be said of therapy. As soon as you land on the couch, you begin to relax and let go. It may seem like a small thing, but arriving is a grand gesture of gratitude for your life. Simply being there says, “I deserve to feel good. I’m willing to do what it takes to be peaceful, free, fulfilled, happy…” Your simple presence in the room allows the healing to unfold.

Breathe: Transitioning from the world out there to the world within begins with a deep cleansing breath; a silent acknowledgment that the space we share is sacred. Even though talk-therapy engages the mind, the “work” itself is natural and effortless, like breathing. As you tap into the core of your being, you become grounded, centered and wise. It’s not about figuring it out, it’s about letting your truth emerge. The more you simply breathe and tune in, the more your essence reveals the answers you seek.

Explore: Much as you move through yoga postures to awaken every neglected corner of your body, therapy invites you to visit those neglected places and parts within. The process of psychotherapy involves a gentle inner investigation which happens at your own pace. Engaging in this way, you stretch yourself in new ways and open to a fresh perspective. As light is shed on the so-called dark corners of your psyche, you feel cleansed, lighter, renewed and energized.

Integrate: If you do yoga, you’ve gotta love savasana—the final resting pose. It may seem counter-intuitive that lying on your back is an essential part of the workout. Yet, the corpse pose allows you to assimilate all the benefits of your practice. Similarly, the real benefits of therapy happen once you’ve had a chance to assimilate the inner shifts you’ve initiated. Even as you leave your therapy session feeling uplifted, detoxed and renewed, the best is yet to come. Like yoga practice, gains made in therapy stay with you wherever you go. Namaste.