When we take pride in our wellbeing by staying active and eating healthy, we automatically feel better; we have more energy, we’re less likely to get sick, we like the way we look. But what is it about yoga in particular that takes us to that next level of centeredness that can only be described as spiritual?

Mindfulness is being present or living in the moment. You’ve probably heard your yoga instructor remind you to stay present with the breath, or move slowly into or out of a pose. We do this, not only because we want you to be aware of your alignment and prevent injury, but we also want you to be mindful of all these amazing things your body and breath are doing in that moment.

When we our present during meditation and yoga, we are more grateful, we are more aware of where our bodies get tight, where they’re most open. Practicing mindfulness in these ways also carries over into everyday life, helping us focus on any tasks or wonderful moments as they’re happening rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about what’s to come.

The infographic below goes a bit further into the science and brain activity behind mindfulness. Notice all the physical benefits of letting everything slow down and be what it is, where it is.