The power of yoga

Regularly practicing yoga will improve overall health, including mental health. Benefits include increased concentration, reduced stress, relief from insomnia and fatigue, increased body awareness and enhanced emotional stability.

Yoga postures work on all systems of the body. As well as strengthening and elongating muscles, yoga postures tone glands and internal organs. The postures, along with breathing techniques and relaxation help us to focus the mind and calm the nervous system.

Kelly Walsh, a yoga instructor said: “If we feel stressed or anxious, we can get stuck in the sympathetic nervous system, reacting with fight or flight when there is no real threat.”

“Deep breathing and certain postures, help us to move into the parasympathetic nervous system or “rest and digest,” slowing the heart rate and conserving energy.”

People with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and ADHD have responded positively to regular yoga practice.

Kelly further added that: “Yoga could be thought of as a kind of moving mindfulness, helping us to live in the present and stay connected with ourselves and our surroundings.”

“Persistent practice of yoga trains the mind to be calm and focused, enabling an individual to perceive events and situations with clarity and to control their reactions.”

The following yoga poses are very beneficial for easing stress and anxiety: 

Child’s pose (Balasana) – Is a resting pose. Relieves fatigue, relaxes the body and further helps to ease stress and anxiety.

Bridge pose (Set Bandasana) – Helps to relieve fatigue, insomnia and depression. It also nourishes the nervous system.

Pigeon pose (Elaine Pada Rajakopatasana) – helps to release tension and anxiety held inside the body.

Get your mats ready, put your yoga leggings on and enjoy!

Namaste!

Why you should start meditating

Have you ever thought about meditating?  The ancient practice is suddenly trending and it appears literally to release tension from our overthinked brains, turns down negative thinking, reduces anxiety and keeps our emotions in check.

The pros are… stress reduction, antiaging, stronger immunity. The cons are…none, basically. It’s like a wonder drug with no side effects.

Meditation is a really simple, but yet a life-transforming skill that can help you to relax. In the beginning many people find it difficult to focus and help their mind release all its thoughts. Thankfully, there are many tools that can help you achieve your zen.

Experts will say that there is no right or wrong way to do it, and the more you start meditating, the more effects you will see and you will eventually realise that your mind wanders less.

How to meditate: 

  • Find a nice, quite place, it’s important that you feel relaxed and comfortable in that environment. There is no right or wrong time – but even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.
  • Some people find it easier to meditate with light music or other relaxing sounds in the background, while others prefer total silence. It’s completely up to you how you chose to meditate. Finding appropriate music might be challenging, since it must help you relax and it shouldn’t distract you, so feel free to experiment and find out what works best.
  • Sit down, relax and rest your hands on your lap. Usually people meditate by sitting on the floor crossed-legged, or sitting on a chair with their feet resting on the ground.If sitting crossed legged isn’t comfortable or painful for any reason change posture, but remember to maintain the natural curve of your back.
  • Breath slowly and deeply, if you feel comfortable close your eyes. Begin by  inhaling with your nose and exhaling from your mouth slowly and deeply. Do not force your breathing – let it come naturally and if deep breaths make you feel dizzy, breath at your own paste.
  • When you are breathing deeply you will begin to feel calmer and more relaxed. But you must remain focused and mindful of your breaths. It’s natural for your mind to slip away, and the important thing is to realise it and bring your attention back to where it should be. Your concentration will improve with practice.Tip: If you feel your mind is wandering you can count your breaths. Don’t count until large numbers, try counting up to 5 and then start from the beginning.
  • At the end, open your eyes and stand up slowly. Embrace the clear mind feeling, the positivity, the comfort and strength of your body and take them away with you.