So we often see in the press, on social etc that yoga is amazing for your mental health. I myself have often shouted about the benefits. But what really are we talking about, is moving around on your mat really going to help depression and anxiety? In short…..yes!
What you have to get out of your head however are these insta-perfect images of Lycra clad beach bodies in pretzel positions in all their tanned glory. This is not yoga, most of the time its just acrobatics.
Yoga is made up of so many levels, breathing (pranayama) meditation, movement (asana) and more. It can be an exercise class or a way of life, you chose!
So how exactly does yoga help?
- It increases body awareness and helps to connect you to exactly where you are in the moment
- The breathing can help you to regulate your emotions, blood pressure and help you to feel calm even when anxiety is knocking at the door
- Yoga introduces you to non-attachment; learning to let go of that crushing feeling that everything is so so important and you must give 100% to succeed. Yes us yogis work hard for what we want but we realise in the end we must become detached from the result and perhaps enjoy the journey too?
- It promotes non-violence and this importantly means towards yourself as well. Learn how to banish those horrid thoughts you think to just yourself
- Yoga helps to move out of fight or flight. In the modern world we now pretty much live in a high stress state always waiting for the next bombardment. Yoga helps you to come out of that and feel true rest
- We promote no competition in classes. This means focusing on yourself and leaving the ego at the door. There is no ‘well she is bendier than me’ or ‘he looks much stronger on his mat’ there is only you and your practise
- Yoga is FUN. So I know it can all get a bit serious but anyone who has been to one of my classes knows I love a giggle and smiling whilst in chair pose is a must!
- Yoga poses can bring up some sh*t you need to deal with. Truly, you might be in pigeon or crow and suddenly something releases and you just feel the need to deal with a thought or a feeling you have been ignoring. I’ve seen tears shed simply from being in a forward fold and breathing
- Yoga is compassion. For your body, for your breath, for your heart. You learn to stop fighting yourself and show yourself some long needed compassion. It then begins to spill out to everyone else
- Yoga is exploration…..come and explore…