In our increasingly busy society, the land of maximum productivity, continuous rushing around and lunches on the move, it’s easy to put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list.
But how are we meant to keep up and get all these things done if we don’t look after ourselves first. Yoga is a great way to take some time out for yourself, turning your focus back in towards yourself and giving you the time you need to reconnect, rejuvenate and recenter. Whether it’s the slower paced Yin Yoga that takes your fancy, the more dynamic Vinyasa Flow classes or somewhere in between with Slow Flow, there is always something to suit everybody at every level.
Yoga is not just for the body, helping improve strength, stamina, coordination and flexibility, it is also good for the mind. By slowing down a little and bringing our focus and attention back in towards ourselves and our breath, we are giving space to allow our mind to relax. By focusing on the breath we become conscious in the present moment, whilst allowing our nervous system to be calmed and reducing stress and anxiety. In Yoga we call it pranayama, ‘prana’ meaning breath or life force and ‘yama’ meaning restrain or control. Your body can’t relax if your mind and breath are racing and believe it or not they are directly linked to one another. Did you know that breathing more slowly and taking longer breaths can actually reduce your appetite. People who breathe quickly or rapidly often overeat. There are so many benefits to pranayama, apparently 70% of our body’s waste is eliminated through the lungs.
So breathing deeply actually helps your body get rid of waste and function more easily. Not to mention the huge amount of positive benefits breathing deeply has on your brain by supplying it with oxygen. There are many different practices of pranayama, but the simplest one is to just find yourself in a comfortable position wherever you may be and bring your focus and attention to your breath, first noticing how if feels to breathe and the sound of your breath, and then gradually beginning to expand each breath, making each inhalation and exhalation a little bit longer and a little bit more even than the breath before, allowing your breath to fill your whole body. By focusing on calming your breath it automatically calms your mind and in turn your body. If you do nothing else today, just find some time to really breathe!
Join our Meditation Month in May and experience your own changes!