Emotional and Mental Health
In an ideal world, stress would be something we could turn on and off as we needed it ( and we do need it sometimes)
But with work life balance being turned upside down for many and the financial, practical and social strains that this pandemic has brought, stress is very much stuck on the automatic switch.
In addition, it’s easy for the days to frustratingly merge into a conveyor belt of work, chores and boredom, with little relief. When physical space is compromised or your usual habits for stress busting are hampered, you may find that you have less fire in your belly and more a burning irritation.
Stress and anxiety, as we have discussed in our previous blog, plays all sorts of havoc from our head to our toes, from immunity to digestion.
Setting time aside to practice yoga, no matter what level you are at, will give you space greater than the walls that surround you. Not only will you develop calming breathing techniques but the art of mindfulness, that with practice will change how you deal with the difficult things that come your way. It is good for both immediate and longterm relief of stress and If you have never tried yoga before, then enjoy the fun and change of taking part in something new!
Yoga has been shown, through research, to help reduce chronic pain, improve strength and balance, and improve the overall health of our respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive and neurological systems. In addition it has been shown to improve our immunity by counteracting the effects that stress hormones have on it. With Yoga’s many forms and adaptability, its benefits can be enjoyed at all levels of practice and at a time when the importance of our physical health is well documented and there’s a need for staying healthy at home, Yoga is an ideal way to help achieve this.
Working from home, has certainly not helped with the aches and pains, the tension and the stiffness that comes with constant poor posture; even with the snazziest of work stations. We are probably spending more time sitting rather than going for that walk at lunch and our working hours can easily extend further and further into the day because there is no time constraints to having to travel or leave the office by a certain time.
To compound this, we can’t go to the gym or the pool, we can’t attend our weekly classes or sports training, ultimately leading to more sitting and sedentary lifestyles.
Yoga, particularly if practiced daily, encourages better posture and is great for easing tension in the muscles and improving flexibility and strength. At the very least just getting our bodies moving and warmed up, will make difference.
Sleep comes to us all differently, but some of us may be having trouble getting to sleep and switching off. A change in our daily routine may have culminated in reduced exercise, additional caffeine, less stimulation and social interaction, all of which contribute to poor sleep habits. But the right yoga practice promotes healthy sleep, helping you get to sleep faster and improving the quality of your sleep. Yoga Nidra is ideal for an evening Yoga practice. This deep relaxation technique, will have you nodding off and enjoying the land of zzz’s in no time.
We have all felt the blow of reduced social contact, whether that be a cuppa at your friends house, a class that you enjoy, or a regular trip to the shops where you stop and chat along the way.
Yoga before lockdown was a great way to socialise and it still is now, albeit virtually. It reduces boredom and isolation and gives us something regular to look forward to, which is a tonic in itself. Even online we aim to create a relaxed, warm and friendly environment and we will never say no to a good natter!