It’s well documented that when we feel depressed, we tend to move slower, less often and hunch the shoulders. But is it possible that simply adopting this position e.g. sitting down for hours hunched over a keyboard with the chest dropped, can stimulate feelings of depression? There’s strong evidence to suggest it can. Researchers have found that when deliberately placed into a slumped position, we tend to have better recollection of negative events: easily recalling times when we have felt hopeless, powerless or helpless. By contrast, those sitting upright with the chest broad found it hard to recall negative events, [...]
As the division between work and life blurs and collective stress levels reach an all-time high, it’s hardly surprising that a couple of cheeky drinks are called upon to unwind, connect with colleagues and put office politics back into perspective. Plenty valuable networking is oiled with alcohol and, when the company is paying, there’s even more reason to drink up! The morning after, though, can take on a different tone. Queasy, exhausted, fear that we might have finally told the boss what we really think (I swear he's mad at me this morning) and a general sense of ill-being envelops [...]
A short, simple routine that's great as a warm up before getting in the water, or to stretch the muscles out after a session. Focus the attention inwards, becoming aware of how each movement and transition feels in the body. Slow, steady breathing aids relaxation and body awareness, helping you be ready for whatever the waves present! Let me know what you think!
Strength and awareness beat force and rigidity for collaborative and exemplary decision making. As children, handstands were an expression of our carefree and fearless selves. They were spontaneous, energising and fun. As adults, regardless of yoga experience, they can feel forced, exhausting and intimidating. What changed? In this inverted, unsupported place, we must feel confident in our ability to stay easy in the face of uncertainty, connect with our centre, challenge our comfort level and approach it all with an attitude of fun, no matter how it ends. Perhaps a lifetime of socialisation and self-set expectations can dampen this inherent [...]
Perhaps the most well-known and classic image of yoga, Downward Facing Dog is fundamental to the flow of sun salutations and features in most classes. Yoga practitioners at every level find familiarity here. Love it or hate it, it’s hard to avoid and as asanas go, this one is all-encompassing. Stretching and strengthening the feet, legs, back, shoulders, arms and wrists, Downward Facing Dog is energising and relaxing. It is said to boost circulation, digestion, improve bone density and release tension. In short, if this is the only practice you add to your day, you’re bound to benefit. Often overlooked, [...]
With a growing body of research uncovering the efficacy of yoga and meditation for improving stress levels, sleep quality and depression, as well as improved flexibility, strength and stamina, it’s unsurprising that more and more of us are stepping onto the yoga mat seeking the antidote to modern living. For those considering taking the plunge, here are 5 things to know before rolling out the mat. 1. Let Go of Competing This may be the first time we’ve been a beginner at anything for a long time. Enjoy the experience with curiosity. We push ourselves in daily life and at [...]
This posture confidently exemplifies restraint, patience and self-awareness. The seated forward bend is one of the greatest guides to letting go of the ego. Our inherent competitive nature may surface initially, pushing us deeper into the stretch. It’s common to overlook the breath or become aware of what’s happening on the next mat, but the folded nature of the posture fosters a feeling of grounding, of coming back to oneself. Learning to focus inwards we can let go of the need to compare ourselves to others. We understand that every body is created differently and can begin to enjoy the [...]
“I’d love to practice yoga, but I am just not flexible enough.” Whenever I hear that, I curiously ask, “Ok, so where else in your life does your inflexibility show up?” Now we have a conversation! This can surprise some people who meant to just talk about their physical body and possibly, only certain parts. There's a reason I ask. Mounting evidence suggests our mental wellbeing affects our physical state and many illnesses manifesting in the body originate in the mind. When the conversation moves beyond the physical, almost everyone feels this truth. The Oxford definition of flexible is: Flexible [...]