In the current state of the world, even the strongest among us are dealing with mental, emotion, physical and social issues. Living through the Pandemic is exposing the need for taking care of our mental health more than ever before.
Mental health problems are a growing public health concern. They are prevalent not just in the UK, but around the world. It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem. Mentalhealth.org.uk
A report by Mentalhealth.org.uk offers 10 ways you can look after your mental health, and 6 of these can be directly checked off by attending a regular Live Online yoga class:
There is no surprise that movement and activity comes high up on this list. And yoga is a great way to bring some movement into your day. Gentle postures help to build strength, flexibility and balance in the body and mind, while at the same time being gentle on your joints. No equipment is needed, anybody can take part, and you don't even need to leave your living room.
Keep in touch
Feelings of loneliness and disconnection are rife in our current climate. People have spent months apart from friends, family and places that used to add a social element to their lives. Being part of a regular Live Online yoga class brings a sense of belonging and community as you're participating in real time, with a real teacher and real students. The connection that occurs by practicing yoga together is really remarkable and does great things for self-esteem and boosting morale.
Take a break
The report suggests that a change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. Getting down on the floor to participate in a yoga class really changes your perspective. Especially if you find a place to practice with a good amount of natural light or in front of a window. Opening the window is also a really nice touch if it isn't too cold! Practicing yoga involves slowing down, letting go of stress and taking some nice big breaths. This gentle breathing, connecting with easy stretches for the body really slows down the mind and ultimately the pace at which you're experiencing your world.
Do something you're good at
OK, so you may be saying, "I can't even touch my toes!" And the great news is, you really don't have to be able to touch your toes. And you don't have to believe you're good at yoga before joining your first class. The other great news is that YOU WILL see improvements in your abilities within your first couple of classes. I teach many beginners, some of who are very dubious to how they believe their bodies will respond to the practice, but ALL turn around and tell me, "hey, I've suddenly connected to part of my body I never even knew existed!" If you come to 3 classes and don't think you're improving, you can have your money back!
Accept who you are
So maybe you're thinking it's getting a little hippy dippy now. And maybe it is, but slowing down, and taking a little bit of time to check in with yourself will, over time, lead to increased self-acceptance. I can almost promise that if you participate in a regular yoga practice you will begin to connect with yourself in ways that you may not have experienced since you were a child.
Care for others
It is scientifically proven that mindfulness and yoga increases compassion. As you begin to take better care of yourself, you will automatically find the headspace to begin to take better care of those around you. Whether that be through being more present in your relationships, to becoming a better listener, or just being less stressed and agitated in your own mind that you are better company for your friends, family and colleagues!
Put yourself in the centre of your own life
Yoga philosophy teaches us the importance of taking care of ourselves. We were many hats. We are parents, spouses, carers, employees, leaders, friends. We have many duties and we juggle many balls. Making sure our cups are full and we are nourished will help us do better in all other areas of our lives. You wouldn't let your phone battery run to empty would you, don't let your battery run to empty either. A regular yoga practice helps you regain a little of you, and you never know, may even tick some if not all of the 6 boxes above.
Yoga for Positive Mental Health - Workshop
Join us for a series of workshops to explore ways, tools and strategies for promoting positive mental health. The first workshop in the series will explore Yoga for Anxiety and will be held on Sunday 6th December, 10-12noon, and you can book your spot here. Everybody is welcome and no prior experience of yoga is necessary.
Ready to create a little bit of space for you? Why not try our Live Online Yoga classes, bringing you accessible yoga for all, from our living room to yours? Sign up now for 15 days of free unlimited classes.
Carrie is a co-founder of The Frog Project, yoga teacher, and full time stay at home mum to two smalls. When she's not playing with the kids or practicing yoga, you'll likely find her in the middle of her veg patch, trowel in hand and covered in mud. She loves the outdoors, and would camp every night given the chance. She and her partner in crime, Martin, set up The Frog Project with the aim of bringing classical yoga to all, and deliver live online classes with a group of dedicated teachers, to students of all experiences, ages, shapes, sizes, jobs, lives, you name it, from all around the world. Join them now and get 15 days of free unlimited classes. It's just yoga.