The mindfulness movement seems to have taken us by storm - and with good reason! We’re becoming more aware of the negative effects that chronic stress has on our bodies, nervous system and overall health and wellbeing.
Our nervous system is highly tuned to environmental stressors. For example; the sympathetic nervous system clicking into gear with the fight or flight response when our bodies indicate there is perceived near threat. However, the flip side of this is when our parasympathetic system comes into play during times of rest, ease and safety.
The chronic stressors that we live with day after day and always having to be “on” - means that the fight or flight nervous system is more often triggered than not as stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline flood the system. Neuroscience studies show that the amygdala - the brain’s fear centre, grows with chronic stress, and our window of tolerance decreases. As a result, we may have trouble achieving a sense of ease or calm. There may even be a sense of losing control, of depression, or anger and irritability.
This is where yoga and meditation can be extremely beneficial. There has been a recent revolution within the yoga community towards “slow yoga”. The pace is slowed down, allowing time to mindfully move with breath. While myofascial tissue release is one benefit of the movement, it’s through breathing practices that we can slow the heart rate, lower our blood pressure and restore balance to the overworked sympathetic nervous system - this makes a real difference to your overall sense of health and wellbeing.
Una will be offering a slow yoga class Fridays at 11.15am at Habit Majestic. This class is suitable for anyone after more gentle movements. The emphasis of the class is on mindful practice that while benefiting the tissues and joints, it has an overall calming effect on the body and mind. After the Festive period, this is the perfect time for rest and restoration and a great way to get through the working day.