At all of our weekly classes this week we discussed Mental Health Awareness Week and the topic for this year which is stress.
Stress has been shown to be one of the main contributory factors in triggering a mental health problem. Research has shown that two thirds of us will experience a mental health problem during our lifetime.
In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness week we decided we would start the conversation about mental health and ask our yoga students to share their tips and ways of dealing with Stress.
We had our Stress board at all the classes and students all wrote down on a post it note what they do to deal with stress.
At the end of this week we had a mountain of post it notes with lots of helpful tips and ideas. We typed them all up and entered them into a special website of wizardry which came out with a wonderful word cloud with the most common suggestions in a bigger font. Here are the results;
The top 3 helpful suggestions were going for a walk, talking to someone and doing yoga! Have a look at the word cloud and see if there are any ideas that you may like to try next time you are feeling stressed.
We would like to sincerely thank all of our students for taking part in this activity and sharing their own personal strategies for dealing with stress. Sharing our ideas can help others and remove the perceived stigma around Mental Health. The greater our awareness of Mental Health is and the knowledge that many of us will experience a mental health problem in our lifetime will help those who are suffering in silence. There is no need to suffer in silence, talk and reach out. People have lots of tips and strategies that may help you too.
One of our regular West Kirby yoga students Ludmila has her own business, Esperanza Holistics, based in West Kirby.
Ludmila offers Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Reiki, Deep Tissue massage, Seated Acupressure massage; either as individual treatments, or usually as a wonderful combination.
Both of us had a lovely massage from Ludmila and we both felt fantastic afterwards. We have booked in for another and I think we will make it a regular thing! We have both had a number of massages before and Ludmila provided one of the best massages we have ever had, we highly recommend her!
A combination of a regular yoga practice and regular massage is a recipe for good physical and mental health.
Esperanza Holistics is situated in a specially dedicated room in a family house, in the centre of West Kirby.
Find out more information at Ludmila’s website at;
I thought I would share with you that I have just completed a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course with Rita Bennet and Pauline Johnson at Hoylake Parade Community Centre. I love learning and am always looking at ways to continue our professional development as Yoga Teachers.
The MBSR course was very enjoyable and gave me some useful personal insights. The way Rita and Pauline teach the course and the structure of the course ensure that mindfulness is looked at from many different angles. This empowers you to realise how mindfulness can be woven into every aspect of life.
Prior to attending the course I had a good knowledge of mindfulness and regularly practice mindfulness both as a meditation practice and also in activities in life. However, this course really helped me to make progress on my mindfulness journey and I would highly recommend it.
Rita and Pauline also provide a weekly handout to take home with you to assist your practice along with CD’s of guided mindfulness meditations / relaxations. The course includes a silent day of mindfulness which at first sounded rather daunting but was great and actually I wanted to remain silent when we were told that we could begin talking again!
Mindfulness meditation has been proven to create new neural pathways in the brain, in essence hard wiring us to access relaxation more easily. At the same time we create new brain cells thus increasing the size of our brains!
We enjoy teaching a mindful approach in our yoga classes and we have woven many of the things I learnt on the MBSR course into our classes so that our students can benefit from mindfulness.
Rita and Pauline have a website where they list their courses, here is the link to it, check it out!
I have just got back from teaching a one to one Yoga session to our lovely yoga student Catherine in the sunshine in Ashton Park, West Kirby. What a perfect way to spend the afternoon!
Catherine was completely new to Yoga when I started teaching her in January this year. She has made fantastic progress in her practice with each session and has established a home practice from the handouts and guidance that we provide.
Catherine allowed me to take a picture of her (above) in Halasana (plough pose) this afternoon. This posture shows the progress she has made and demonstrates perfect form with strength, stability and ease. Catherine hasÂ noticed her strength and flexibility improve and has found the breathing techniques and relaxations beneficial in dealing with life in general!
The second picture above is how we end our practice, with a guided relaxation. Today we had the pleasure of being able to relax in the warmth of the afternoon sunshine in the beautiful natural surroundings of Ashton Park. We had a curious little blackbird wandering around whilst we practiced!
In addition to our weekly group classes we provide private one to one yoga sessions. For more information please check outÂ One to One Yoga