One of our counsellors (Maureen) is a qualified yoga teacher and runs Mindful Yoga at Oasis. She just sent me the first of her Yoga insights articles for the year, so proud to provide it below. Enjoy!
Yoga is a wonderful system for wellbeing and includes a variety of tools which can positively affect our nervous systems and support us to manage stress. As well as offering the Mindful Yoga classes this year, I am going to occasionally offer some brief yoga-based wellness tips through the year.
The first yoga practice suggestion for 2021, is to shake off 2020. I’m sure a few of us would really like to shake 2020 off and start the year fresh?
Shaking our body is a great short practice that can be done sitting or standing. It is simply allowing your body to become loose and start to gently shake. You can shake individual limbs, or you can shake your whole body at once. You can choose whether this is a gentle or a more vigorous shake. You can choose whether you are standing up or sitting down for the practice. You can do this for just a few moments, or a few minutes.
Shaking hydrates the fascia, which is our connective tissue of the body. Fascia is also connected to our nervous system. If you observe animals such as cats or dogs, often after a stressful event, they will automatically get up and give themselves a bit of a shake. In this way, shaking can act as a reset to the nervous system, and is thought to help reduce the amount of cortisol, or stress producing hormone in the system.
If you want to add a yogic element to shaking, try adding a gentle Bhramari (Bee) breath while shaking. Bhramari breath is a safe and effective practice while lengthens our exhale breath and can active the para sympathetic nervous system. Try humming through a closed mouth as you exhale while you are shaking. You do not have to hum loudly, and about 3 rounds will probably be enough. When you have finished shaking and humming, take a few moments to pause and notice the effects on your nervous system.
Let me know how you found the practice. Mindful Yoga classes are on at Oasis during the summer, and all are welcome to join us. Booking required through Eventbrite.