BEAT THE BLUES

Woman in splits Mar 13If you’re feeling blue after a long winter, psychiatrists advise heading for a yoga class.

Science has now proven that yoga can help people suffering from mental illnesses; depression and anxiety, post traumatic stress, alcohol dependency, eating disorders, ADHD and epilepsy.

The Yoga, The Brain and Mental Health Conference in November 2012 brought psychiatrists, scientists and yoga teachers from all over the world to share findings on how yoga improves people’s state of mind and health.

MRI scans show that the amygdala (area of the brain responsible for the fight or flight response) reduces in size after regular meditations. Practising yoga works through its holistic approach affecting the physical body, the mind and the breath and the emotions together. For people with emotional regulation difficulties, starting with a physical approach can be easier and quicker than beginning with specific behavioural training.

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Keep on Practising!

yoga woman Mar 13Have you ever looked at someone doing yoga and thought they were born that bendy and that’s why they are able to do yoga?

Research and a recent book by Malcolm Gladwell assert that even people who we think of as ‘clever’ or ‘gifted’ have only got to their level of achievement because they have been putting in the hours, day in, day out.

Neurologist Daniel Levitin says “the emerging picture from such studies is that 10,000 hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert-in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again… No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time..”

However, in his book Deceived Wisdom, David Bradley disagrees saying it was based on research by psychologist Anders Ericsson of Florida State University who never mentioned it. Bradley maintains “It (practice) can make you perfectly competent – but not necessarily excellent”.

Nevertheless if we want to progress and develop in body, mind and spirit through yoga, as with anything, putting in the practice means we reap rewards and create a healthy discipline in our lives.  I don’t agree with Huffington Post writer, Kino MacGregor’s single-minded view that we have to keep going back to the mat in order to practise. There are many other ways to practise yoga too, especially if we are not so physically flexible and strong. The following are just a few:

– bringing the attention to the breath,

– feeling the feet on the ground, and our posture, as we stand and walk,

– listening to someone with complete attention

– treating ourselves and others with ‘ahimsa’ (non violence)

If you’d like to know more, read the article in the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kino-macgregor/yoga-practice_b_2870247.html or put in the hours and read the books!

NEXT YOGA WORKSHOP

         

Desk workers’ 9 to 5 – Restore and Revive! Eliminate neck, shoulder and back ache.

Sunday 17th March 2 -5.30pm

Office Worker with Mountain of PaperworkRedwick  Hall

Do you sit at a desk for hours, hunched over the computer? Does neck pain, back ache or headaches make you miserable? Do you suffer from stress and find it difficult to relax?

Learn techniques to use at work to eliminate those aches and pains. Sink into that perfect stretch and safely ease out tensions. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting upright and your body breathing a thank you…it’s at ease again.

Book and find out more by contacting Sian on sian@sianruleyoga.com.

£25 per person or take advantage of our bring a friend offer at £20 each.

New Yoga Class

On Wednesdays from 10th April a new class will start at the beautiful Redwick Village Hall, near Magor, at 10 – 11.30am.

6 week course beginning with a free taster session to help those who have no experience of yoga to decide if it’s right for them and give an incentive to those who want to sign up straight away.

Focusing on simple, safe and effective yoga to tone and relax, the yoga sessions will….

Strengthen your back & abdominals

Improve posture & balance

Strengthen joints & muscles

Improve your wellbeing

Relax, de-stress & calm the mind

Improve suppleness

To join you’ll complete a Health & Fitness Questionnaire and the full cost of £40bwyteacherlogo_new is payable by first class.

To book or to ask for further details leave a ’comment’ below for Sian or call –

0787 257 1934 or 01291 630188

On Doing Less

On Doing Less.do-less-small2

Re-posted from http://fitisafeministissue.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/on-doing-less/#comments – an interesting site with a particular perspective that still manages to put forward lots of practical ideas on a broad range of fitness issues in an open and inclusive way.

The time-management ideas are excellent – I shall put them to good use. I have certainly worked on the premise that a little of yoga practised is better than none!! But may I comment that yoga practised on the mat is just that – practice for living our lives anywhere doing a whole miriad of things with all the benefits that yoga brings: strength, flexibility, balance to name but a few!  Now I’ve visited the blog, I’ll be revisiting!

STRENGTH IN YOGA

Man Flexing BicepsSaturday saw a group of yoga teachers in south east Wales having a brilliant yoga day’s training on how to bring strength into yoga, and why it’s so important. We all know yoga is great for increasing our flexibility, but without strength, flexibility can mean joints aren’t protected and injuries can happen.

Our experienced teacher, Zoe Knott, gave us simple yet effective exercises based on anatomy, to help strengthen thighs, feet, arms, abdominals and wrists. With these areas strengthened, the whole body is covered!

And unlike muscle building exercises that build just the middle part of the muscle, yoga strengthens the whole of the muscle right down to the connective tissue, which protect joints so effectively.  Zoe also covered ways in which we can enter and exit yoga poses safely and strongly, keeping the back in neutral and protecting the sacro-iliac joints which often suffer from general wear and tear.

Yoga classes around Wales will be benefitting from safe, strong yoga at the same time as getting flexible – and when you know that strength in body also means strength in the mind, just imagine what we’ll be able to achieve!

HOT FITNESS FOR 2013

fitnessGettyA recent Independent article introduced the newest fitness options tailored to suit the time-poor. From drinking healthy juices or eating gluten-free food to Aqua Zumba or Ugi classes (barefoot workouts from Canada using exercise balls) there’s something for everyone. Or is there? The Aqua Zumba sessions are likened to a ‘Miami pool party’ and Cardio Tennis is concentrated on one side of the body. In order to keep the body properly balanced, there will be a need to find something else to compliment it. The author, Gillian Orr, also makes the point that in these days when we are watching the pennies, aspirations for having a personal trainer may be just that, an aspiration. To get a tailored session at the lowest cost, consider getting together with a couple of like-minded friends and booking a trainer for a package to suit all.

School Children in Physical Education Class man squatting

HAPPY HIPS FOR EVER!

The Beijing Osteoporosis Study of 2002 found that a group of Chinese had 80% – 90% less osteoporosis in the hips than a similar group of Americans.
One of the reasons attributed to this was that Chinese, whatever their age, rest and work in a ‘squat’ position. Westerners tend to use chairs and sofas. This shortens hamstrings and restricts the mobility of hips thinning the cartilage and making the joints more prone to osteoporosis.
To keep your hips healthy, squat to do things on the floor instead of always on a table, go outdoors and get gardening when it’s warmer or enjoy tramping through the current snowdrifts – just a word of caution –  don’t stress your knees! And join a local yoga class to keep them in all-round great working order!

Make your Choice!

Group of Young People at a Party Sitting on a Couch with ChampagneThe average party goer puts on over 10lb over Christmas, so now party-time is over, be ruthless and say ‘no’ to all those left over naughty nibbles and half empty bottles of spirits.  Keep up your resolve to get your fitness back by choosing an activity that suits you. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you won’t stick at it.

Buddha said: Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.

If you choose yoga, it will take you along a path that helps you feel better not just in body but in mind and spirit too – not just for 2013.

And for a full list of all the benefits of yoga (there are plenty!) see the About Yoga page – and you’ll know you’ve made the right choice.

Lose weight naturally

We often want to lose a few pounds. Sometimes we do it without thinking, our body just knows when to consume less. At this time of year, after lots of treats and big sociable meals it can a be a more conscious decision. Yoga can help raise this awareness, encouraging the body to self regulate, provide physical postures to enable the body to work well internally as well as externally, and teaches non violence or ahimsa. This means not simply doing no physical damage to anyone but also being kind to ourselves; not over eating and eating healthily so we can live positively and in harmony in body, mind and spirit. Here’s to a Happy New Year!