"At the end of the day, I can end up just totally wacky, because I’ve made mountains out of molehills. With meditation, I can keep them as molehills.” - Ringo Starr
Hello to all of you lovely people in our Respira Yoga Community!
Its time to talk about how yoga and meditation can enhance your health, especially during the autumn/winter seasons. Would it surprise you to know that mindfulness and maintaining a regular yoga practice can help to boost your immune system?
During this time of year we naturally want to cosy-up indoors and slow down and it is crucial that we listen to what our body needs and take it down a notch at this time of year. If we overdo it, we are inviting colds, flu and bugs to enter our bodies.
Through the practice of yoga we switch ourselves to a more relaxed nervous system which allows our body to focus on restorative functions like cell renewal and the absorption of nutrients instead of producing the stress hormone cortisol, which is aging and detrimental to our overall health.
Incorporating Yoga asana practice, Pranayama (controlled breathing) and meditation into everyday life can feel like a challenge and a bit of an adjustment, but here are five simple steps that you can take to find that balance.
5 Simple Steps To Boost Your Immune System
1) Download the Insight Timer app and chose from thousands of free guided meditations. You can choose how long you have to meditate and then select from any number of themes from ‘Calming the Worried Mind’ to a gorgeous Yoga Nidra like ‘Bone Deep Sleep’. As the app name suggests, it times out at the end of the meditation, leaving you to go to sleep if that is what you are using it for.
2) Sign up for one of our regular yoga classes. We'll be focusing more on the breath and meditation with deep, long holds to strengthen and balance our immune system and help to fight off depression, which can tend to rear its head during this season. There are some spaces in classes leading up to Christmas so email me if you'd like to join us between now and then or book here. Schedule below:
3) Treat yourself to the gorgeous Candlelit Winter Solstice Restorative Session, (Thursday 21st December, 6.30pm @ YMCA, Harrow) where you will be melt into pranayama, yoga nidra (or yogic sleep) and soothing yin style yoga. Practicing restorative yoga in this way deeply relaxes the nervous system, helping to stimulate lymphatic drainage and boost the endocrine system. All of this has the effect of supporting our immunity and help us to cope better with illness.
4) Practice mindful breathing or a 3 part breath. On your next inhale, bring the breath deep down into the belly allowing the chest to expand, the ribs to rise and the belly to inflate. On the exhale the belly softens, the ribs draw in and the chest sinks. Close your eyes and try focusing on these three parts to your next inhale and your next exhale. Start to make your inhale as deep and thorough as possible. Imagine bringing that breath all the way down to your sit bones and low ribs. Make the next exhale as long and drawn out as possible, puffing out every last drop of stale air from your lungs until there is literally nothing left. After breathing in this way for a few minutes you will notice that your breaths per minute have reduced from around 12 to perhaps just 5 deep, nourishing breaths, each minute.
Why is this important? Have a read of the Science of Yoga to understand how breath affects our nervous system and stress and vice versa and to get an idea of how vital it is for our immune system that we control the breath and reduce stress.
5) Try this simple gratitude meditation. Close your eyes and deepen your breath. Think of 3 things that you are deeply grateful for. On a long, deep inhale, focus on one of those things, then on the exhale mentally say the word 'thank you'. Repeat twice more. Take your time. Practicing gratitude in this way is a really effective short cut to cultivating present moment awareness. And when we're in THIS present moment, not mulling over what has passed or feeling anxious about the future, we can feel calm and reduce stress in the mind and body.
New Monday 8pm Yoga Class with Emma!
Respira Yoga students have been raving about Emma Burns since she taught a few classes for us at Respira Yoga. If you have been looking for a deep, dynamic, soulful and soothing Monday night yoga class, then look no further! Book now and don't miss out on this opportunity to practice with Emma.
Classes launch on Monday 27th Nov - 18th Dec 2017 (4 Week Pass - £40 @ YMCA, Roxeth Hill, Harrow - Activity Studio). Please note that this class was moved from Wednesdays due to a booking error at the venue.
We look forward to seeing you at a yoga class in the not too distant future.
- Namaste -
“Meditation makes the entire nervous system go into a field of coherence.”
- Deepak Chopra
Respira Yoga London
Mob: 07990 820112
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