Stretch your body, stretch your mind

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I have been reminded this week of the benefits of yoga, both for physical and mental health. Today I want to focus on the mental health benefits of the practice, and share some of what I have been noticing.

Yoga can be seen as a form of exercise, but well taught it does much more than just exercise the body. 

A good class will focus on the way we use the breath, helping participants to regulate their nervous systems by making deep, well paced breathing feel increasingly natural and normal.

Yoga asanas are physical poses or positions that the teacher guides the class to adopt. In class, we each get into our own unique expression of the asana because different body shapes respond in different ways to the movements. One person will find one pose easy, the next pose hard. The person next to them may find the reverse is true for them.  This diversity can help us to accept our own experience, and to build our self esteem as we notice that there is no one body type that can do everything, we each have our own strengths and stretches.

Staying with a pose that is challenging can also be a beneficial experience. Learning that we can tolerate discomfort, and stay there anyway is a valuable lesson, and one that we can take out of the yoga class into life.

Finally, after a wonderfully challenging yoga class last night, I am feeling the benefit of the energy that was released in my practice. I feel open, more connected, and softer as I navigate my day. Its reminded me of the tremendous benefits of stretching. We are energy, and we are matter. As I twisted and reached last night it is as if I have let go of old stuck energies, and made space for the new. The vitality that has resulted has tangible changed my state of mind and well being. 

If the thoughts here are stimulating and you've not tried yoga as part of your self-care routine, you might consider giving it a try.

Go to the profile of Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

I am here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to clients based in Durham. I am UKCP Accredited and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists locally. I have worked in private practice, the NHS, and in charitable organisations, with a wide range of clients and conditions.

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