Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life. it can be smooth and easy for some women. But for others it can bring increased anxiety, depression, endless hot flushes, and sleepless nights. This all can lead to fatigue and exhaustion.
Sound familiar? So based on research which has shown that 83% of women experiencing “menopausal disorders” found their regular yoga practice helpful.
A randomised controlled trial of 33 women with hot flushes done at Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute evaluated the effects of stress-reduction training. The women who practised relaxation response, a technique based on yoga mantra meditation, brought significant reductions in hot flush intensity. Additionally a marked reduction in measures of anxiety and depression, compared to the control group.
All it takes is about 20-30 minutes a day and this has the power to transform these years to a time of personal growth, calm and serenity. Want to know more?
- Increases energy and reduces fatigue
- Reduces stress levels and increases productivity
- Relieves physical aches and pains
- Reduces absenteeism
- Lifts morale and overall employee job satisfaction
Many companies recognise the value of offering yoga, meditation and relaxation classes for their employees. There are many benefits to a regular yoga practice, however in the busy lives we live today, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to factor in a self-care plan that fits with their work and other commitments. We are seeing increasing dis-ease triggered by stress and lack of life balance.
Yoga encompasses both mind and body awareness, through a combination of physical exercise and an internally directed mindful awareness of the whole self. This in turn begins to calm the nervous system and combat stress, anxiety and can assist with depression.
Improving wellbeing and resilience to stress are key issues facing many organisations today. Stress has become the biggest threat to the future health of the workforce. Many work hours are lost due to sickness absence, much of which is stress related.
Resilience to stress means that employees can respond productively when faced with significant change or pressure to achieve outcomes.
Why don’t staff take up yoga at work?
One of the biggest obstacles is finding time in the workday to attend a Yoga class.
As workplace wellness is becoming increasingly important, what if there was a way that you could introduce staff to holistic, safe and accessible yoga and meditation sessions, which easily fit into their day?
Enter – Express Corporate Yoga – where staff will have the opportunity to breathe, stretch and relax, taking just 15-30 minutes of their workday, with a range of times to suit everybody.
5 key elements for successful express yoga
- Centring the mind
- Internal awareness
- Stretching sequences
- Breathing exercises
Awesome benefits for the Company and Employees
This facilitates attendees to move towards a higher level of body awareness, better posture and improved health on a physical, mental and emotional level.
Every class will see your staff leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, balanced and more productive, leading to better business outcomes, less sick days and higher job satisfaction.
Can meditation help with stress?
The short answer is YES.
10 benefits of meditation
- Reduces effects of stress
- Calms the mind
- Helps to focus the mind to be more productive
- Improves brain function
- Lowers blood pressure
- Relaxes the nervous system
- Improves the function of the nervous system
- Lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol
- Leads to healthier habits
- Assists spiritual growth
The benefits of meditation are backed by extensive scientific research over thousands of years, dating back to the study and teachings of the ancient Yogis in the Himalayas and continues to be researched today.
How to begin meditation
Meditation is about bringing stillness to your mind, this will then flow onto your life and eventually radiate out to those around you. We can’t change others, we can only change our own perspectives, one small step at a time. When we begin to feel calmer inside, the energy we project outward changes and we begin to notice that this has a ripple affect on others.
You don’t need any special equipment to get started, just a quiet place and 5 or 10 minutes, where you can be uninterrupted. If you can’t find this amount of time, even 2 minutes is a good way to start cultivating a beneficial lifelong habit.
Find a place which is quiet, soft lighting is ideal and some fresh air if possible. Sit comfortably either in a chair, on the floor or on a cushion. Sitting with a straight spine, close the eyes and relax the body, starting at the head and working your way down to the feet. Relaxing each part of your body.
The goal in meditation is to bring your attention inwards, letting go of what is going on around you, for a time. The best way to slow down the endless thoughts in the mind is to focus on the flow of your breath. Without trying to change it, observe the quality of your breath without judgement. Meditation is nothing more than giving the mind something to focus on.
Counting the breath is a simple technique – count from 1 – 5 and 5 -1 with each inhale and exhale. Or you may like to focus on the feeling of the breath going in and out of your nostrils. Focus the attention on the point just below the tip of the nose, the Nasagra point (in Sanskrit). Feel the flow of air at this point.
Alternatively you may like to adopt a focused gaze. Perhaps a candle flame, or a a picture you find beautiful, or visualise a serene setting in your mind. Developing a concentrated intention with your gaze is known as Dristi.
Meditation is the practice of the fifth limb of yoga, pratyahara which means sense withdrawal, as well as the sixth limb dharana relating to concentration.
Meditation is concentration, without force and without judgement. There is no right or wrong way. Learn to witness the thinking process, but do not identify with the thoughts, become the observer of your mind. This will give you access to the unconscious mind.
As you integrate this simple practice into your days, you will begin to notice the subtle changes. As you acquire the habit of witnessing the thought patterns, you directly experience the thoughts as an observer and come to know the true nature of your own mind.
Want to know more about meditation and stress?
This book has been a wonderful addition to my library. If you would like to obtain a copy and cannot find it online please get in touch.
Why Yoga is appropriate for everyone
Stress is more prevalent in society today, than ever before.
10 health effects of stress
- Impaired function of the immune system
- Increased inflammation
- Problems with memory
- Increased resistance to insulin
- Poor sleep
- Increase in sensations of pain
- Adoption of less healthy habits
Yoga helps mankind to understand their inner skills and use them as much as possible to ensure good health.
Beyond the physical positive effects of Yoga, a regular practice offers tools – allowing you to take charge of your own health.
Over time yoga helps you to realise that things that you may regularly get upset about are not all that important.
It teaches acceptance of what is, allowing release of tension and building nervous system resilience.
The truth about how to live a healthier, happier life
Benefits of Yoga
Discover 10 extra benefits of a slow conscious yoga practice:
- Slow Conscious Yoga is the cutting edge of health and wellness
- Builds an awareness of what is happening inside the body
- Releases unconscious muscular tension
- Helps to reduce inflammation
- Helps manage the symptoms of chronic disease
- Lowers blood pressure
- Calms and soothes an overtaxed nervous system
- Improves strength, flexibility and balance
- Brings a sense of calm and peace to life
- Improves joint health
Yoga is a science studied for thousands of years by the ancient Yogis who emphasised the necessity for holistic health. The study is as ancient as human life.
Looking into the subtle aspects of yoga tends to temporarily suspend the thinking process into a state of open enquiry, wonder and complete relaxation.
Mindful awareness of internal breath and subtle body sensations naturally reveals context, depth and counterbalance to the effects of lifelong habits, stress and negative thoughts. As the subtle body starts to become balanced and the energy channels begin to open you will be able to free your mind of bias, judgement, conditioning and start to let go of what no longer serves you.
Words fail to convey the total value of Yoga
It has to be experienced
In yoga, it is believed that a person’s longevity is measured by the number of breaths one takes; therefore, a person’s lifespan could be lengthened by slower breathing. Slow breathing is cultivated by paying attention to one’s breathing.
Yoga in the Himalayan Yoga Tradition allows students to become fully aware of the breath during the Asana practice and this then allows this to follow through into everyday life. Using the techniques learned and practiced in the Yoga classes will lead to a calmer, more balanced flow in life. This is why all classes have a strong focus on the breath.