It’s no secret that we live in a society plagued with stress, anxiety and hardships, seemingly overbearing at times. It’s no secret that there is constructed standard about how we should look, act and think in order to be deemed as ‘normal’. It’s much more of a secret that these ideals contributed to 6,639 suicides in the UK and the Republic of Ireland in 2015.
In no way am I saying that something as minor as taking an hour out of your day will prevent suicide, but it can help you to gain some perspective on challenges in your life and reflect upon them, taking appropriate action accordingly.
Yoga is a brilliant form of exercise for relaxing and loosening up tense areas of the body. It isn’t too strenuous (for those who don’t want to do high impact routines), yet still comes with the satisfaction that you got up and did something! As well as this, a great thing about yoga is that most leisure centres will probably do classes if you would prefer to be led by an instructor, or, alternatively, you can do it from the comfort of your own home. The decision is entirely up to you!
A yoga release I highly recommend is the Les Mills Body Balance which combines both yoga and mindful meditation. The music is suited perfectly to the different stretches you’re doing, and it’s always being updated as to never have you become tired of doing the same things repeatedly - which can make exercise really laborious. All in all, yoga is both a great way of staying in shape and gaining more control over your own body; something everyone should have.
Songs I recommend to listen to whilst doing yoga:
- Troye Sivan - Youth
- Slumberjack - Fracture ft. Vera Blue
- Seeb - What Do You Love ft. Jacob Banks
- The Chainsmokers - All We Know ft. Phoebe Ryan
- The Kooks - Shine On
Mindful meditation is a lot more simple. It involves getting to truly know yourself without distraction or judgment. This is important when going through tough times as it really allows you to confront challenges head on rather than shying away from them.
Here are some tips on how you can achieve a state of mindful meditation:
- Lie down somewhere with low level or natural lighting, maybe even outside, as long as there is no distractions.
- Pre decide how long you will spend meditating, else your mind can become focused on when you should stop, rather than what is important.
- Close your eyes and allow your whole body to go limp. Relax yourself completely, starting from your toes, all the way up to the top of your head.
- Become aware of your own breathing, inhale and exhale deeply and slowly through your nose - don’t lose focus on this.
- Feel the floor beneath you, the things that surround you, the very clothes on your body and the heat on your skin. Know your mind and the world around.
- Allow your mind to wander, it’s natural. Think about your favourite place, what you’re going to do later, happy memories.
- Always bring your mind back to your breathing, it can be easily lost when you let your mind drift.
Hopefully, by following those tips, it allowed your mind to become calmer and de-stressed; that is what this exercise is all about. I want you to appreciate everything in life and what you can do to improve it. Don’t allow expectations and deadlines to get the better of you, your body is a temple and you are the God it was built for. Treat it and yourself in such a way which reflects this.
There is nothing wrong with taking an hour a week to focus solely on you. An hour is but a moment in life and the world has plenty of moments to spare. Don’t let it be a secret that it is okay to take your time and treat yourself right.
Thank you for reading :)
~ Taz ~