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Meditation is shown to offer a range of mental and physical benefits, and one way to combat anxiety, or even sadness
· Yogarama shares easy ways to deal with anxiety and stress during the pandemic, including yoga and meditation
Millions of people around the globe are experiencing the physical and mental impact of social distancing and quarantine right now. You might waiver from boredom to overwhelmed in a matter of minutes. Although you may have more down time at home, you're likely feeling anything but relaxed.
We are all feeling a type of invisible anxiety – even though many of us are not going to work and some may no longer have work, what we feel is far from the relaxed state we enjoy when we are on a holiday.
How can you feel more calm during these strange and unpredictable times.
Meditation - The Science-Based Evidence
Practicing meditation is one way to improve physical and mental health. A 2018 study showed that eight weeks of meditation and mindfulness reduced inflammation and hypertension in participants. A 2007 study published in the journal Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioural Neuroscience found that mindfulness meditation increased people's attention spans.
Meditation also good for your emotional well-being. A 2009 meta analysis of research on mindfulness showed that the practice can reduce stress and cortisol levels. And Harvard University research shows that mindfulness may actually change the brain of people with depression.
Meditation doesn't have to be simply sitting in silence. Here are a few creative ways to meditate or be more mindful.
Daily Guided Meditation:
Practising a guided meditation every day at the same time in the same place is one way to bring back a sense of daily routine.
Our regular habitual lives have been disrupted, we don’t have our daily exercise and work routines and nor are able to see family and friends.
This is an ideal time to gently introduce meditation into your life, simply 2 mins a day. See how it feels. Eventually you can build to 5 mins and then 10mins and ideally 20 minutes twice a day is a great option.
You can meditate virtually anywhere so long as you have a laptop or smartphone, headphones, and a few extra minutes.
Yogarama offers 5 week meditation courses and Daniella has guided meditation recordings on the website. Videos of our guided meditation are being created and will be ready for you soon.
We recommend a number of apps. These are simple to use and offer a range of guided meditations of different lengths for your benefit.
Meditation apps include: Headspace app. Insight Timer app. Smiling Minds app. & Calm app.
YOGA FOR WELLNESS:
When we're stressed, it's often hard to sit still. So instead of sitting in meditation, consider doing a more active form of moving meditation such as yoga. A yoga practice in the morning is ideal to set you up for a great day ahead. Ideally practice earlier in the morning before your partner, kids and neighbours get up - it is quieter and no distractions.
Yogarama has a series of guided Yoga videos for Beginners. There are 6 x 20-minute videos and shorter 5-minute videos designed to support you in practising yoga at different times in your day whether its early morning to wake up the body, unwind at the end of a busy day, to quieten an anxious mind or to soothe an aching back. Enjoy these simple yoga and breathing practice and let us know if you have any questions.
Aligned with the 5000 year old tradition of Ayurveda - the sister science of yoga, Yogarama offers sunrise classes at 730am on-line. If you are more familiar with yoga then join our 1 hour long practice daily.
BOOK CLASSES HERE.
Going for a walk in nature at a comfortable pace us calming. Instead of a fast exercise pace walk enjoy a mindful slower walking pace. Focus on your feet moving, then practice being present, in the moment, notice what you see and what you hear on our path.
Doing this active form of mindful walking meditation is especially helpful when you're feeling anxious and stressed after being at home all days.
Most Importantly, at all times, be kind and compassionate to yourself.
Yogarama’s outdoor yoga shala in a protected space, by the ocean, surrounded by nature, on the deck at Wylie’s Baths in Coogee.
It is sobering to know that in the previous epidemic (1918 flu) “fresh air” was noted as a real treatment for flu and other viruses. Today, the science shows us there are definitely health benefits in connecting to nature and breathing the fresh outdoor air. Yogarama believes that our wellness space, offering yoga, pilates and meditation and a swim in the ocean pool, may indeed serve as a much needed retreat for people in these troubled times.
Our classes have a maximum of 10 people on offer per class during this COVID19 pandemic. For those that are working from home in the Coogee, Randwick and Maroubra area, and are feeling well in themselves, we are gifting you a midday class for $14, a full one hour yoga retreat away from the home office.
We will be live streaming some midday classes on FB. So like our FB and watch out for these free classes
The new year is a time for reflection and turning over a new leaf - to let go of the past, create goals for the future and set intentions for the present. Those who succeed in longer term goals know why they are achieving their goals is important to them on a deeper level.
Here 6 tips for a successful New Year’s Resolution in the new decade.
1.Find your ‘Why?
Psychologists have studied health behaviour change in tens of thousands of people and have found that those who succeed in the long-term pass what they call the ‘Threshold of Autonomy’ - where they discover why achieving their goals is important to them at a deeper level.
2. Scaffold your goals
The biggest contributor to successful long-term behaviour change is self-efficacy - the belief that what I’m doing is making a difference. This means that your brain needs regular feedback. I’ve found that the best way to do facilitate this is to break long-term goals down to smaller chunks.
3. Motivation follows action
Once you have your waypoints worked out, you write down a list of behaviours (rituals) on a board and put the board somewhere where you will see it lots of times a day. This is called your Ritual Board and it’s central to your success. On this board you put some hard rituals, but also lots of easy rituals so that you can complete one every time you see your board and tick it off.
4. JFT (Just for Today)
Every morning, you get up, look at yourself in the mirror and say “Just For Today" (JFT). “Just for today, I’m not going to smoke (or drink alcohol or eat crap food) or I will do a workout or eat healthy food.
5.Do a weekly audit
Every Sunday, do a self-reflection exercise. Give yourself a score out of 10 and reflect on what was good and what was not so good. Then give yourself a target score for next week
Many research studies have shown that when people get an accountability partner -someone who is along the journey with you, or on the sidelines to keep you accountable - they are much more successful at achieving their goals.
Taken from Paul Taylor, an Exercise Physiologist and Neuroscientist
A global IT company gifted Yogarama's corporate wellness day package to eight male staff who had performed extremely well as a team this year, just in time for Spring. The majority of the group of participants had never experienced yoga or meditation and none had ever been to Wylie's Baths in Coogee.
In the last decade, the number of businesses running corporate wellness programs has grown
exponentially. Companies have recognised that unhealthy and unengaged employees means decreased productivity, innovation, and an overall decline in profits. Forbes reports that 61% of
employees are burned out on the job.
A US study by CareerBuilder on stress in the workplace found that 31% of respondents experience
an extremely high level of stress at work. These high stress levels resulted in both poor physical health (fatigue, aches and pains, weight gain) and poor mental health (depression, anxiety, anger),
highlighting the link between wellness and work engagement.
The important news for businesses, is there is a proven return on investment for wellness programs.
A report by Yes Psychology & Consulting shows that every $1 spent on an effective wellness program, returned $2.30 to the business. It makes good business sense to invest in corporate wellness. In addition to this, 61% of employees agree that they have made healthier lifestyle choices because of their company’s wellness program, showing there are lasting benefits for employees too.
Yogarama is hosting private wellness day retreats for corporate groups, at an ideal time on Friday arvo. This gives businesses a half day of work for employees, and employees get an early mark, to get away from the office, and enjoy a very relaxing start to their weekend. Companies don't lose days of productivity, or have to pay for overnight accommodation.
Pictured below is the corporate team that joined Yogarama's wellness day package in September 2019 .
"I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written."
Do you ever wake up with aching bones - your entire body feels heavy like lead or does your stomach feels like it is tied in knots from stress. For me, it used to be a regular morning feeling and I dreaded it.
If only someone had revealed to me the benefits of a daily morning yoga stretch - it could have been so different. I spent most of my 20's, 30's and 40's - waking up and pounding the pavement - jogging or going to gym. I'm an early riser and this was my routine before work and then later in life, before the kids woke up.
About 10 years ago, after serious health set back - I left my job and was forced to explore other options. I discovered the health benefits of a morning sunrise yoga practice. Yoga had been an evening practice, after work for me, to unwind. There are definitely health benefits for an evening yoga - which I learnt when studying yoga therapy.
I now appreciate the importance of a morning practice. Yoga and meditation at sunrise is a morning ritual for me - aligning and stretching the body and mind, setting up for a balanced day head with a clear mind and open-heart.
Highly recommend you join our sunrise or early morning yoga classes during the week or on the weekend.
See you on the mat..
Yoga is a great form of self care. Yoga practice is about healing the self through self discovery and self acceptance. It's a transformational practice that strengthens the life force within. It teaches us to overcome internal and external obstacles that come with everyday life.
Pranayama, the regulation of the breath, can be one of the most soothing and calming techniques in yoga. Salt therapy is one of the oldest and most potent forms of improving your lung capacity to help healing. Salt thins the mucus lining our inner lungs allowing us to exhale toxins and decongest our airways.
In the foothills of the Himalayas, local mountain dwelling tribes knew about the effect of salt to increase the lungs breathing capacity. The Himalayan mountain caves are lined with pink salt- the same pink salt you use in your cooking, Himalayan salt. Whenever someone had an illness they would sit in the caves and often would come out feeling better.
The way in which pink salt improves your breathing is by cleaning the air through a process of drying. The salt draws in micro droplets of water, and these droplets trap dust, allergens, and other pollutants on the way. The warm salt lamp is able mimic a cave lined with pink salt, to trap dust, allergens, and pollutants. More importantly, replacing bright lights with the soft orange hue of the salt lamp calms the mind.
A salt lamp in your bedroom or in the quiet space where you practice yoga, can definitely help soothe and relax your body, mind and spirit. I've been using a salt lamp to unwind before bed - it truly works for me. !
July is self-care month for the Yogarama community and we'd love to thank The Salt Lamp Shop for inspiring this self-care blog.
May is the month of mindfulness. One of the hardest practices of all is living in the present moment being aware of the world around you - whether it's tuning into nature practicing outdoor yoga at Wylie's or focusing on a conversation or working in your office or in class, it's paying attention to what IS NOW!.
Having completed Jon Kabbat Zin's Mindfulness Course years ago after becoming a yoga teacher, it has changed my life & teaching practice for the better.
Mindfulness is all about living in the present - being aware of what is happening right now, instead of dwelling in the past or focusing on the future. Cultivating this ability to observe, without judgement, can help us to respond to our experiences with clarity and focus, rather than reacting out of old habits and patterns".
Join us at Yogarama at Wylie's Coogee by the ocean, during the month of May to explore different elements and practices of Mindfulness and Meditation.
Just 10 minutes a day can transform you and the world around you.
Learn More about Our Mindful Meditation Classes here.
"Time and time again, I hear people say “I am not flexible enough to do yoga; there is absolutely NO WAY I could do this pose”. If that's you, read on !!!
Our Core Yoga Course is just right for you.
Yoga is not designed to create flexible rubber bands like the yogis on social media. The physical yoga practice - asana- is to prepare our body for meditation, and the side effects of this are improved mobility, strength, flexibility, and most important, body and mind awareness. That's right?!
So if you are a brand new yogi wanting to try it out, or a seasoned yogi who would like to brush up on alignment and benefit from a slower practice, our Core Yoga Course is for you: step by step, we guide you through to our core and the best alignment for your body, in gentle, effective and playful ways.
Classes our mini-workshops - always focus on an element of core stability which is an indispensable ingredient for the longevity of your practice. Over time you will build flexibility and strength in body and mind, and cultivate a positive outlook in your life!
Wear your most comfortable gear, a curious attitude and an open heart, and join us!"
Join Yogarama's Caroline Bakerman for Core Yoga Classes every 930am Tuesday at Wylies Baths in Coogee, nestled in nature by the ocean.
Happy International Women’s day from the Yogarama Community! IWD2019 is all about #balanceforbetter
As a mother of two, I trained to be a yoga & mindfulness teacher after a potentially life-threatening illness that was mostly caused by too much stress. After nurturing myself back to health and finding balance in my life through meditation and yoga, I started a journey to empower more people to bring back balance and health in their life.
At Yogarama we are celebrating with special classes focused on the theme for this special day #balanceforbetter. We believe life is all about balance, both in creating a world that is gender-balanced as well as living a personal life of balance.
Take a deeper dive into finding inner peace and balance this year and join us for a trip to India - info night in April 2019.
Join the Yogarama team for a special $10 class on International Women’s Day - 9 am Friday to delve into the world of balance.
The journey to health and wellness is an ongoing one - a lifetime of new learnings.
A recent survey of our Yogarama community revealed that many of you are keen to learn about meditation. A regular yoga practice is one big step forward in managing your physical, mental and emotional health and regular meditation is the next big step for many of us.
In my own journey, I began with a regular yoga practice and it was my shift toward a regular meditation practice that truly calmed my mind, grounded me in every aspect of my life leading to spiritual growth. Importantly meditation has truly helped me when I’ve been experiencing anxiety, sleep issues, and illness.
Meditation is increasing in popularity much more as people discover its benefits. There are many forms of meditation from mindful meditation focused on the breath to transcendental meditation using repetitive mantras.
Essentially meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts.
You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings as well as to reduce stress and improve focus.
A regular meditation practice can develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance.
Learn more about the 12 benefits of meditation from this article:
Yogarama will be holding a 4-Week Mindful Meditation Course in our beautiful shala space by the ocean in nature. Register your interest here.
Daniella Goldberg has a love of yoga and a passion for mindful meditation. Through her Hatha-Flow classes, she gently guides her students to grow strong, be flexible, focused and mindful, on and off the mat.