This week my theme has been yoga for mental balance.
I discovered statistics this week showing that women’s mental health has suffered more than men during the pandemic and they are finding it harder to stay positive.
It isn’t surprising given the disproportionate mental load women are already carrying, especially working mums.
Many of my students come to class for a break from home so this year has been really tough.
But we are still not talking about it or asking for help.
How can we reset our balance?
If we practice mindfully and consciously check in with how our body feels, we will learn to become more self-aware and notice changes in our mental state more quickly.
We will notice the physical signs that something isn’t right. A raised heart rate, shallow breathing, muscle tension are all signs that our body is out of balance.
Practicing slow breathing during our practice will help reduce the stress hormones released in our body and will support our down regulation back to a state of calm.
Simply using your practice as me-time. Switch off your phone and ban the family from the room if you are practicing online.
Practice with the intent to be grounded and stable.
Creating physical steadiness
To create support for your body, you’ve got to start with the feet.
Ideally practice bare foot and notice the sensations of your feet on the ground.
The more connected you feel in your physical body to the earth, the less time you will spend battling your mind.
And when we feel grounded and stable, we are more easily able to deal with life’s challenges.
Focus your attention on your feet during your practice.
In standing poses, lift the toes up off the mat which activates the feet and engages the legs. Notice the muscles of the feet and legs working as you reach out with the toes.
Practice standing balancing poses mindfully and add extra challenge by standing one leg on a block.
Stability of the feet and the legs supports your whole body.
Create physical stability and mental balance will follow.
You can read my previous article about how the feet help us maintain our balance as we get older here.