The theme of the 2021 International Day of Yoga is “Yoga for Well Being” which is very relevant in this time as the world deals with the impact of a pandemic, particularly the lasting impacts on our mental health. But yoga for well being has always been my theme as according to 2017-18 data from the ABS 47% of Australians have 1 or more of the top 10 chronic health conditions. Mental health, back pain and arthritis are the top 3 most common chronic health conditions for both men and women.
I have recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure, I did not have any symptoms so it came as a bit of surprise and I have felt a little like a bit of a fraud as a yoga teacher with high blood pressure! I can only imagine how much worse my blood pressure might have been if i did not practice yoga and meditation daily and I hope to come off the medication in the future. Regular practice of slow, mindful movement and meditation as practiced via the Subtle Yoga Resilience Society definitely reduces my blood pressure as I have taken my blood pressure before and after my practice to keep track of the difference. I have also cut back on the caffeine and started drinking hibiscus tea instead as several studies have found that hibiscus tea may lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
So while I am not going to make any claims that yoga and meditation will cure disease or replace the need for medication I do feel as a complimentary practice yoga and meditation can support well being. Some studies have shown that a regular yoga practice appears to correlate with increased well being, including better sleep, better body awareness and greater happiness. By improving mindfulness, it simultaneously helps to boost compassion, gratitude, and “flow” states, all of which contribute to greater happiness. Yoga and meditation definitely supports my physical and mental health through movement, mindfulness and the benefits of better sleep.
Interested to find out if mindful movement and meditation could support your well being? Book in for a 1.5 hour “Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation” on either Wednesday 7 July 5.30pm to 7.00pm or Sunday 18 July 1.30pm to 3.00pm. These sessions will guide you through some gentle movement to prepare the body and mind for sitting, a guided relaxation as well as some breath practices, mindfulness, concentration and meditation practices. Both sessions will be held at The Happy Mat yoga studio upstairs at the Bunbury Plaza at 123 Spencer Street and cost is $25. Bookings and further information on the Events page.