“Joy really is the simplest form of gratitude”

It’s November 2019… this year has been a whirlwind of a year. In January I opened my own yoga studio in my hometown Morpeth.  Left the security of a job (even though I had just bought a house) and started up fully self-employed. Over the past 11 months I’ve been on a journey of discovery, learnings and lots of new emotions. Running a business servicing the public, employing other yoga teachers, looking after student’s needs and trying to fulfil my own needs all in less than a year. One of the most significant learnings that I have discovered is that you can never please everyone. Someone will always think you’ve done it wrong and have a different opinion, and that is totally fine, I accept that I can’t keep everyone happy, but won’t compromise on my own happiness.

Mental wellbeing is so important, and if you’ve read all my blogs, you’ll know the reasons I changed my path and ended up teaching yoga.

Mental health includes our psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. It affects how we act, feel, think, eat and sleep, it also determines how we react to stressful situations. 676 million people are affected by mental health issues worldwide, and 1 in 4 people experience a mental health issue each year. To improve your mental wellbeing, you must; eat well, get physical and take control of your stress.

How can Yoga help?

Get physical

On the contrary to what is portrayed in films and on adverts, in Yoga we don’t just sit crossed legged and om. Yoga can be a very physical practice. Vinyasa Flow is a modern style of Yoga, using the breath in unison with the posture and movement. This class lasts 75minutes and will challenge you. Even though vinyasa is a dynamic practice, it does not lose the essence of Yoga. Controlling the breath and moving through the postures helps to calm and quiet the mind. This style is perfect for anyone with busy lives, wanting to combine fitness with mindfulness and meditation. Vinyasa is my favourite style of yoga (along with Yin), at home you could put your favourite music on, get on your mat (or a towel) and just move to your own breath. Bliss!

Take control of your stress

For anyone wanting to simply de-stress, Yin yoga and or Restorative yoga could be the answer. These styles are more passive, holding poses for up to 15 minutes, which increases flexibility and mobility, as well as inducing the relaxation response in the body. The relaxation response is the opposite of where we generally sit, (fight, flight or freeze) so the body will be less stressed, more relaxed and ready to sleep.

Eat well

Yoga will not show you how or what to eat, but as your body gains flexibility, develops muscle and tone, the metabolism will improve. Regular practice of yoga will also help you to listen to your body, using intuition to guide you to eat when your body needs it, not when it wants it.

There are also certain postures that can increase your appetite, twisting can help the digestion but can also make you feel incredibly hungry. I got a text not long ago off a yogi who said she had gone home after a twisting class and eaten the whole kitchen… well if the body needs it the body gets it.

Get Social

With the diverse yogis who attend classes at Yoga Den, you will not think you’re in a ‘typical’ yoga studio that you see in magazines and on tv. Yogis come in all different shapes, sizes, ages and at different times of their life. Men also attend!! Yes men, it’s not just for women! The great thing about the studio is the social aspect. We’re all friends, there are no clicks, everyone welcomes everyone. You don’t need to stay quiet when you enter the studio everyone talks to everyone. On Halloween we dressed up and flowed to a playlist full of creepy tracks like Alice Cooper, Marylin Manson and the Prodigy. At Christmas we will be doing the same, but this time in Santa hats and flowing to jingle bells.

As well as the daily classes, there are also day retreats, weekend retreats, yoga holidays in Spain and even meals and nights out to come along to, adding an extra special something to your yoga practice. #thisisyogatoo

Yoga is not just the physical practice, it’s how you feel, how you breathe, what you think about and how you live your life away from the mat. What I love most about this year, is creating safe place for people from all different walks of life to connect and chillout together in one place. I feel so grateful to have been able to do this, and I thank each yogi who has attended classes this year. 😊  

Until next time

Lots of love

Christie

xx

“Joy really is the simplest form of gratitude”