Relieving Stress Through Yoga at Wrens Nest This Fall
By Cindy Michaels, certified yoga therapist
One of the main health benefits of yoga is stress relief. It’s like icing on the cake, but without the calories. As a certified yoga therapist, I understand how our practice works to trigger a relaxation response which helps lower blood pressure, allowing the nervous system to calm and restore healing on a deep neurological level, promoting sleep and aiding in digestion. However, if anyone without any medical background were to witness our class from start to finish, I think he/she would be able to easily identify a visible difference in our students’ postures, breathing and overall demeanor after our one-hour session concludes. The results of just 60 minutes in the studio are almost tangible.
All of us, including me I would admit, carry the heavy weight of everyday stress into our class. I encourage students to leave their shoes outside the studio, a symbol of leaving our worries behind. But even as we roll out our mats, I know everyone is still mentally going over To Do Lists and feeling the heaviness of responsibilities and pressures they brought with them. Jump forward 30-40 minutes, however, and that weight is lessened dramatically. Our focus centers around how we can control our bodies and what we can do even if we feel like we don’t have any control. Our collective breaths exhale at a slower pace as we sink into that area of our minds that welcomes stillness and peace. At the end our time together, I ask everyone to find a comfortable position, and I invite them to join me on a mental journey that gives their minds an escape. This is our time to really tune our bodies into quiet and stillness as we reap the benefits of poses that encourage relaxation. We’ve flipped our nervous systems out of the stress response. For first-timers, I see a surprised reaction to how good they feel after their first session. For regular students, I witness gratitude for this practice and how it is impacting their daily lives. There are smiles and relaxed conversation as we reluctantly roll up our mats. It’s the icing on the cake that we’ve all shared together.
This fall, we’ll focus on stress relief through Yoga by Cindy at Wrens Nest, but we’ll also reap the benefits that our yoga practice strives to address on a regular basis. Through consistent practice, yoga promotes balance in mind, body and spirit and opens us up to let go of old habits and mindfully try something new. The range of motion of all the joints in the body helps with arthritis and the weight bearing of our own body weight helps with osteoporosis and strengthening of the bone and muscle. The alignment and work with the spine aides our postures, especially in a world that has us sitting over our computers or driving much of the time. As we focus on relieving stress, we’ll each come away with many other benefits this session.
I invite you to consider making Wrens Nest your sanctuary this season. Our fall yoga session starts the week of October 10 and we’ll dive deeper into stress-relieving poses as everyone gears up for the holidays. As an added benefit, our resident massage therapist Shareen Dardari is offering a free 30-minute massage to every student who commits to the fall session before October 15. The fall session ends the week of December 12 (with a one-week break for Thanksgiving). Classes are $10 each with a session commitment. The free massage is available now through the month of October, but we encourage students to register before October 15. (Clients can upgrade to an hour for just $35.)
Register and pay online for classes at www.wrensnestcenter.com. Click on “yoga.” (For students registering by phone, you’ll be asked to download the free Mind/Body app to complete the payment/registration process.)
If you’re new to yoga or have some health concerns that you think might be obstacles, please consider a private yoga therapy session with me. This is the best way to access what your body needs and how we can work together to achieve your wellness goals. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (706) 529-6378.