Complementary Therapy, Fitness, Goals, health, Health & Wellness, Life Goals, Motivation, Stress & Anxiety

Why Choose Yoga?

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I love Sunday mornings when you step outside, the birds are singing and there’s not a soul in sight. It’s such a tranquil feeling.

On route to the gym I plug in earphones and listen to meditation music, it’s so calming at the start of the day. I’m loving “Music for Mindfulness” classical album. Track 19 The Earth Prelude takes me into a whole different headspace.

It makes me smile when I realize that I’ve ditched Saturday nights out for early Sunday morning Yoga Flow sessions. I think it’s safe to say, I’m finally growing up! The class has a real sense of calm which I’ve come to realize is my preferred choice of yoga.

I thought I’d start with a definition of Yoga, so thank you Google for always being there:

yoga

ˈjəʊɡə/

noun

  1. a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation.

“yoga classes”

I wrote a short blog on Yoga a few months ago but decided it warrants more attention. There are so many reasons you should check out a local class, but before you do, it’s worth knowing that there are so many different types of Yoga and it may take a while to figure out which you prefer. There’s Astanga, Bikram, Hot Yoga, Restorative to name but a few. I think it’s important to read up on the different styles of Yoga and their benefits before throwing yourself into the deep end like I did. I started with Astanga, a fast-paced class that was way too challenging for me as a beginner.

Yoga Flow is at the top of my list, it has a number of benefits to the physical body but also helps to calm the mind and ease stress. It’s all about finding a connection between the body and the mind to help bring more balance into your life. It’s unreal how you feel after a class, I feel so light and my mind is clear.

Since practising Yoga, I have undergone such a transformation with my strength, flexibility and body shape. I’ve always been lucky enough to have a flat stomach but after attending regular yoga classes for just over a year, I have much more muscle definition, particularly in my stomach area. I’m also embarrassed to say that I was never able to touch my toes, so as you can imagine, when this day finally came, it was a huge milestone for me. I remember the frustration in my heptathlon days, I’d look around at my teammates stretching and touching their toes with ease, I couldn’t even get close.

That said, one thing I will say about Yoga is that it’s important to know that everyone has their own pace and limits and nobody gives a hoot whether you can touch your toes or not. A difficult concept for me to grasp at first, given my competitive nature.

So, what I’d say about Yoga is that it’s not a competition, everyone’s journey is different, which is why the experience is so unique. You have your own individual goals which could be anything from getting through a whole class without moving into a child pose or something as simple as taking an hour out off your day to switch off from daily pressures. Another thing I’d like to point out is that Yoga is suitable for everyone. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are, whether you’re male or female, it’s just a bunch of people in the same room committed to achieving a common goal of improving their health and wellbeing. And also, to any guys reading this blog, the classes I go to are full of men, I’d say it’s a 50/50, male and female. I’m not sure where the myth came from, that it’s all women.

So, I thought I’d finish off with some of the benefits of Yoga’s in a bid to try and persuade you to give it a go (and please don’t forget to do your research on the different styles of Yoga). It’s a long list so here goes! It’s great for building muscle strength, improving flexibility and posture. It increases your blood flow, ups your heart rate, improves balance, makes you happy and improves your sleeping pattern. It also eases pain, releases tension and boosts your immune system. Not to mention the improved muscle definition I mentioned earlier, we all like a bit of toning right? So I think that’s enough for now, otherwise, we’ll be here all day, the list of benefits is extensive.

I hope you can see that there as so many reasons you should try Yoga at least once. Okay, maybe a few times to get you in the zone or should I say zen. I guess that depends what style of yoga you are looking for!?

Thanks for reading, I hope this blog leads you to downward-facing dog:).

Complementary Therapy, Life Goals

My Journey To Complementary Therapy

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I made a decision to explore the world of health and beauty, which led me to enrol on a Complementary Therapy Course. I’ve always been fascinated by health and beauty but never really knew which route I wanted to take. I’m amazed that it’s taken me so long to finally take the plunge, only to realize that it’s not only something I love, but it’s also something I am truly passionate about. It’s such a good feeling!

Anyway, for those of you who are wondering what complementary therapy is, here’s a quick overview. Complementary therapies are used alongside conventional medical treatments prescribed by your doctor to boost your physical and emotional health. There are a number of different treatments such as Body Massage, Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage. The list goes on.

Treatments are tailored to suit your individual needs after an in-depth consultation is carried out, a ‘one size fits all’ approach will definitely not work. All the individual treatments have different benefits but in a nutshell, they help improve aches pains, depression and many other serious illnesses. The aim of a complementary therapist is to make you feel better and improve your quality of life. I’ll talk about the individual treatments and their benefits in much more detail in future blogs, but for now how does that sound?

I love experimenting with different types of massage techniques and the more treatments I do, the more I feel at home. This is where I was supposed to be! Connecting with people physically and mentally is really important to me, and what I find most rewarding is being able to help people achieve more balance in their lives. Whether it’s a short-term fix or an ongoing journey to improve aches, pains, tension, anxiety depression or whatever the problem, seeing the results is extremely rewarding. What I love the most about being a complementary therapist is, you really get to understand your clients and play a key role in improving their overall health and well-being.

So here I am finally, better late than never. It may sound cliché, but one thing I’ve realised is that it’s never too late to follow your dreams (I’ll leave this topic for another blog).

But where did this all begin? I have worked in recruitment for the last 14 years and eventually set up my own recruitment business. It has its perks along with the extreme highs and lows, like any sales profession. So, I would be lying if I said it is was easy, it’s not for the faint-hearted. I have learned a lot from my recruitment journey and the most important thing that stuck with me is how important it is to look after yourself physically and mentally.

In extremely testing periods, I had to think about how I could reduce stress and anxiety. I realised how important it is to find an escape. So, it got me thinking, what can I do in stressful periods to switch off and recharge my batteries? The gym is my saviour in some ways, which I love, I’ve always been extremely sporty. I attend at least 4 times a week and mix up sessions with running, yoga classes and weights, a variety to keep it interesting, but for me, it just wasn’t enough. I also realised that the gym became another task to tick off my daily to-do list, which during busy periods sent me west (another blog to follow).

To top things off I was getting pains in my shoulders and neck (tension) and came to the conclusion that I needed a release. I was chatting with a close friend of mine and she suggested that I treat myself to a massage and recommended a place in the city. So, off I went for a full body massage one Saturday morning, for a new chapter I labelled “escape”. I was introduced to a therapist Jasmin and no lie, Jasmin changed my life. I came to realise that massage was the missing piece of the jigsaw, the final thread of self-care that was missing from my rituals. Oh my, did she work her magic, and believe me it did feel like magic. I’d had massages before at various spas but they never really made a difference to how I felt, they were soft and fluffy and made me feel a little sleepy. I always left feeling disappointed and felt that I’d wasted time and money. But after regular treatments with Jasmin, I would leave feeling light and much more balanced. After numerous visits, slowly but surely I had less aches and pains and my stress levels had lifted.

Now I am not saying that my aches and pains have disappeared for good, they still rear their ugly head from time to time, but when they do I’m straight off to Jasmin for my fix and I leave feeling like a new woman. So, I guess what I am saying about complementary therapy is to give it a go, and if you can, try and incorporate the treatments that work for you into your lifestyle. Who doesn’t want to improve their overall health and wellbeing!

If you have problems that you think need to be addressed, why not talk it through with a complementary therapist. They will take the time to get to know you and will advise you on the best treatments to suit your individual needs. Oh and one more final point! I think it’s extremely important to find a therapist that you feel you connect with. Complementary Therapy is a very personal journey and the right therapist will make you feel comfortable and give you ongoing support to help restore balance to your mind, body and spirit.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog. I hope you found it interesting :).