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Yoga House | Looking after your Mental Health

Continuing on from last week’s Mental Health Awareness Week, today our teacher Sasha is sharing valuable tools to help look after yourself, and those around us.

This Saturday Sasha will be guiding a beautiful workshop at our Catford Studio. Joined by Gong Master Martina Saorin, they will take you through a host of calming & tranquil practices to leave you feeling restored and rested.

What is Mental Health and what can we do to help others and ourselves….

We all have mental health and just like our physical health it needs looking after.  One in four of us will experience a mental health issue in any given year.  The economic cost of mental ill health is estimated at £74 to £99 billion a year and the human cost is incalculable. 

There are different ways of defining the term mental health some definitions emphasise positive psychological well-being, whereas others see it as the absence of mental health issues or mental illness. 

The World Health Organisation defines health as: “health is a state of complete physical mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Health is a resource for everyday life, not the object of living. It is a positive concept emphasising social and personal resources as well as physical capabilities. 
Mental health is: “emotional and spiritual resilience which allows us to enjoy life and survive pain, disappointment and sadness. It is a positive sense of well-being and an underlying belief in our own worth and others dignity and worth.”  Health education authority, 1997
Stress is a big influencer to our mental health as well as our frame of reference or filter of reality.  This could be physical stress such as late nights, lack of routine..  Environmental stress – poor housing, unemployment, social isolation.  Emotional stress – relationship problems, conflict in cultural values + beliefs, peer pressure.   Other factors that influence stress levels include genetics, our adaptability to changing circumstance and ability to process thought.  There are six strands that may also have an effect on our mental health: age, gender, disability, race and ethnicity, religion or belief and sexuality.

There are many forms of mental ill health ranging from depression to anxiety, substance misuse, self-harm, eating disorders, personality disorders and psychosis.  To support someone we think may be suffering from mental ill health we should approach them and assess and assist them, by asking open questions. We should try to listen and communicate non-judgmentally. Give support and information, encourage the person to get appropriate professional help. 

Ways that we could support our own mental health include looking at what are stresses are and our ability to cope with them and assess what are helpful coping strategies are, as well as perhaps our unhelpful coping strategies.  This is referred to as the stress container. 

A strategy to developing good mental health, could be to include a happiness hour in our day every-day. Doing something that makes us feel good, is fun, boosts our mood and encourages mindfulness.  Some key lifestyle choices which people can make to improve or maintain their mental health. 
These are known as the five ways to well-being:
  1. Connect with the people around you.
  2. Be active go for a walk or run, step outside, cycle, play a game, garden, dance  – exercising makes you feel good. 
  3. Take notice be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment.
  4. Keep learning: try something new. Rediscovered an old interest, sign up for that course, fix a bike, learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food, set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun. 
  5. Give: do something nice for a friend or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out as well as in, your happiness is linked to the wider community – it can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.
Professional help for someone suffering
from Mental Health issues:
  • GP – medical support – not an emergency
  • Local Mental Health team
  • In a crisis – 999, A + E
  • Mind (local to your area) 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans – phone 116 123
Opening to Joy | Creating Calm & Tranquil Heart | Sound Bath with Sasha & Martina
Saturday 22nd May | 2-5pm | £30  
Catford In-Studio
A workshop of Yoga Flow with Qi Gong + Yin Yoga + Sound Bath

Sasha will guide you through grounding practices of Mindfulness meditation, a Yoga Flow with Qi Gong and Yin Yoga to help create a calm and tranquil heart, as we transition into the Fire element (which relates to the heart) + season of Summer. These practices can help you manage your emotions and anchor you in the here and now.

During a peaceful savasana, Martina will close with a blissful Sound Bath journey, to help open your heart. When the Gongs are played, the sound vibrations immediately quiet the mind, allowing relaxation in the whole body and beyond.


Studio update
Thank you all for reading. We have been so pleased with the opening of our studios in Lee and Catford and it’s so great to reconnect with you all and meet lots of new students. Our timetable is building with lots of in-studio classes including our great workshops. Our shelves are full of nice lovely new stock, from incense to candles, pilates socks to new yoga clothes wear, mats, block and bricks… and we’ve got some lovely new plants! Take a look at our timetable and reconnect with some of your favourite teachers, or build a great routine into your life with yoga, pilates and sound meditation. We have opened our studios with a great back to studio offer and we have started up our memberships (monthly and annual) and class passes.

We are here for you, please get in touch and keep practising.
Yoga will save the world. 

LOVE from the YOGA HOUSE team
& Kasia x

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