Fitness: How to build up your mind and strengrh through yoga

No time to meditate? No time to breathe? If that’s you, like it was me, you’ve been missing out on one of the simplest and most powerful ways to gain control of your life, build your mind and body strength through yoga.

With the excitement of the gyms, shops and beer gardens reopening, it’s easy to see why people are whizzing back to “some form of normality.”

For me, the anticipation was great to return to a sanctuary away from home… a hidden gem of a health & wellbeing studio nestled inside an industrial estate in West Yorkshire where I frequented pre-lockdown for Aerial Yoga, Trigger Point Pilates, Barre Fitness and a range of workshops from family Yoga to Aerial Hoop and Gong Baths.

So many of us get trapped in the external world of excess and situations out of our control, that we feel unmotivated to exercise, breathe deeply and even when practicing Yoga more people are skipping the meditation part of the practice.

Yoga is a great way to build up mental strength.

“Meditation is one of the most important parts of Yoga, the whole practice started with people sitting and meditating,” explains Natalie Green, a former professional dancer and experienced gym instructor.

Like me she has evolved away from some of the restrictions of the traditional dance and fitness industry, to follow her pursuit of making Mind and Body Fitness accessible.

After spending years working in gyms and dancing around the globe, she says: “The breathing and movement that Yoga combines, really resonated with me, it has always felt like dancing.

“It made me feel amazing both mentally and physically so I decided to specialise in these.”

During a one-to-one session, as Natalie is currently training clients individually and hosting group classes online until restrictions ease on 17th May, I am reminded of the power of Yoga to release stress, improve strength, flexibility and balance. Not to mention, what a workout a professionally led session can positively have on your whole self.

It has been more than a year since I balanced into an Aerial Yoga sling which is a great way to extend your Yoga stretches and build strength.

But it wouldn’t have been a session without focusing on the breath and as for someone who needed to declutter her mind, this simple pranayama (breathing) technique of breathing deep for 5 seconds in through my nose and then 5 out through my nose.

Sounds soft but this technique is a way to super charge your mind and life, and even more important for those tempted to skip meditation!

Natalise smiles as she explains the true power of what she shares with her guests: “Learn to breathe properly and see the world, your world clearer.

"Then add physical yoga into the mix and as you unravel your body, your thoughts and problems will also become resolved.”

Mind Challenge

Take some fresh air daily. Whether that be on a walk or opening the window to start with.

Natural daylight and fresh air boost our mood (lowering cortisol levels), brain cognition and improves sleep (our circadian rhythm).