Yoga for mental health

Do you want to have a healthy mind? Start to move your body! By Lesley Bastemeijer, yoga teacher and breath coach.

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Over the past few years more research has shown that you have to move to become mentally healthy. Based on my own experiences, as a yoga teacher and breath work coach, I discovered the importance of the body in order to create a healthy and happy mind. 

Your body is far more than the fleshy suit you live in that carries you around from point A to B. Your body has its own intelligence, carries around stocked energy and emotions and knows exactly what it needs to let go. 

In order to change something mentally you have to become aware of your body, that is your main practice. Stepping on your mat or practicing yoga without a mat (challenge yourself without structure) helps you to develop awareness because movement is involved.

Awareness of the breath, the conscious movement of air, and the movement of your physical body will create a sense of safety. That sense of safety enables you to negotiate with your body and feel what is going on in your life. 

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Once you feel safe and are able to pause, instead of running away form what is going on, your nervous system will switch to the rest and digest mode. This is the only mode in which your brain is able to let go of old habits and absorb new information.

This is the reason why the pause during your yoga class, no matter which level, no matter which class you take, is beyond powerful. Besides that, a challenging yoga class can help your brain to open up to new information, because you have to find out a ‘new’ way to move. On top of that, integrating all muscles which strengthens your universal core results in more self-confidence.

Want to know more?
Lesley is teaching the Equal Power and Yin Workshop this Fall on the 13th November at Equal Rotterdam which will be based on the universal core, the power of pausing and tools to bring awareness into the body.

Find out more here

The workshop is bookable online via the website or app from 30th October.
You can pre-book a spot now by visiting the front desk at one of the Equal studios.