This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. We asked some of our teachers what their go-to practices are for helping them maintain their mental wellbeing.
A breath to calm in a busy moment
from Vanessa Joy
“When my energy is feeling quite frantic and I need to ground, I take a long slow deep breath in, hold it for as long as is comfortable, then slowly let it fall from the body. I do this a few times and things start to slow down again.”
Join Vanessa for more accessible practices like this on Monday lunchtimes and alternate Sunday evenings.
A restorative pose for relaxation and deep sleep
from Sarah Rush
“Restorative poses are a great ways of accessing the parasympathetic nervous system to balance out the time we spend rushing around and experiencing stress. I recommend a supported backbend for 5-10 minutes before bed to help relax body, calm the mind, and help with more restful sleep. Place a bolster (or a few pillows or cushions) under the spine, with a little extra padding or height for the head.”
Join Sarah this Sunday at 10:30am for a special workshop at One Hoe Street on Yoga practices like this to support your mental health.
from Aimee Hartley
“This is a subtle yet powerful breath technique, known as ‘brahmari’, a Sanskrit word that means “bee” and incorporates a sound element (like the hum of a bee) to soothe a busy mind.
Close your eyes and place your little fingers lightly in the inner corners of the (closed) eyelids and either index fingers or thumbs over the ears to block out the senses of sound and sight. Keeping the lips lightly sealed and jaw relaxed, inhale through the nostrils, then exhale with a humming sound coming from the back of the throat. This can be like the sound of the letter ‘M’mmmm. Keep the sound riding on the exhale until you need to inhale again. Continue this for a minute or two and notice how the body and mind drop into a calmer space.”
Join Aimee on Tuesdays at 1:45pm at the studio for Breathwork, to explore this and other breath practices.
Brain Dump - A journaling exercise to declutter the mind
from Natalie Owen
“Journalling has been one of my main wellness practices since long before I knew the term ‘wellness practice’. This is a technique I call the ‘Brain Dump’. At the end of your day (this can be the working day or just before bedtime) note down on a blank sheet of paper everything that is buzzing around your head. Then note an action for each thing to help mentally file it away e.g. ‘will do that tomorrow’ ‘I don’t need to think about that until next week’ etc. Something that helps you move it on from the forefront of your thoughts. I’ve found this to hugely help with me getting to sleep.”
Join Natalie on Wednesdays at 1:30pm and Fridays at 12:30pm.
We have three events running this weekend that offer different approaches to looking after mental wellbeing:
*Saturday 11am - Walking Meditation with James Cassidy - Book Here
Saturday 3:30pm - Calming The Mind - Meditation & EFT techniques with Happy Heads - Book Here
*Sunday 10:30am - Yoga To Support Your Mental Health with Sarah Rush - Book Here
For more information on mental health support in Waltham Forest, please visit Mind in the City, Hackney & Waltham Forest
* Studio proceeds from these events will be donated to Mind.