The Benefits of Yoga

Welcome to my first blog on yoga and wellbeing and what it means to be able to teach what I love.

My name is Zoe and this March I embarked on teaching yoga at the new Wellbeing Hub at Plymouth College. I taught a couple of classes and then the pandemic arrived, which found me teaching online to provide continuity and availability to the sessions for pupils and staff.

As a nurse working the last three months in this pandemic, yoga has been a source of not only safety but has provided me a space to just be.

When I first started teaching over 20 years ago, I embarked on yoga for the exercise and relaxation. However, over the years I have seen yoga not only for myself but for others, as a place where the body and mind can come together. To simply and quietly exist, in a moment in time, where we know everything will be okay, no matter what challenges we face.

To me this is the love for what I teach, seeing the smiles on often troubled faces as students leave a yoga session, or a thank you because they simply enjoyed it.

As a nurse it has seen me look further behind just the physical yoga but to it’s neuroscience and the effects it has on the brain and body’s systems. There is a huge body of evidence and studies supporting the positive effects of yoga on lifting mood, reducing the effects of trauma, improving heart rate variability, homeostasis and helping the mind cope under stress.

Recently, a year ago, I became a Yoga4health teacher for The Yoga4Health programme which has uniquely been created to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental health, and help people with prediabetes or at risk of heart disease. Yoga4Health fuses ancient practices with modern medical science. Designed by the UK’s leading yoga teachers. Currently with only 200 teachers in the UK it is an exciting time for Yoga to begin to be used as a social prescription, either through self-referral or GP practices.

As we will be living in still somewhat uncertain times, never has grounding, self caring and compassion been more paramount. So take time to look after yourself and others, take time to be still and just be 🙏

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