With lockdown a way of life at the moment, strong mental health is now even more important. ‘Self Help’ techniques are very useful in achieving just that. Darling Editor, Karine Torr spoke to a number of experts in the field of alternative therapies. You can practise these techniques at home alone or join one of the experts over our trusted friend, Zoom.
THE POWER OF BREATH with Annette Wiik
Did you know that the breath has the power to anchor you in this moment and help you feel calm? Turbulent times asks for more awareness of breath to reset the nervous system and bring calmness within.
If you have ever watched a baby sleeping you might have noticed the baby’s belly moving slowly up and down. And on the other hand, you might have experienced yourself gasping for air and only breathing into your chest when your mind is full of worries.
Your breath never lies
Truth is, the breath never lies. When the breath is calm your mind can be calm too. How about trying this exercises to tune into your breathing and come to more calmness within:
- Find a comfortable position, sitting up or lying down, maybe with a blanket over you for warmth.
- Place both hands on the belly and close your eyes. Settle where you are. Relax, arrive.
- Connect with your breathing by noticing the breath coming in and going out.
- Now, intentionally breathe into where you have placed your hands on your belly, and then breathe out. Long, calm breaths, without forcing. You might notice some movement in your belly through the palms of your hands (just like the baby’s belly). Become aware of how it feels for you to be in direct touch with your breathing, without any judgment to how you are doing. Take your time.
- Continue breathing this way for as long as you want. Perhaps five minutes, ten minutes or more? Notice how it feels to befriend your breathing.
By breathing calmly and with awareness on your breathing, you are coming into rest and the relax mode of your nervous system: the parasympathetic nervous system. You are, through your breathing, telling your body and nervous system that everything is fine around you, that there is no danger to look out for. You are safe. You are okay. You are in the present moment.
Mindfulness sessions with breath awareness: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 5-5.30pm. £15 per week for 1, 2 or all 3 sessions. Also yoga via Zoom.
OFFER – £10 the first week for Darling Readers for all 3 sessions.
To book, please email Annette stating Darling reader offer in the subject line
MINDFULNESS. The calm and clarity amidst the chaos with Kish Modasia
We spend most of our time either thinking about the future or in the past, but Mindfulness teaches us how to live in the present moment without judgement. Through Mindfulness techniques, you can learn to appreciate every moment. It also helps your memory and sleep.
I like to use this analogy when talking about mindfulness. The way that we top up our monetary bank balance regularly to pay for food and the mortgage can we viewed when we think about our emotional bank balance. This allows us to prepare for the times when life’s challenges hit us, as we’ll be then more stable and able to deal with them. We need to do this now more than ever, as we are having to adapt and calibrate, not just weekly or daily, but several times a day.
Through the practice of mindfulness, we become more self-aware and can see more clearly how things impact us and others. I recommend starting with five minutes of mindfulness a day – five separate minutes a day, and build it from there. Here are some ideas:
- Gratitude: Start a gratitude journal. Each day write down three to five things that you are grateful for.
- Boundaries: As working from home has become the norm, have clear boundaries with start and finish times. Have a lunch break and tea breaks.
- Nature: Make time to be in nature even if it just walking round the block. It helps clear the head and gets some exercise in too.
- The Breath: Focus on your breath as it is. Simply notice your breath and witness it. There is no need to change anything simply witness that life force the breath and observe how you feel. Try and do this several times a day. Perhaps put up a post- it note that says “breath” as a reminder.
Kish Modasia is a Mindfulness coach and instructor.
Special offer: Book a 30 minute discovery session with Kish Modasia, Mindfulness coach and instructor
10% off Mindfulness workshops or one to one Coaching in 2021
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Qigong – an ancient art that’s more relevant now than ever. Alessandro Ferullo explains
The world is in a state of change. There is much stress, fear and anxiety around for people of all ages. This seems like a crucial time to bring a 4,000 year-old energy practice such as Qigong into our lives to help us take more control of our health and wellbeing (in mind and body). It will also help keep our immune system strong and benefits our mental health.
An Italian boy, born in Indonesia, lived in Sardinia until aged two and moved to Tanzania with the family aged three. I grew up in the UK from the age of nine and was always searching for a deeper meaning to life from a young age. I believe this led me to discovering Qigong over 35 years ago. It’s best described as a never-ending study and practice of human nature, energy, connection, universal and natural laws. With this comes the promise of leading a joyful, healthy life on many levels.
I have learned that when we connect with the universal energy or qi, the field of all possibilities, we can clear many health issues. We can transform negative emotions, re-balance body and mind, feel nourished on many levels. After all, this qi or energy is what keeps nature alive and thriving and is always present. When our energy is depleted or out of balance we get sick and we’re more vulnerable too.
An important part of the practice for example, is standing on the earth, feeling grounded and exchanging energy with the earth (like a tree). This strengthens the physical body and allows energy to start flowing more freely which can clear aches and pains, which are often energy blocks. The more we connect to the earth (Yin), the easier it is to allow the universal energy to flow through the body from the heaven (Yang). Good health is about finding a balance between Yin and Yang which can benefit mind and body.
I offer online courses, 1 to 1, to groups and corporate clients as well.
For a Free Online session book on Flowing health
Quote Darling readers offer in the email subject line.
You may also enjoy reading https://darlingmagazine.co.uk/wellness/emma-parr-therapist-lockdown-covid-19/