Are mental and physical health related?

Earth + Sky - Blog

Are mental and physical health related?

Yoga could play a greater part in protecting and promoting mental health.

For thousands of years, yoga has been used to maintain good mental and physical health. In our high-stress, always-on world, the practice is more relevant than ever.

The King’s Fund and the British Centre for Mental Health both state that poor mental health has been a major factor in the 12-18% rise in NHS expenditure annually on treating and managing long-term conditions. It’s a significant figure in a health service that is already straining to cope, and many scientists are quoting yoga as being a solution to dealing with the problem.

Here are some of the mental benefits of practising yoga:

Yoga relieves stress and tension
Stress and mental health account for around half of all sick days taken from work. It is detrimental to employees’ personal performance and also catastrophic for business owners. Yoga’s combination of breath, meditation and body work makes it a great way to soothe the mind and dispel tension. Find out more about our Meditation & Relaxation collection here.

Yoga helps with anxiety and depression
According to a Harvard University article, yoga is proven to be helpful in reducing anxiety and depression. Through treating the spirit and the mind through activities such as relaxation, meditation, deep breathing and exercise, yoga helps regulate the stress response system, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and produces seratonin, the feel-good hormone. Read more about Earth+Sky’s Zen Flow classes here.

Yoga boosts memory and improves concentration
According to a recent study by University of Illinois, yoga is ideal for improving mental focus through quieting the fluctuations of the mind; several brain areas benefit from yoga, including those that control memory, decision-making and planning.

Yoga reduces the effects of traumatic experiences
People who suffer from anxiety developed after traumatic events can benefit from yoga practice, according to a three-year study of yoga and trauma at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. Gentle yoga leads to a significant reduction in symptoms, calming intrusive thoughts and reconnecting people to their bodies.

Yoga improves symptoms of dementia
Research from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA states that yoga and meditation may help the brain form new connections and improve the quality of life of dementia patients. The breathing, movement, postures and concentration that go into yoga practice use different parts of the brain and can actually improve brain structure and function in the elderly. Some of our gentler classes are ideal for older people.

At Earth+Sky, we believe in that yoga could become one of the staple strategies in protecting and restoring mental health.

The rise and rise of yoga and holistic exercise

Earth + Sky - Blog

The rise and rise of yoga and holistic exercise

When Vogue tells you that one of the biggest trends in fitness is an all-encompassing holistic approach, you have to listen.

Up until recently, fitness meant cardio or weights. Now, our busy and stressful daily lives demand that we take a more balanced approach to wellness that includes the physical, mental and emotional aspects of how we live.

Today, tens of millions around the world regularly practise yoga, as much for its stress-busting and relaxation properties as its strength and flexibility-building, giving physical benefits as well as aiding mental health.

We look at some of the reasons that a holistic approach to fitness is the way forward.

In an always-on world, people are looking at ways to reduce stress. An incredible amount of research documents that more than 70% of those who practise yoga and pilates say it relieves stress, and the stats are backed up by tracking overall cortisol stress hormone levels both before and after participation and as a cumulative effect overall. All types of holistic exercise encourage people to take time to reflect, as well as teaching breathing techniques that can help to combat feelings of stress and anxiety. The opportunity for more ‘me time’ is one thing that makes activities like yoga such a good tool for combatting stress, and tending to maintaining good mental health.

Strengthening and building core stability for better performance. Men and women alike want exercise to make them stronger, not just mentally but physically as well. Holistic fitness is ideal for developing core strength and balance when practised regularly, given that many of the yoga and Pilates poses involve supporting your bodyweight. Many techniques add great dynamic exercises that work various muscles all over the body, including underused stabiliser and neglected supporting muscles. And just like any exercise, these benefits become greater by opening up progressively more challenging possibilities with regular practice. Get ready to discover power in your zen.

A 360° approach to training. People are becoming aware of the cutting-edge way that professional athletes train. Gone are the days when they focused solely on the direct movements of their sport: now, elite sports involve achieving a synergy between the muscles and actions that are used for a specific sport as well as strength in movements that aren't. Whether it’s football, dance or cycling, athletes are using yoga to lessen the chance of injury and increase their performance longevity. This is trickling down to the way in which the average person treats and trains with their body.

Earth+Sky are at the cutting edge of holistic wellbeing, offering classes that span strength, flexibility, relaxation, creativity and mindfulness. It’s the ultimate holistic programme that brings together all of your health needs in one place.