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Page 20 NEWFOUNDLAKELIFE.COM July 2021 Sports Benefits of a Daily Practice of Yoga & Meditation
 By Jennie ntouRntouRekas
Are you guilty of over-sched- uling? Putting more on your plate than you need to? Do you find yourself constantly on the go and with barely a moment to breathe? So many of us think more is better, more stuff, more things, and we tend to multi-task. We believe our lives are valued by having more. We all need to
reduce this stress in our lives. The phrase ‘being mindful’; what does that mean? How can being mindful help me? We are often taught how to move, how to exercise, and how to get it done. But often, we miss out on the slow down, the pause, and being truly present in the mo- ment. Just like so many things in life, we need to practice to
get better at them. We can’t just get up and run a marathon; we need to train. We need to train not only our bodies but also our minds.
Now, I am pretty sure you have heard of yoga and medi- tation. The idea automatically turns some people off. We might think we aren’t flexible enough for yoga or need a more rigor- ous workout. Did you know yoga can help you burn calories sim- ply by reducing stress? There are so many benefits, including managing stress, better flexibility, strength, balance, better sleep, better moods, and a whole new awareness of your body and the world around you. Just give it a try. Build up to it, start with a few minutes and commit to a daily 5-10 minutes of movement. See what happens. You are worth it.
The same goes for medi- tation; you don’t need anything fancy or to set aside a long time. Just a few minutes to quietly con- nect with your breath is pretty amazing. You can sit in a chair, on the floor, even lay down. Finding a place you can just be still for a short time and slowing down taps into the parasympa- thetic nervous system. The cen- tral nervous system slows down breathing, your heart rate. This can reduce cortisol in the body, the stress hormone. Meditation can be done in many different
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ways, but a simple breathing exercise or repeating an affirma- tion or mantra is a great begin- ner’s place. Just a bit more food for thought; yoga, and medita- tion can also improve attention, focus, and even tap into our cre- ative sides. In short, you learn to control your body’s reaction to stress rather than allowing it to control you. You can meditate anywhere, even in your car.
We can not eliminate thinking or emotions but instead cultivate equanimity. A practice of yoga and or meditation can help with so much. Will you give it a try? Here is a simple sequence that takes maybe a few minutes be- fore bed.
Child’s pose, 8-10 breaths. In- hale through the nose and exhale out of the mouth.
2.Cat/Cow for several rounds, concentrating on the movement in your spine.
3.Seated side stretches, hold- ing each side for 8-10 breaths.
4.Seated twists, each side 8-10 breaths.
Get yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Repeat “peace” to yourself with each inhale and with each exhale “release.” Try to allow each exhale to soften your shoulders and jaw. Try for a few minutes until you feel calm.
We all can get so much from just a few minutes of taking care of ourselves each day. Practice and consistency are key compo- nents. Make a commitment to yourself, to be a happier, health- ier version of you because you are worth it.
 Lisa Raimondi
Certified Personal Trainer Fitness Professional
LPT Owner
Specialized Personal Training and Weight Loss Studio
58 Main Street, Ashland, New Hampshire www.Lisas Personal Training

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