Moment of Mindfulness
To get a better understanding of what mindfulness is and how we can incorporate this into our daily lives, we spoke to Duet’s trusted onsite Yoga instructor, Rachael, of Conscious Calm. See what she said when we asked her some very important questions about wellbeing and yoga at this time.
Q: Why is it important to take time for our wellbeing? A: When we feel well, everyone around us benefits: this simple fact is what motivates me to teach Yoga and mindfulness to others. Taking time for our wellbeing means that we have more energy for our work and to take action, whether that’s in the context of helping others or working on our own personal projects and passions. We can do more, we can be more creative, and we can respond to situations in a more positive way, which ultimately allows us to feel better in ourselves and our contributions to those around.
Q: What are the benefits of Yoga? A: There are so many benefits of Yoga, it’s hard to know where to begin! First and foremost, practicing Yoga allows us to gain a conscious connection with our bodies and our breath which, in turn, helps us to connect with others. Not only does Yoga provide instant sense relaxation, it also helps us to achieve a more permanent sense of calmness through helping us switch from the stress response to the relaxation response in the body - this switch causes a change on a hormonal and molecular level which benefits are overall health. Yoga helps us to develop our strength, flexibility, and balance, so it is a fantastic form of exercise for novices and seasoned sportspeople alike.
Q: Can you share any tips for beginners who might be intimidated by starting a practice? While Yoga or mindfulness in general may seem intimidating, it truly is for everyone. It is important, however experienced or not you may be, to ensure that the changes you are introducing to your life are sustainable and can realistically become part of your daily routine. If lockdown has taught us anything, it is that there is an array of pre-recorded and live online Yoga workouts, and if you feel intimidated by group classes to begin with, these online practices are a perfect way to start. If you are worried about your form, arranging some one-to-one sessions with an experienced Yoga practitioner is a great way to ensure that you understand the basics of Yoga and are not putting yourself at risk of injury or discomfort. An easy way to help yourself stick to a routine is by buddying up with a friend who also is interested in trying Yoga – sending regular texts to check in with each other’s progress and sharing thoughts on different practices will not only add a sense of accountability to your practice, but is also a positive way to socialise.
Q: Do you have any tips for people living in apartment blocks or busy cities when it comes to finding peace and quiet or making the most of their space? A: When we’re taking time to ourselves, it can be tempting to listen to some of our favourite music or scroll on our phone. However, to truly achieve a moment of peace and quiet within our busy lives, it’s important to set aside time each day for complete silence with yourself, whether you do so through Yoga, meditation, or journaling. Creating a dedicated space in your apartment to relax in is a lovely way to encourage yourself to practice mindfulness – by getting some fairy lights, plants, and comfy cushions, you can easily create a really cosy corner!
Q: What is your favourite way to achieve a moment of mindfulness? A: When I’m not teaching the lovely residents of Duet, I work a busy job in the NHS. I find it helpful during the day, say when I’m making a cup of tea, to do a quick body scan and practice some mindful breathing exercises, undisturbed. A long walk with my dog is one of my favourite ways to unwind too and I also do a gratitude practice, where I reflect on 3 things that I am grateful for, each day.
If you’d like to find out more about life at Duet and the wonderful facilities we have to offer, such as Rachael’s Yoga classes, contact our lettings team at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr Rachael Chrystal is the founder of Conscious Calm Yoga + Wellbeing. She works with individuals to empower them to find calm and improve their wellbeing through therapeutic yoga and related practices, and firmly believes that yoga is for all bodies regardless of ability or size. Rachael also works with corporate organisations to help them to develop the wellbeing and happiness of their staff and clients, as well as teaching specialist public yoga classes in Manchester (currently online). The rest of the time Rachael is busy working as an NHS GP, where her interest and expertise in helping people improve their health stems from.
For more information or to join one of Rachael’s online classes, go to: www.consciouscalm.co.uk @consciouscalmyoga