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Modern life is busy and highly stimulating for our finely tuned nervous systems, leading to overwhelm and depletion. The Yoga mat can be a refuge, a time to slow down and recharge your weary soul. Yoga is a unique form of exercise; unlike the gym where the focus is to push and pump harder and drown out your mind with the loud pumping music. Yoga offers a place to nurture connection to the whole person mind and body. It’s a refuge.

 

Most of the time we are pushing our attention away from our innate quietude in a driven quest to get through the day and be the best we can. We offer a persona to the world that is manicured and polished to help us survive. The intensity of modern life allows very little space and time for conscious refection and slowing down.

 

We all crave more time and space in our lives but find it hard to commit to this… a regular yoga class can create a new groove where we learn how to simply be with things as they are.

 

Sounds too good to be true?

 

Refuge in Yoga

 

Modern research is proving what yoga practitioners for centuries have already discovered… yoga creates real changes that lead us toward balance.

 

The nervous system is finely tuned to our environment. Too much stimulation and activity amp up the stress hormones and switch us to fight or flight mode. Being in a constant state of flight or flight can lead our nervous system to overwhelm and imbalance. The yoga mat is a place of refuge where the knots of life can slowly untangle and allow us to rest in our natural state of equanimity and peace.

 

Now you may be thinking I have no time for this “slowing down “stuff … but ponder the following.

 

  • Do you feel chronically tired like your energy bank is overdrawn?
  • Are you waking from sleep feeling refreshed and energised for the day?
  • Do you feel short tempered and irritable frequently?
  • Do you have low grade digestion and immune system complaints?
  • Have you lost your ‘joi de vive’?

 

Learning to love and cherish your time on the Yoga mat as a refuge is a simple and cost-effective way to recharge your batteries and connect to your innate capacity for stillness and space.

 

What is Spaciousness?

 

Spaciousness it the term I often use to describe my internal experience both during and after my yoga practice. The space I enter into is a feeling of expanding into something larger than my thoughts and emotions. I enter a vast and open place where I can just be and experience breath by breath and moment by moment both the challenges and joys of life.

 

Ultimately it is through regular time spent in the refuge that  we begin to carve new pathways in body and mind so that at any time we can become aware and drop into this space of reflection and calm during daily life. The refuge of the yoga mat feeds body, mind and soul.

 

So instead of waiting for your next holiday to relax why not cultivate a yoga practice as a refuge that you can go to as often as you like without maxing out your visa card!

 

Self-care and self-knowledge may not be Instagram material but might just lead you to places your never knew you could find within your own skin.

 

Here are a few simple suggestions for integrating more daily refuge time into your day off the mat.

 

  • Take some time each day to do “nothing “look out the window and simply watch the clouds float or the leaves flutter.
  • Put your phone away during meals and take more time to taste and savour your food.
  • Lie in bed in the morning connect to your breath or gently stretch your body.
  • Take a quiet walk alone and tune into the beauty in nature let you mind empty into space around you and move mindfully

 

Still on the fence about the health benefits of yoga? Here’s 8 more reasons why yoga is beneficial for your health.