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New Hobbies To Try At Home
For many of us, the lockdowns of 2020 had us turning to new pastimes – including a whole lot of banana bread. After a whirlwind 12 months and a new year starting, it’s a perfect chance to focus on ourselves and start a new hobby. Trying out something different could lead you to find a life-long love for the craft, have a giggle along the way and share your newfound hobby with others. We have joined forces with a lovely bunch of individuals to give you some inspiration and kickstart your January.
Yoga with Georgina Smith
It’s been around a long time, and some of us might have even given it a go before, but have you ever thought about the benefits behind the ancient art or how practicing it could help you feel calm? The wonderful and talented Georgia Smith is an expert in the field and has loaned us her knowledge in answer to some of our burning questions.
Why is being kind to others and yourself part of your practice?
I close each yoga class with the invitation to think kindly about others and yourself as our thoughts can affect our relationships just like acts of kindness do. Kind thoughts can help you to connect with others and instil self-belief by influencing your behaviour and feelings.
How does Yoga help a person to be kind to themself?
Building time into your routine to practice yoga is an act of kindness towards yourself. Yoga encourages the student to be kind to themself by practising a gentle, nonforcing approach to ensure that we are not competitively striving but instead moving with grace both on and off the yoga mat.
Do you have any motivational mantras? We’d love to hear as many as you have!
I think that it’s good practice to begin each day by listing 3 things to be thankful for, either in your head or by writing them down.
Here are some quotes that are currently inspiring me:
“Progress not perfection” -David Perlmutter
“Here is my secret: I don’t mind what happens” -Jiddu Krishnamurti
“The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes” -Marcel Proust
Evening reflections also offer the opportunity to let go of any unsolved or unfinished activities in your mind, soothing you ready for sleep.
During lockdowns, many people become restless, bored, frustrated and depressed. In what ways can you use Yoga to feel calm?
During times of agitation, the area of the brain that is responsible for dealing with our emotions increases in activity and the area that deals with cognitive function reduces in activity. Therefore, when in an agitated state we cannot think clearly. Yoga can influence the brain and stimulate the potential for calming by bringing awareness to the body.
Tell us about Yin yoga – what is it and why could it benefit us at this unusual time?
Yin yoga is a soft, passive practice that involves holding the poses for generous amounts of time (usually 5-10mins). It is mostly floor-based work that on a physical level targets the deeper connective tissues, ligaments, joints, bones and fascia to mentally strengthen the heart and mind.
Are there any specific Yin poses that you can recommend for happiness, calmness, or mindfulness?
-Banana pose is my absolute favourite Yin Yoga shape. It feels super juicy yet encourages relaxation. My students have even reported using this pose as a tool to alleviate sleep disorders.
-Sphinx pose involves arching the lower back and lifting the head and shoulders higher than the hips. The heart opens to the moment and any tightness in the chest due to sitting for extended periods of time and hunching the shoulders begins to release.
-Saddle pose could be described as the peak of all Yin Yoga poses if there was one at all. It is very challenging for a lot of students however is excellent for those that spend a lot of time on their feet as it deeply stretches the fronts of the thighs, hips and over time the lower back too.