January see’s thousands of us Brits joining gyms and starting diets, but not many of us set out to improve our mental health. Mind mental health charity believe that 1 in 4 of us will suffer with our mental health at some point, so I’ve been thinking; why not make one of my new year’s resolutions to improve my mental and physical wellbeing, nothing to lose, right?
I think it’s safe to say that the majority of us are always multitasking even when taking “me” time. Session at the gym: thinking about what to cook for tea. Bubble bath: what needs to be done for work tomorrow, the list goes on, and it becomes very difficult to actually relax.
So, in a bid to learn to switch off I’ve decided to try out several classes at Hull’s Nuffield Gym including Tai Chi and Yoga Hatha. I’ve found one of my personal favorites is early on a Saturday morning; a circuit class followed by yoga. After pushing through the high intensity cardio class (which I would recommend to anyone wanting a new years challenge) the yoga works as a nice cool down and relax.
The class itself is slow-paced and led by an instructor. The first few times you go you learn a lot of the yoga poses, it takes a few sessions to get your head around them all, but trying to balance is good fun. The instructor guides you through the whole class and encourages you to continue focusing on your breathing and then focus on the moves.
It’s great because before you realize it your heads gone quiet and you’ve actually switched off. It looks easy but actually the skill to get these poses and balances right concentrates your mind – you’ll work muscles that you never knew you had! By far the best part of the class is at the end, after all the stretching you feel pretty chilled out, followed by some mediation. The meditation just leads to you to the most relaxed state, similar to when you’ve naturally woken up from a good night’s sleep.
Once you come back to “reality” it feels like you’re on a cloud… just some advice; give yourself 10 minutes or so before jumping back into the car for the drive home. In my opinion yoga is definitely worth keeping up as a “not so traditional” new year’s resolution.
Yoga Hatha classes are on at Hull’s Nuffield Health Gym at 18.00 – 19.00 Tuesdays, 18.00-18.45 Fridays and 10.30-11.30 Saturdays.
Information correct on 28th December 2015.
Published by Hannah Lacey.