Guest Author: Kristen Schenerlein
Do you find yourself feeling anxious or worrying a lot? Most of us do so, why? The reality IS that those anxious feelings are simply our minds getting ahead of ourselves… anxiety and worry shows us that we are not living in the present moment...we are thinking about the future. The future being something that is largely unknown. And what we are missing in those moments are what is going on right in front of our eyes. The sounds, the smells, the feelings… What would you say if I told you that the simple act of breathing could change your connection with the present moment...with those around you that you love and are so grateful for.
Yoga and Meditation are practices that can help you in being more present in your lives. Centering yourself, connecting with your breath...something that we ALL take for granted. Truly breathing deeply, with conscious attention to the timing and pace of your breath are shown to have positive effects on both your body and your mind. A recent study in the journal of Neurophysiology found that “paced breathing also uses neural networks beyond the brainstem that are tied to emotion, attention, and body awareness. By tapping into these networks using the breath, we gain access to a powerful tool for regulating our responses to stress.”
As we age, the impact of a yoga and meditation practice go far beyond the reduction of stress and anxiety… they provide a myriad of physical and cognitive benefits as well. Due to the fluid nature of the practice of yoga, where you are connecting the breath work previously mentioned with simple body movements, ( yes, there are simple movements I promise...ones you can even do from a chair!)...you may find an alternative to painkillers while building muscle strength and easing tension in joints, which also helps with reducing stress often stemming from pain and discomfort. This movement also increases blood flow...which aides in creating a calmer more peaceful state within your mind, as well as your body.
Regular practice is important for overall health of cognition and memory...a clear mind is a beautiful place to be, right? Not to mention that you will notice improvements to your mood… something that can help us in riding the waves of life that seem more challenging as we age! If you embrace these ideas of a more peaceful you...and are open to exploring a bit more ...maybe experiencing for yourself how simple movements of the body and connection to the breath can have such amazing impacts on your overall quality of life...there are now so many resources online. At Neuro Challenge we have created a few, ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes for varying levels, so take a look and start where you are...no pressure...just attention to the present moment to lock in all the benefits of these ancient practices.
PS- here is a little 13 min that I recorded today on LongBoat Key...just for you!
Also, Zoom Classes offered every Sunday too!
About the Author:
Kristen Schenerlein is the Program Director for Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson's, a non-profit whose programs and services are dedicated to improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson's Disease and their Caregivers. She also is a yoga instructor at Feel Good Yoga Longboat Key.
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Elli is the President of Sunways and loves spending time outside with her family, and is passionate about cooking and holistic health.