Self-care coaching with yoga and meditation

Yoga features by Eve Menezes Cunningham

As your self-care coach or yoga teacher, I’ll:

 * listen not just to your words but support you in noticing your breath and posture to get a better understanding of what will help you most

* teach you practical tools including asana (physical hatha yoga practice), pranayama (breath work), meditation and relaxation to help you use your body and breath to retrain your brain and nervous system 

* support you in integrating these new practices into your life so they become an enjoyable part of your routine and 

* help you understand how to motivate yourself. 

I have been interested in the therapeutic effects of yoga since using it to help myself with a chronic pain condition in 2001. While pictures of yogis doing seemingly impossible things with their bodies can feel off putting, ultimately, yoga is a lovely and effective way to become friendlier with your own body and mind. 

As well as welcoming anyone who wants to learn more about the mind, body, heart and soul benefits of yoga and people wanting to maximise their potential and boost their wellbeing, I specialise in supporting people who are struggling with sleep issues, stress, anxiety, burn out / depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Yoga therapy for mental health, wellbeing and sleep individual sessions, classes, workshops and courses can have both short term and long lasting benefits. They can help you learn how to use your body and breath to experience almost instant relief while ongoing practice can encourage neuroplasticity, retrain your brain and autonomic nervous system.

They’re an effective style of body work (using asanas from the hatha yoga tradition) where you’re working with your own body rather than having anything done to you. 

You can continue to benefit by building consolidating your practice between sessions / classes. Often, when we try to think ourselves calm, we can’t do it. 

Instead of feeling better, we may even end up beating ourselves up about feeling stressed, anxious, traumatised, unable to sleep or depressed. 

Because 80% of the messages between body and brain go from body to brain, we can use mindfulness of breath and movement to improve the way we feel and potentially retrain our brains and nervous systems. The neuroscientist Dr Chris Streeter discovered that just one hour of yoga increased GABA – this is the brain’s major inhibitory neurotransmitter that was mimicked in drugs like Xanax. Streeter’s discovery can motivate us to get onto our mats when we want to ease stress and anxiety naturally. 

But just as you wouldn’t take medication or even a multivitamin just once, I will support you in building a personalised daily yoga practice which will help you manage life’s current and future challenges more easily. In my sessions and classes, you’ll learn things about yourself on your yoga mat that you may have done unconsciously for years in your everyday life. And as you build strength, flexibility and resilience on your yoga mat, life’s ups and downs will feel much easier to manage.

Trauma sensitive yoga

Trauma sensitive yoga is a type of therapeutic bodywork which involves you using your own body to heal. 

You’ll learn practical tools (from psycho-education about what happens physiologically with trauma to yoga asanas (poses), breathwork and even relaxation) that can bring immediate relief and, with practice, retrain the brain (downgrading the amygdala response to perceived threats) and nervous system. 

Powerful and effective but gentle and always at your pace, trauma sensitive yoga offers a way, as David Emerson (pioneer in this field) says, to become friendlier with your own body (not always easy when we feel betrayed by our own bodies but healing is possible). 

By supporting you in creating self-care practices that feel good for you, you’ll learn to better support yourself. You will be more likely to remember what to do if triggered.

Get in touch today to book your free telephone consultation.