Transform’s mission is to help you transform “your body. your mind. your life.” In Part 2 of this series, I explain how my yoga and personal training studio can help you with your mind. In doing so, I will also reference the body since they are interconnected…
Mind in this context is thoughts and mind-attitude. Our society has become a mind dominated one in which we live in our bodies from the neck up. Our mind is our reality and leads us down paths based on false perceptions and illusions. Studies on our thought processes have concluded that our thoughts are wrong 83% of the time! Therefore we base our decisions on incorrect data the majority of the time.
Mind is also the source of the majority of our stress. It is becoming more and more evident that the mind-body connection is stronger than Western medicine ever considered. Nearly 90% of doctor’s visits involve stress-related symptoms! We are a society that is now living in an epidemic of “fight-or-flight” responses to everyday stresses such as noise, traffic, over-crowding, a continual media barrage and other stressors that increase adrenaline. We are designed to come out of this super-charged state and go into a relaxation response, but this doesn’t happen. Chronic stress causes damage to the body in the form of heart disease, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, ulcers and other illnesses.
How do we get beyond the triggers that stress us? What will help us lead happier and more productive lives? Transform’s yoga classes, group training sessions and one-on-one personal training can provide an antidote to everyday stressors:
Exercise: We all know that exercise helps our bodies but it also helps our minds. It pumps up the body’s endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters. Exercise also focuses our mind on one task, turning exercise into meditation in motion. (Unless you multi-task while you exercise – which I do not recommend!) Focusing the mind on one task, in the present moment, reduces stress considerably. At Transform, we challenge your body and encourage you to focus on the task at hand, bringing you out of the past and the future and into the present.
Yoga: Both physically and mentally challenging, yoga is a proven stress-reducer. This mind-body practice releases places in the body that are bound-up by stress and improves the mind-body connection. We teach vinyasa yoga at Transform, which is a flowing yoga — the student moves smoothly from one pose to the next, using her breath as her guide. Focusing on the breath gives the mind just one task and it becomes quiet. In this inner stillness, the student can find the inner wisdom that has been drowned out by the turmoil of her mind. Eventually, the student takes this newfound stillness and inner wisdom off the yoga mat and into her life.
Meditation: Sitting meditation is simply taking the time out of your day to sit quietly and observe your mind. A wise teacher once told me that if I felt that I didn’t have time for meditation, then I was probably the person who needed it the most! (And he was right.) Simply observing the mind’s habits without judgment will give the meditator the tools to deal with the mind off the cushion. The meditator can recognize that he is projecting “what-if” scenarios on to future events (and when did those ever come to pass?); if he is dwelling on past events with regret; if he is unable to let go of resentment. All these mind habits lead to stress — and awareness of them can bring happiness.
From personal experience, I know what stress and inner turmoil can do to the body — I have literally made myself sick with my thought patterns. I am deeply grateful to be able to help you obtain a healthier body and mind through exercise, yoga and meditation.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. As always, I appreciate you forwarding this to your friends.
Peace and namaste! — Mia
Transform, LLC, is a yoga and personal training studio located at 8422 Oak Street in New Orleans. Yoga and group training classes are held throughout the week. Pre-registration is required for group training classes — please click below to send an email or fill out the online inquiry form. Click here for class descriptions and schedule: transformnola.com/blog/.
Personal training can be held at the studio or in the privacy of your home or office. With my guidance, students and clients work to achieve fitness and life goals through positive practices that encourage healthy lifestyle decisions and actions.