How yoga can bring well-being

By Lisa Brant | 11th May 2014
A photograph of a group practising yoga on the terrace at the retreat.

Wellbeing can be defined as the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy.

Yoga is wonderful for our wellbeing – many teachers and authors believe that yoga has healing potential for both body and mind.  It can bring balance to your body, helping address joint and bone problems, and also hormonal and immune system problems. By bringing balance to the body, we feel better and have improved health and vitality.

Here at La Crisalida Retreats we offer a variety of yoga classes across the week, with four different yoga teachers offering different styles and approaches, all with a hatha base. Morning classes are 90 minutes and afternoon classes are 60 minutes. After leaving the retreat, many of our guests find that they want to take up a regular practice, maybe attending classes once or twice each week, and combining this with home practice (15 minutes a day is a great place to start).

For us at La Crisalida Retreats, yoga is one of the core parts of the activity programme because it helps us to feel great. And yes, as a beginner, yoga can feel a little strange, with some weird looking ‘moves’, however, the more you practice yoga, the more you feel good both during the class, and afterwards.

Posture plays an important role in our well-being. Let’s do a simple, practical example… sit with your shoulders hunched for 30 seconds. Allow your head to drop forward slightly. Really feel yourself sitting there, slumped. Now, put your shoulders back and roll them down you’re your back (away from your ears). Tuck your stomach muscles in, so your back is straight. Feel the difference in your body, and also in your mind. Notice the difference in your breathing. Doesn’t the second position feel much stronger and more positive? This movement is essentially what yoga asana’s (poses) do. As we move through the various yoga asana’s, we work to build strength and flexibility in all parts of the body. This improvement in strength and flexibility in turn realigns our posture on a daily basis.

Regular yoga stretching can also help to release muscle tension. Many of us hold tension in the neck and shoulders, maybe because of sitting over a computer at work or worrying about things. One tip for releasing a build-up of tension is: drop your chin to your chest. Hold this for a few breaths, then roll the right ear to the right shoulder. Hold for a few breaths before dropping the chin back to the centre/chest and then rolling the left ear towards to left shoulder. Hold for a few more breaths, then drop to the chest again. Gently lift the head back up so the chin is slightly tucked in. Now squeeze your shoulders up towards your ears as you inhale. As you exhale loudly through the mouth, drop the shoulders down. Repeat this four times as a minimum. This helps to release tension in the shoulders and, at the same time, the breathing also helps to bring your focus into your body. We suggest this breathing any time you feel stressed out – find a quiet place and breathe!

Releasing body tension, through regular yoga practice, helps us to feel more comfortable in our body. And, once you start yoga, and start listening to your body, you will want to do more…. simply because it feels good.

Don’t just believe us, make up your own mind, check it out. Yoga is a personal experience and a personal path. Find your path to wellbeing.

Headshot of Lisa Brant - Founder of La Crisalida Retreats
Lisa Brant

Lisa has been working in the field of health for over twenty years, first as an epidemiologist and now following a more alternative route! She is a therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa is a nutritionist so designs all our menus, as well as running the retreats. She is also qualified in NLP and hypnosis. Over the years Lisa has overcome her own health challenges with severe endometriosis and is happy to share her story.

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