Anxiety Hypno-Yoga Mental Health and Wellbeing Mindfulness Stress Therapeutic Yoga Yoga

What is Restorative Yoga?

Written by Nat Young – Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist and Yoga/Pilates Teacher

There are so many different types of yoga so it’s easy to get confused. Today we’re going to look at restorative yoga which is a calm and tranquil form of yoga aimed at relaxation and supporting the body.

In a restorative yoga class, you’ll hold poses for several minutes at a time, using props such as bolsters, cushions and blankets to support your body. The props are used to bridge the gap between your body and the floor so that you can relax. The goal of restorative yoga isn’t to stretch, it’s to support.

The problem of stress and anxiety

Chronic stress and anxiety keeps us in the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). This can contribute towards a myriad of physical and mental health problems. When in fight or flight, the body shuts down systems that are deemed not necessary, such as digestion, growth, repair and reproduction. It’s therefore important that we don’t stay in fight or flight for longer than we have to. While the fight or flight response serves a useful purpose to keep us out of danger, it becomes problematic when we experience stress and anxiety all the time.

The parasympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the ‘rest and digest’ system, is the polar opposite and calms us down. The primary nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system is called the vagus nerve (which is actually a set of two nerves, one on the left and one on the right). We can learn to stimulate this nerve through yoga breathing and some of our yoga poses. Of course, we don’t want to be in ‘rest and digest’ all the time either as then we wouldn’t have any motivation to do anything, but being able to tap into it when we want to is hugely beneficial. It’s all about balance and most of us don’t spend enough time in ‘rest and digest’.

The solution: Restorative Yoga

If this sounds like you, you’ll find restorative yoga very helpful. Restorative yoga helps you to learn to be ‘in the moment’, slowing your brain down and helping you to concentrate on the present. It helps you to move away from a state of doing and into a state of being. In class, we practice mindfulness. Letting thoughts come and go, without changing them and without analysis. Can you imagine what it would be like to feel calm and just let thoughts be?

Join me on the mat

To experience restorative yoga for yourself, check out my Restorative Yoga and Hypno Yoga classes in the On Demand Studio. Hypno Yoga also runs weekly on Zoom. Check it out here.

Hypno-Yoga Hypnotherapy Mental Health and Wellbeing

What is integrative hypno-psychotherapy?

Written by Nat Young, Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist and Yoga/Pilates Teacher.

Integrative hypno-psychotherapy is a collective term used to describe a blend of techniques to help clients achieve their personal growth and self-awareness goals. For example, an integrative hypno-psychotherapist may use a combination of behavioural, cognitive, humanistic, solution-focused and psychodynamic techniques in sessions. This means the client can benefit from a number of different schools of thought rather than just one, as would be the case with a cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist or a solution-focused hypnotherapist for example.

Therapists like me who practice integrative hypno-psychotherapy utilise approaches from multiple different methods to maximise the potential benefits for a particular person. Clients are unique and each requires a different therapeutic approach, which is what makes integrative hypno-psychotherapy so great. When therapy treatment is tailored to a client’s needs, the effectiveness of that treatment is increased.

The ultimate goal of integrative hypno-psychotherapy is to maximise a client’s potential and remove barriers that could be limiting mental growth. A skilled integrative hypno-psychotherapist will put together an effective treatment plan to meet the individual needs of their clients rather than being limited by a single therapeutic approach.

Contact us

If you would like to see how integrative hypno-psychotherapy could help you to #getmindandbodyfit, get in touch to book your free telephone consultation.

Hypno-Yoga Yoga

Yin is in! (Yin Yoga that is…)

Written by Nat Young, Aurora’s Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist and Yoga/Pilates Teacher.

There are many different types of yoga and yin is just one of them. Unlike sweatier ‘yang’ yoga practices such as hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga and bikram, yin yoga is very passive. The concepts of yin and yang come from Chinese medicine. Yang refers to activities which build heat and yin refers to activities which cool the heat down, the idea being that you need both to attain balance in life. Most of us lead ‘yang’ lifestyles where we’re constantly on the go and don’t take time to stop. This often results in constant mind chatter that’s difficult to switch off and ultimately, mental burnout. We also tend to go for yang activities when we exercise, constantly stressing our bodies in the name of physical change. 

Why do Yin Yoga?

Lifestyle balance aside, Yin Yoga is fantastic for improving flexibility and circulation as it focuses on gently stretching the ‘yin’ connective tissues of the body (tendons, ligaments and fascia) as opposed to stretching and strengthening ‘yang’ muscles as other forms of yoga do. A big difference between yin and other forms of yoga are that the poses are held for longer than a few breaths, as is common practice for other forms of yoga. Most of the poses in yin yoga are also seated or lying down. If you’re a runner, cyclist, swimmer or simply a gym-goer, your flexibility will benefit greatly from adding yin yoga classes to your fitness routine. 

Stretching aside, yin is a quiet and meditative practice so you’ll also reap the benefits of releasing built up stresses and emotions while you practice. The practice allows your body to drop down into the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for reducing the body’s stress response. This makes yin yoga a deeply healing and nourishing practice. Yin yoga can be grounding, calming and revitalising, with profound energetic and emotional effects.

Passive doesn’t mean easy

Make no mistake, just because yin yoga is passive does not make it easy. Bernie Clark, one of the leading teachers of yin yoga famously stated: “Yin yoga is not meant to be comfortable; it will take you well outside your comfort zone. Much of the benefit of the practice will come from staying in this zone of discomfort, despite the mind’s urgent pleas to leave.”

Join us for Yin Yoga

If you would like to experience all that yin yoga has to offer, we run weekly yin yoga classes in Redhouse, North Swindon. It’s just £8 per session, pay-as-you-train. Take a look at the timetable and book here.

Yin-based Hypno Yoga

We also offer Hypno Yoga one-to-ones where yin yoga is used therapeutically alongside hypnotherapy. This is a really powerful way to help you facilitate change for a variety of different mind-body issues such as IBS, weight loss, anxiety, stress, confidence, self-esteem and sports performance. If you would like a free consultation to discuss how Hypno Yoga could help you, get in touch.

Hypno-Yoga Hypnotherapy Mental Health and Wellbeing

Letting go of rubbish

Written by Nat Young – Yoga Teacher and Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist.

Over the bank holiday weekend, we spent time clearing out our garage and throwing junk into a skip. Most of this junk consisted of broken things; an old TV cabinet with a broken back, chests of drawers with droopy drawer bottoms which had been long since replaced, a broken up double bed frame, two broken kettles claimed by our hard water, a broken shredder which shredded its last letter after the death of my dad-in-law,  and a lot of boxes for things either out of warranty or that we no longer have.

Throwing these things away felt really good. Not just from a purging of rubbish and freeing up space perspective, but also from a mental health perspective. I found myself kicking apart the drawers into smaller pieces, allowing the broken pieces to fly across the garage floor. At first I was surprised by the strength of my legs as my foot made contact with the drawers – the drawers came apart so easily as I kicked them! Then stamping on polystyrene packing from the cardboard boxes, watching the white pieces break under my heel. Even some bubble wrap, twisting it in my hands until I heard many satisfying pops. After the last piece of cardboard had been placed into the skip, I wondered why the whole experience had felt so good mentally. Then it occurred to me. It was therapeutic because it was metaphorical.

We were purging old, broken rubbish from our lives. Things we had been holding onto just in case they might be useful someday. Instead they were just hanging around, cluttering up our garage and preventing us from making use of it. Mentally, many of us hold onto old ‘junk’ (maybe emotions or thoughts) because we’re too frightened to let them go. Maybe it’s because these emotions and thoughts are what we know and they’ve become old friends. Familiarity can be easier than the alternative of the unknown. However, sometimes you have to let go of the old before you can move on with the new. What old rubbish could you purge from your life?

Hypno-Yoga Hypnotherapy Sports Performance Hypnotherapy Yoga

Facing fears: physical and mental challenges

Written by Nat Young – Yoga Teacher and Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist.

I feel very apprehensive about posting this but I’m doing so because I know so many people struggle and I want to show you all that I struggle too – you are not alone! Struggles can be both physical and emotional. I think my struggle is mainly emotional and it’s based on fear.

As a yoga teacher I feel I should be able to do a headstand. Guess what? After over 10 years of yoga practice, I’m not there yet! This photo is my best attempt at a headstand so far and it was taken a couple of months ago. I know I have the physical strength to hold my bodyweight on my arms, so I’m convinced my challenge is a mental one.

While I’m quite scared of headstands, I know if I keep practicing I’ll get there eventually. I just need to face my fear! This mindset applies to so many challenges that we face in life. Whether it’s yoga poses we think we can’t do, races we think we can’t run or emotional struggles such as anxiety and stress that we think we’ll never beat. As scary as it sounds, the key is to face your fear!

What struggles would you like to overcome?

Hypno-Yoga Hypnotherapy

Who is fitness and sports performance hypnotherapy for?

Written by Nat Young – Yoga Teacher and Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist.

Are you running a 5k, 10K, half marathon or full marathon soon? Are you about to do a sportive or a triathlon? If the answer is ‘yes’, then read on!

Fitness and sports performance hypnotherapy can be useful in many different situations. You certainly don’t have to be a professional athlete or sports person to benefit.

We’ve helped clients from many different fitness and sports backgrounds to get their performance back on track and we could help you too!

One discipline, multiple applications

Some of the most common fitness and sports performance issues clients have come to see us for are:

  • Athletes who feel a bit ‘off par’ when it comes to their sport or fitness activity and want to explore why this might be
  • People who have experienced a knock to their confidence or need help dealing with setbacks (e.g. an injury or a poor performance)
  • Clients who have experienced ‘mind blocks’ when attempting something they’ve physically been trained to do but find they hesitate or feel anxious when it comes to doing it for real
  • People new to sport and fitness who want to build the confidence to attend their first group exercise class, join a sports club or sign up for their first event
  • Clients who simply need a motivational boost before their event to help them get ‘in the zone’

There are so many different applications for this type of hypnotherapy and this list is by no means exhaustive. Treatment is as individual as you are. So whatever you’re struggling with in your chosen sport or fitness activity, fitness and sports performance hypnotherapy could be the boost you need.

Hypno Yoga for fitness and sports performance

We can also offer fitness and sports performance hypnotherapy as a Hypno Yoga session. If you need to feel like you’re doing something to help your training (i.e. having a good stretch!) while also improving your mind fitness, Hypno Yoga may suit.

Need help with your fitness and sports performance?

If you would like some help, please contact us.

Hypno-Yoga Hypnotherapy Yoga

Introducing Hypno Yoga

When a yoga class isn’t enough, Hypno Yoga could be the answer

Written by Nat Young – Yoga Teacher and Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist.

Have you been to yoga classes but found they’re not quite enough to help you overcome an issue you’ve been struggling with? Do you feel you could do with some help to overcome an emotional situation? Have you had hypnotherapy before but found it difficult to relax? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, our Hypno Yoga in North Swindon could be what you’re looking for.

In yoga, ‘prana’ is defined as life-force energy. When prana is blocked, this can result in energy being utilised negatively. This can affect our ability to live in the present and exacerbate issues we may already have.

Our Hypno Yoga is a fusion of both yoga and hypnotherapy together. It’s particularly suitable for people who like to move their body before settling down to relax. Just like a yoga class, you’re likely to experience a lovely post-yoga feeling after you’ve stretched, which puts you in a great place to receive hypnotherapy. You don’t need any prior experience of yoga and you don’t need to be fit or flexible to have a Hypno Yoga session.

Hypno Yoga is a particularly suitable alternative for the following hypnotherapy treatments:

– Sleep issues
– Stress management
– Weight loss
– Anxiety
– Depression
– Fitness and sports performance
– Increasing confidence
– Increasing self-esteem

Take a look at our treatment page for more information on these treatments.

Just like our hypnotherapy sessions, we’ll discuss what you would like to achieve before your first session. Our Hypno Yoga sessions normally start with a short guided relaxation to focus the mind. This is then followed with gentle yoga poses aimed at getting prana flowing. We then finish with a hypnotherapy session focusing on the problem you wish to work on.

Get in touch

If you would like to get yourself mind and body fit with Hypno Yoga in North Swindon, get in touch.

Hypno-Yoga Hypnotherapy Stress

Hypnotherapy for stress: 4 ways to overcome stress at work

Written by Nat Young – Yoga Teacher and Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist.

Stress can be a killer and our modern lifestyle often results in a build-up of it. We all have times when we’re fortunate enough to have time for a walk in the fresh air, a trip to the gym, or even a holiday, but for many, days go by without slowing down enough to reset our bodies. Sometimes it may even be hard to remember what it feels like to feel calm.

For many people, the workplace is a big contributor towards stress and some also turn to alcohol or food to cope. While this may offer some temporary respite, it can lead to anxiety, depression and even addiction over time.

Healthy ways of dealing with stress usually involve getting more exercise, eating more healthily, and getting enough sleep. However, workplace stress often needs to be dealt with there and then. As you can’t always go for a run or have a sleep at work, here are four stress-busting things you can do at your desk to help overcome stress at work.

Deep breathing

It sounds cliched, but we often forget to breathe deeply. Your mind, body, and breath are connected, and breathing regulates your nervous system. When you don’t breathe deeply enough, stress signals are sent to your brain and thinking stressful thoughts or feeling stress triggers the body’s ancient fight-or-flight response. A by-product of the fight-or-flight response is shallow, rapid breathing. It’s important to notice your breathing throughout your day as this will help prevent the stress response.

Try it: Take a deep breath. Fill up the lungs with air, feeling almost as if the air is in your stomach. Do this at least three times and notice how you feel.

Listen to music

When we get a minute, many of us read or watch the news. A side-effect of this is that we hear about all the negative things happening in the world. This can often wreak havok with our ability to think positively. When this happens, our stress levels can climb even higher, so it’s important to try and break this pattern. One of the ways to do this is by listening to music. Music can help shift your mood and therefore reduce your stress levels.

Try it: Take a music break! Plug in your headphones and listen to any music you find soothing.

Make a phone call

Connecting with those we are close to can be a great way to calm the nervous system. We are wired for interaction. Thinking about young babies – a carer’s presence, touch, and voice are often all that are needed to calm a crying baby. Adults can get the same effect from a close friend or partner.

Try it: Take a break and call someone you feel calm around. A quick hello and a chat can refocus your mind and help to banish stress. If you’re not able to make a phone call, talking with a co-worker can often bring about similar benefits.

Practice feeling grateful

Gratitude is good for the mind and body and it’s something we focus on in yoga a lot. Thinking about why you feel grateful rather than why you feel stressed is a great way to shift your perspective. This is simple to do and can be done anywhere, anytime. If you have trouble focusing on gratitude, try thinking about what life would be like without certain people or privileges in it.

Try it: List 3-5 things you’re grateful for and do this as often as you need to. It’s a great way to shift your mindset! You could even try writing these things on paper and putting them in a jar to open when you feel stressed.

Remember to take a break

While these ideas can help you overcome workplace stress, it’s also important to make sure you take breaks throughout your working day. Even more important, try to make late finishes the exception rather than the rule. This will help you maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle outside of work, something which is very important when it comes to overcoming stress.

Need help with stress?

If you would like an extra helping hand, we provide Hypno Yoga and hypnotherapy for stress. Contact us to see how we can help.