Join us for the last day of Children's Mental Health Week. Dr Hazel Harrison, creator of our 'Positive Parenting' series, gives us her final tip to improve children's wellbeing.
At Unmind, we empower people to improve their mental health by helping them take care of their minds every day. One of the ways we do this is through our wide range of Audio and Video Tools. These are designed to help people reduce feelings of stress, improve mood, address common mental and emotional problems, and cultivate energy and wellbeing. We're always looking to grow our offering to our users, so are happy to announce our latest addition to the Tools collection - yoga.
We know that yoga benefits mental wellbeing, so over the past few months, we've teamed up with four prominent yoga teachers to film over 60 videos for our users. We sat down with a few of them to find out a bit more about them and why they love yoga so much.
Adrienne discovered yoga when she found herself seeking purpose and fulfilment, grounded in her values of mindfulness and kindness. She found that fulfilment on her mat. Through time and commitment, Adrienne grew her yoga practice to earn her 200-hour yoga teacher certification. She offers group classes and private instruction in cities around the globe. With each lesson, Adrienne aims to provide a challenge and sense of studentship that helps her students find the best in themselves. She approaches yoga with natural energy, using her vast experience in both yoga and mentorship to help others forge a deep connection with their practice.
"Suffering from severe depression as a result of a horrendous break-up, I used yoga that to regain the emotional strength. Yoga helped me pick up the pieces, reaffirm my inner strength and move forward with my life in a positive way. As my instructor had observed, I was on my mat, as I was in my life: broken and afraid.
Given the opportunity to reflect and renew my strengths, I decided to leverage my power by wearing a superhero cape as an anchor for visibility in my journey to become a yoga instructor.
I'm now using my superpower to make yoga more inviting to all people, irrespective of race, age, body type, or cultural background. I took my first yoga class over a decade ago and didn't think it was for me. I returned to my mat years later, to realise that on the four corners of my mat, I am free to exist and be me."
"I don't like to brag, but I'm left-handed."
Find out more about Adrienne here:
Sarah is a yoga teacher and holistic nutritionist based in central London. She is originally from Canada, where she began her yoga journey over ten years ago. Sarah's classes are a unique blend that takes influence from vinyasa flow yoga. Her creative and upbeat style of yoga is designed to strengthen, cleanse and tone your entire body. Powerful and dynamic sequences encourage vitality and rejuvenation, balanced with slower and more mindful poses, leaving your body and mind in a relaxed and exhilarated state.
"I recommend that people check in with themselves at least once every 30 minutes. Usually, the body gives us small cues at first; if you feel achy or tight, this is the chance to move your body before it gets worse. There are a lot of things you can do without even leaving your chair. The main problem areas that coincide with desk work are the spine, hips, neck and shoulders. To elongate the spine and promote a healthy flow of energy, raise your arms above your head and interlock your hands stretch from left to right. To loosen tension in the neck and shoulders, roll your head in a figure of 8. And, to prevent the hips from getting tight, try hip circles at your desk, do this by rotating your body in a circular motion and make sure to take long, deep breaths. The conscious breaths help to relax your nervous system and keep you balanced and energised all day."
"When I'm doing yoga at home, I have always loved to put on fun, upbeat music, which isn't typical for yoga. I always thought I was the only one, but a few years ago, I decided to test it out in my group classes. It turns out other people love it too. So, I created Disco Yoga which is an energising class with a live DJ playing disco classics."
Find out more about Sarah here:
"I've been doing yoga longer and more consistently than anything else in my life. I went to my first class in 2001 and completed a first teacher training in 2009. I started, like a lot of people, with hot yoga, which is a very accessible kind of practice, and have since continued to learn and teach a variety of other styles and techniques. Yoga changed my life in every conceivable way, not least because I met my wife on that first teacher training in 2009. I think that yoga can mean a lot of different things to different people. Yoga postures are just the surface; they provide an entry point into something multidimensional, a living philosophy which is continuously adapting and evolving to the needs of the time."
"Yoga isn't a religion, but it can be mistaken for one because of the religious symbolism and iconography often associated with it. As a philosophy, you can trace the history of yoga that predates Hinduism."
"Before becoming a yoga teacher, I used to live in China, where I worked in a factory for four years. A very different environment to the yoga studio where I now spend most of my time."
Find out more about Michael here:
Anna is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer. Her positive and upbeat personality radiates through her teachings. Having a personal practice for over 14 years, she has matured a unique approach to creatively binding yoga, breath, mindfulness, philosophy, sound and conscious movement.
"People often think yoga is just the asanas or postures that we do on the mat, but yoga is merely being present with the breath. The breath has the power to ground us to every moment; each new breath is an opportunity for a refresh of the mind, to reset our attitude or intention, and find calm.
When we practice yoga on a mat, the aim is to let the breath be the guide. I like the metaphor of imagining yourself like a leaf, and the breath is the wind that effortlessly sweeps you up and moves you with grace. Allowing the breath to initiate movement on the mat turns the yoga practice into a form of moving meditation where every second, every breath, every moment counts.
Yoga is 100% a gateway into experiencing the benefits of sitting meditation, where we become more familiar with our bodies. We release tension, loosen up, find it easier to sit still as the mind settles a little bit more each time we come to the mat. Traditionally yoga is practised before meditation to balance the thinking mind and help us find greater comfort in the seated meditation position."
"When I was younger, I wanted to be a fitness instructor like the 80's icon Rosemary Conley. My sister and I used to do her fitness videos in our living room when they were still on VHS. She was my gateway towards a Geri Halliwell Yoga DVD, and the rest is history! I do however still love blowing off steam working up a sweat doing HIIT training, group boot camps, or just playing catch in the park.
Nirvana is also a great way to let loose and sing it all out, and I love to sing. I once was a lead singer in a Blues Band, losing myself in music was a form of meditation. When you're on stage, the whole audience blurs into the lights, and all that remains is a smudge of beautiful colours, and the mind is clear of thoughts."
Find out more about Anna here:
If you’re one of our Unmind users be sure to check our latest yoga videos in our ‘Move & Yoga’ category in Tools.