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The three pillars of wellbeing: Yoga, meditation and mindfulness

By  AAMI

When it comes to your health, looking after your wellbeing is an essential ingredient. But what does that mean exactly? By definition, wellbeing is the state of being healthy and happy. Sounds easy enough, but how do you achieve it? Regular exercise and eating well are important components to physical health, but what about mental health and happiness? Being more mindful can help.

What is mindfulness?

Being mindful means being conscious and aware of the world around you. In today’s world of checking emails, updating social media and always being available, it can be hard to shut down and be present in the moment. Our reliance on mobile phones and email means we’re always on-call, rarely getting a second to relax. Focusing on one task or one person when your phone keeps dinging and your email keeps pinging isn’t easy.

This busy, non-stop life we lead not only contributes towards a lack of mindfulness, but it can be stressful, too. Finding ways to relieve stress is important so you can stay healthy. Being stressed can weaken your immune system, which means you may pick up more viruses or get sick more often. Learning techniques to help you be more mindful and relieve stress can help you on your path to creating a happy and healthy life.

Can yoga help?

Yoga is a spiritual discipline that includes breathing techniques, simple meditation and body postures. It helps relieve stress, calm the mind and cultivates wellbeing. Practicing yoga can also help with relaxation and stress relief, as most yoga classes include breathing techniques and some type of meditation.

There are many different types of yoga, but two of the most common are Hatha and Vinyasa. Hatha is a gentle practice that focuses on breathing, holding a pose and quieting the mind – it’s a good place to start if you’re trying yoga for the first time. While Vinyasa is a faster-paced class, that’s more fitness oriented. It links the poses together and focuses on using breath as you move through each pose. During your yoga practice you may find your mind calm down and become more focused.

Is meditation important?

Meditation is becoming more and more popular – and in today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to see why. It makes sense that people are searching for ways to quiet their minds. Meditation is relaxing and can help relieve stress.

For a beginner, meditation can seem hard. Our minds are busy and trying to quiet them, even for a minute, isn’t easy. Yet, like all things in life, practice helps. Some people may find their ability to concentrate on other tasks improves after meditation.

It’s important to keep in mind that meditation isn’t about clearing your mind, but more about recognising the thoughts that enter your mind and letting them go – learning not to dwell on thoughts is part of learning to meditate. Dedicating just five or ten minutes a day to meditation may help you get on the road to being more mindful and relaxed. For beginners, a guided meditation might be the way to go.