our passion & our path
These days, most people struggle with some sort of ongoing health issue, even those who appear to be healthy and engage in sports or fitness activities. Stress and lifestyle related conditions like fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, chronic pain or frequent injuries are alarmingly common - which has earned them a spot amongst the biggest issues in public health.
Yoga, if practised appropriately, can not only help to ease the symptoms but also create the awareness and mindset needed to identify and eliminate the root of the problem.
We are determined to equip everyone with the knowledge and tools to utilise their body's innate healing capacities through conscious breathing, mindful movement and listening to the body's feedback.
Yoga has become a common activity for recreation and fitness. However, modern mainstream classes can be intimidating for less sporty people and are not always suitable for those with existing health problems - who would benefit the most from a regular yoga practice.
Inner Smile Yoga & Health aims to bridge this gap by offering accessible classes that are safe for every body. We explicitly focus on injury prevention and physical and mental wellbeing by utilising yoga in a more therapeutic sense.
Therefore, all our classes are based on slow to moderately paced, mindful movement with an emphasis on conscious breathing and postural awareness. Why is this so beneficial?
Most of us are permanently under pressure - we need to get things done within a narrow time frame, expectations are high and down-times low. Everything has to be fast and intense, even exercise and yoga classes are designed "to fit the tightest schedule".
As a result, our body tends to get stuck in the "fight or flight" response and subsequently shuts down mechanisms that are not essential for immediate survival. If we don't allow ourselves enough time to switch back into "recovery" mode we are likely to develop serious health problems which in turn creates even more stress and anxiety.
Slowing down is the only way to break this vicious cycle and help our body heal itself!
Learning to Breathe
"Our breath is our number one priority, for without it we are unable to utter one single word or perform even the smallest of actions."
- Richard Brennan, The Alexander Technique Workbook
Isn't it surprising that although breathing is the most essential action of all we hardly ever spend a thought on how we breathe?
Technically, breathing is the exchange of oxygen and waste gases in our lungs. Proper oxygenation is essential for cell repair and replacement, which influences all our bodily systems. Apart from that, our breath is also an excellent indicator for our wellbeing. Being linked to the nervous system it changes frequently, depending on our activity, mood, and health status. Since we can also change our breath at will, we are able to influence our physical, mental and emotional health through conscious breathing!
Nature has equipped us with a tool that is more powerful than any pill, we only have to (re-)learn how to use it.
What is Mindful Movement?
“In order to recognize small changes in effort, the effort itself must first be reduced. More delicate and improved control of movement is possible only through the increase of sensitivity, through a greater ability to sense differences.” - Moshe Feldenkrais
Mindful movement is the art of not only being aware that we move but also how we move, and which consequences our way of moving has on our body.
Most of our daily movements happen on a subconscious level - like walking. Once learnt, we don't need to think much about it anymore. Unfortunately, if not "reviewed" regularly we easily develop postural habits that can restrict our ability to move with ease and joy. In fact, most ongoing or recurring pain is related to postural issues, even in active people. However, if you always keep rushing through your routines, you will neither become aware of what you do nor understand what you can do better.
So, we encourage you to slow down and put your mind to it!
The Art of Listening
"Great leaders talk less & listen more."
Great leaders understand what is happening in their people because they listen to what they are talking about - what problems are they dealing with, what do they suggest to solve the issue, what makes them happy and thrive?
The same is true for you and your body: Your body is permanently talking to you, giving you all the information you need to nourish it and maintain best possible health. Sadly, we hardly ever pay attention and only take notice once we are suffering from pain or illness. Listening to your body & taking notice of your feelings and emotions are essential steps on the road to lasting health and wellbeing. The more you practise the "Art of Listening", the more you will realise what a wonderful piece of art your body is!