The world around us is moving and changing at a fast pace, with barely any time to sit down and really reflect on the things in our daily life that affect us mentally and physically. Every move we make seems to have to be planned and tied to a satisfying result. The modern human does barely let himself have time periods inbetween during which he just cleans his mind from all the negativity and various stress factors occurring on a daily basis.
We are constantly pushed into such a tight and stressful routine by not only ourselves but the demands and guidelines we are confronted with by our own society that we often forget that our bodies are not machines that can work on full power mode over a stretched period of time. We tire. We feel poorly. We are capable of emotions and feelings. We aren’t meant to work our way through our lives just to look back at it and realise we didn’t really enjoy the ride at all.
Mental Hygiene is Important.
Especially during my uni years I realised more than ever how much joy life could bring if one really embraced its opportunities. Balancing hard work, dedication, mental health and social life is a challenge, but manageable – and to be able to maintain a balance, we have to start the journey within our minds. A clear and healthy mind is the base to a human’s general well being. Which is why it is of immense importance that we consciously decide to spend time with no one but ourselves because ‘me time’ is the key to a strong and fierce mindset.
I started doing yoga when I first started uni and I thought I needed something other than just average strength and cardio training to really tap my full potential. I figured that in contrast to the training I usually do, yoga would help me find my inner strength and peace that had nothing to do with training muscles really. So I started doing yoga. Not every day, sometimes not even every week, just whenever I felt like I needed to take a step back and give my mind and body a break. I know that some people do yoga every single morning and force it into their routine, but I don’t think the amount of times you do it determines the effect.
Mental health and well being is something as individual as the human itself, which is why adopting someone else’s routine can backfire and lead to more stress rather than relieving it. Finding your own perfect routine is key when trying to balance mental health and stressful daily life, which is why listening to body signals is significant to long term success.
Whenever I feel down or feel like I need to ease back into feeling mentally and physically strong, I sign up for a yoga class and just let the teachers guide me through the depths of my mind where I know my mental strength lies and I enjoy being around people doing the exact same thing. It is actually incredible how much impact the right words and instructions can have on your personal well being if you really try and let yourself sink into the situation, genuinely embracing it.
I am not trying to sugar coat the fact that I myself sometimes end up overworking myself until I feel both mentally and physically drained because let’s keep it real, we all do sometimes. What is important is to not try and push your body further until the breaking point.
It is a cliché that yoga classes are boring and a waste of time. It is simply what you make of it and how much you get yourself into the situation. Even if you feel like this type of sport and way to relax your body and mind isn’t for you, you should still give it a chance and at least try. Most yoga studios offer free or reasonably priced trial lessons so you can see for yourself and check out their program and institution without signing up for anything just yet. Especially in Graz but other cities as well free yoga classes are held regularly at various occasions, you will be able to find events like this on social media sites such as Facebook.
Don’t be biased. Don’t be scared. You can’t do anything wrong. Just give it a try. Let your mind find its inner peace a bit more, no matter how.
All Photos © Yunity Graz/Mangolds