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When we feel out of step, we can find centering through yoga. The Yoga for Resilience classes at Nimbus Massage focus more on achieving mental and emotional balance rather than physical fitness. What does that mean? To further explore, let’s discuss the concept of Window of Tolerance.

by Morgan Howell

Window of Tolerance

Our Window of Tolerance falls in a state of balance between too much and too little stimulation. When at the high end, or hyper-arousal, we might experience symptoms of anxiety. The low end, or hypo-arousal, on the other hand, might lead to symptoms of depression. Finding the comfortable middle, however, allows us to meet life’s challenges with a sense of resilience and clarity. It also allows us to better receive and process new information. 

Everyone’s Window of Tolerance is a little different depending on our life experiences. We can even experience a varying Window within ourselves. For me, I feel like I have a decent sized Window of Tolerance when I’m driving my car, but my window shrinks when I’m speaking in front of a large group of people. I have friends who have the exact opposite experience-they are totally collected in front of a room of people, but have a smaller range of tolerance behind the wheel.

We can make shifts toward centering through yoga

The focus of Yoga for Resilience is to make shifts toward balance, and, over time expand the Window of Tolerance. Yoga for Resilience could be a great auxiliary to a treatment plan for anxiety, depression, or trauma recovery or part of your self care plan to maintain an optimal state of wellness. It helps move us towards our center, by practicing connecting with ourselves.

We all flow up and down at different points throughout our lives. Yoga for Resilience can help us build a sense of sustainable nourishment when we are feeling low, think a nourishing cup of soup rather than a stimulating cup of coffee. It can also help us let go, release, and rest when we are feeling over-charged. Yoga for Resilience involves a combination of slow, mindful movements; breath-centered movements; meditation; and the ethical components of yoga. At Nimbus Massage, you can choose to practice in a group, or receive something specifically tailored for your needs through private sessions. 



What is Yoga for Resilience?

by Morgan Howell

My yoga teacher, Kristine Kaoverri Weber, likes to point out the difference between “innercise” and exercise. Exercise has various, Yoga teacher with hands to heartwonderful health benefits that most of us already know about. Similarly, “innercise” or slowing down, mindful movement, and practicing self awareness, can also benefit us in many ways.

Can you think of a time in your life when you were busy and preoccupied? Perhaps you got so wrapped up you stopped noticing things like when you needed to eat or rest. Likewise, perhaps you stopped making time to connect to the things in life that give you a deep sense of joy, meaning, and fulfillment. I know when I have those periods in my life, they are typically followed by feelings of burnout and then catching an illness. A sort of forced rest.

(Re) Connect with yourself

Yoga for Resilience’s focus on “innercise” helps you as a student develop the capacity to notice how you feel, and in-turn what you need to maintain good self-care. Whether you are feeling up or down or somewhere in the middle Yoga for Resilience can help you develop awareness and from there, make a shift back toward balance. At a deeper level, the development of inner awareness can also lead to a deeper sense of self; knowing who you are; and what you feel called to do with your life. 

Physically, this type of class is typically gentle and moderately paced. In contrast, vinyasa yoga classes are fun and a great work out and generally faster-paced. Yin, or restorative, yoga classes on the other hand are deeply healing and regenerative. Yoga for Resilience classes at Nimbus (inspired by Subtle Yoga https://subtleyoga.com/ ) offer something a little different. The pacing falls somewhere in between those examples. 

Yoga for Resilience classes focus more on nervous system regulation than fitness. Indeed, they allow you to get to know the spectrum of your nervous systems and learn how to become present with yourself. It is accessible for beginners and students with complex health needs. However, that does not mean that you can’t also improve your fitness. Since, I shifted my personal yoga practice to more of a Subtle-inspired practice, I notice I’ve gotten physically stronger. However, more importantly to me, I have a deeper sense of ease and balance in my daily life, a kinder relationship with myself, and a stronger sense of self. 


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Have you ever gone to a beginner yoga class and just felt like you couldn’t keep up? By the time you got yourself into one pose everyone had done two more and you didn’t know how to catch up? You thought yoga was supposed to be relaxing but this was just stressful!

Not for true beginners

Even a “Level 1” beginner yoga class can be intimidating or inaccessible if you lack experience, flexibility, or strength. Although most poses have multiple aspects to them, group yoga classes often assume that attendees already have a basic understanding of the form and function of common poses. Rather than teaching the “how to,” many classes simply lead students through a complex sequencing of postures.

If you have found yourself lost in a basic class check out a foundational group class or private lesson. These classes go more slowly and break down each pose so that you can get started the right way. With a good foundation of understanding, you can get more out of your yoga practice.

Starting from zero

Learn the correct alignment – A pose might look simple, but there’s actually a lot going on. For example, Mountain Pose (Tadasana) is a simple standing posture. However, it takes a lot of body awareness and muscle engagement to move away from our “natural” standing posture. By slowing down, you can take the time to understand what correct alignment looks and feels like. You also learn how to safely move into and out of a pose – many injuries come not from the poses themselves but from the transitions!

Learn modifications – With and without the use of props, find your personal version of a pose that works for and with your body. In Triangle Pose (Trikonasana) you might use a block to bring the ground up to your bottom hand, or you might engage a microbend in your knee to prevent hyperextension. A strap wrapped around your feet in Staff Pose (Dandasana) will give you something to pull towards if you can’t reach your feet.

Nimbus developed Yoga 001, a group class series, to help true beginners learn the foundations of yoga. Each class focuses on a handful of poses. The instructor breaks them down and demonstrates them. The students then get a chance to practice, ask questions, and learn adjustments. We also offer one-on-one instruction for those who prefer individualized attention.

A group or private beginner yoga class is a great place to help you start your yoga practice. With a bit of effort and focus, you’ll leave feeling more confident about attending group classes, following a video, or practicing on your own. 


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