Stress is an inevitable part of modern day living and learning to manage and reduce the impact it can have, is important for our overall health and wellbeing. In terms of our skin barrier, the release of cortisol caused by stress can be twofold. Cortisol can stimulate the over production of sebum, leading to acne breakouts. It can also weaken our skin barrier, allowing healthy oils and hydration to escape. So how do we manage stress?

The answer is completely personal and individual for each of us. Stress management tools can include anything that helps you get into a state of flow, regulate your breath, and help you to be in the moment. Perhaps this could be walking, gardening, cooking, swimming, meditation or a combination of different practices and rituals.

For me, yoga has been a space to find ultimate calm. During the global pandemic I was able to build a regular practice with the support of Emily William’s online yoga classes. Emily’s online yoga classes provided structure and support. This, along with the ability to practice at home, added a depth to my practice that I had not previously found through short YouTube classes, and once a week in person classes. Emily’s online classes are also recorded meaning that if you can’t make the livestream time, you can do the class in your own time.

If you are curious about yoga, or want to add depth to your practice, this January Emily is giving the Phoenix & Providence community, an exclusive discount on her online offering.

RESTANDRESET 25% off any first livestream class.

RESTANDRESETPASS gives €25 off the first month of an Archive or Unlimited Pass.

I very much believe your own wellbeing is supported by your own toolkit, personal to you and your needs. However, I think we can all find some benefit in taking time to move and breathe mindfully. Below I have shared the personal benefits I have found from carving time for a regular yoga practice.

1) Strength and Comfort

I have found physical benefits from a regular yoga practice, including increased strength and greater flexibility. Until I practiced yoga regularly, I wasn’t aware how much mild discomfort I held in my body. Strengthening and stretching our muscles has such a positive impact on our overall wellbeing and movement.

2) Making Time for Myself

‘The hardest part is showing up...’ this is so true in the case of many activities. Once I have unrolled my yoga mat, all the tensions of the day, and reasons why I don’t have time to practice, no longer stand in my way.

The sense of making time to do something for myself, has a knock-on effect with how I take time for small moments of self care. From preparing myself a nutritious lunch, to making time for a skincare ritual, making time for these moments filters through from my yoga practice.

3) The Power of Breathwork

The practice of yoga goes hand in hand with the practice of breathwork. The process of slowing down your breathe, activates your parasympathetic nervous system. Our body enters a state of relaxation, allowing ourselves to recover, vital for our overall health.

I have found myself incorporating simple breathing exercises in my everyday life. From helping me to find patience with my children, to drifting off to sleep, or finding grounding when life seems to be moving too quickly, the breath control learnt in yoga practices have far reaching benefits. You will also find ‘rituals for use’ breathing exercises on the back of every Phoenix & Providence skincare product. These have been created to help your skincare routine mark a transition in your day, from activity to rest, from connecting with others to connecting with yourself. 

4) Mindfulness

Feeling my body move through yoga poses is an ultimate state of mindfulness for me. Surrendering and following the words of my yoga teacher, allows me to completely cut off from the to-do lists, plans and worries I may have. As an adult it isn’t often we are given the chance to take instruction, to leave the decision-making process to someone else. I love the feeling of landing on my matt, knowing someone else is going to tell me exactly what to do! 

A lesson I have learnt from yoga, is that by relaxing into poses that can at first provide discomfort, allows our bodies to find more flexibility; as opposed to forcing our muscles to respond. This can carry through into our everyday lives. By approaching difficult or tricky situations in a more relaxed state, our brains can respond with more flexibility to problem solving.

5) Being Part of a Community

Yoga is an individual experience, what our bodies feels is unique to us. However, being part of a community, meeting with like-minded people, is incredibly heart-warming. After our local yoga classes on St. Martin’s, I love floating home down the road with fellow yoga friends, laughing at our loose hips!

Initially I was unsure about online yoga, how this group feeling could be replicated on my laptop screen. However, Emily has created such a warm and inclusive online yoga space. From synching hitting play on the class playlist together, to making time to wave to each other on gallery mode at the end of the class, the energy I feel from online yoga classes absolutely took me by surprise.

Emily’s classes are joined by people across the globe (warning- you may experience jealousy when seeing those practicing outside under blue skies, or those cocooned against the snowy mountains!) and if you would like to join a class you would be very welcome. You can find out more about Emily’s online yoga community here, don’t forget to use the special discount code above.

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