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Three ways yoga can help you to let go

As the moon is heading to a full-moon shape again, it is the perfect time to shed the things in our lives which are not serving us. Read on to find out how yoga can help you to let go, create space and move on...

1. Release 'secret' tension in your muscles

Did you know that we tend to hold tension in our muscles unconsciously throughout the day? For instance, keeping the shoulders tightly locked during work or scrunching the facial muscles while looking at screens. We even hold tension in our tongue! The good news is that the more you practise yoga, the more you become aware of where you hold tension in your body and how to let it go. Often in our yoga classes, the teacher will encourage you to raise and release the shoulders with a strong rhythmic breathe, waggle the mouth and jaw around and stick out the tongue! You might think it looks strange, but trust us, you will feel great! Take a screen break, and try these tension-releasing tips at home for yourself.

2. The therapeutic power of turning inwards

Mindful yogic practises such as pranayama, meditation and asanas encourages us to go inwards. This can help to calm the nervous system which in turn, can help to calm our busy minds, relief stress and think more calmly and clearly. In time, this can help to nurture compassion to ourselves and others, and when we act with compassion, it can help improve our connection to the world around us and emotional buoyancy.

3. Chanting OM (A-U-M)

With roots in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, the scared Om can now be seen and heard in spiritual spaces around the world. It is all-encompassing, the whole universe joined in one sound, representing the union of the mind, body and spirit. Chanting Om has many health benefits - with studies showing it can help to calm the mind, reduce stress, improve gut health, promote sound sleep, detoxify the body and keep negative thoughts at bay. To practise chanting Om, try this. Find a quiet spot, preferably in the morning, and when settled in a comfortable seat, close the eyes, and inhale and exhale deeply, feeling each calming breath travelling from your gut through your lungs and chest, and softly wooshing out again. With each exhale, imagine any negative thoughts and emotions falling from the body like leaves from Autumn trees. After a few rounds, end your practise with a resounding Om. Take a deep belly breath, and on the next inhale, chant this sacred mantra and feel the positive vibrations deep in the body and gravitating out into the world.

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