Welcome to the second edition of our wellness newsletter, where we investigate the rejuvenating world of wellness, offering insights into the different offerings that can uplift your spirit and invigorate your body. As we approach the final month of winter in Australia, it’s natural to feel a touch of weariness. To help you overcome this, we have curated a collection of wellness practices that serve as potent antidotes to the winter blues. In this issue, we explore the importance of wellness, along with the enriching benefits of Yoga, Tai Chi & Qi Gong, and Breathwork & Meditation. Let’s delve into these practices and unlock the door to tranquillity and renewed vitality.
WHY WELLNESS MATTERS
Taking time for ourselves is essential, especially during winter’s colder months when we might experience reduced energy levels and a sense of melancholy.
While certain aspects of wellness may gain popularity at different times, the concept of wellness itself is a fundamental and timeless pursuit of optimal health and wellbeing. It has deep roots in various cultural and philosophical traditions, and its principles have been embraced throughout history.
The modern wellness movement, which emphasises a holistic approach to health and wellbeing,
emerged in the 20th century and gained momentum in recent decades. However, the core ideas of wellness have been present in ancient healing practices and philosophies from different cultures worldwide.
Moreover, scientific research continues to support the importance of wellness practices in promoting overall health and preventing chronic illnesses. Studies have shown the positive effects of regular exercise, good nutrition, stress reduction techniques, and mindfulness practices on physical and mental health.
As societies face modern challenges, such as sedentary lifestyles, stress, and mental health issues, wellness becomes even more important.
YOGA: HARMONY OF MIND & BODY
Yoga, an ancient practice originating in India, has found its way into the hearts of people worldwide due to its holistic approach to wellbeing.
Combining physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation, Yoga cultivates unity between the mind and body. Research indicates that regular practice can lead to reduced stress and anxiety levels, increased flexibility, and improved balance.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that participating in a Yoga program significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. The practice of Yoga encourages deep breathing and relaxation, activating the body’s relaxation response and promoting a sense of calm and wellbeing.
The benefits of Yoga don’t just positively impact your waking life, they can also help support a peaceful night. Yoga’s benefits to improved sleep are well documented with many international research articles highlighting that regular practice of yoga can lead to significant improvements in sleep patterns, providing individuals with better quality rest and longer durations of restful sleep.
During August, Alba is offering complimentary Yoga sessions suitable for all levels, allowing you to experience the transformative power of this age-old practice in the serene embrace of our natural surroundings.
TAI CHI & QI GONG: FLOWING WITH VITALITY
Tai Chi & Qi Gong are ancient Chinese practices that focus on the flow of vital energy within the body. These gentle, mindful movements promote relaxation while enhancing flexibility and balance.
Like Yoga, the health benefits of both Tai Chi & Qi Gong have long been established by scientific research. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, demonstrated that regular practice of Tai Chi & Qi Gong was associated with reduced stress and improved psychological well-being. The slow and deliberate movements, combined with deep breathing, help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which counteracts the body’s stress response and induces relaxation.
Furthermore, research on Tai Chi and Qi-Gong’s potential impact on cardiovascular health has yielded encouraging findings. Studies have shown that regular Tai Chi practice can lead to significant reductions in blood pressure, making it particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with hypertension or prehypertension. Additionally, Tai Chi has been associated with favourable changes in lipid profiles, including reductions in LDL cholesterol levels.
Embrace the grace of Tai Chi & Qi Gong during August, as we celebrate all things wellbeing. The slow, flowing movements of Tai Chi & Qi Gong make them suitable for all abilities and fitness levels. These practices offer a gentle and accessible path to wellbeing.
BREATHWORK AND MEDITATION: CULTIVATING CALMNESS
In the quest for tranquillity, the power of breathwork and meditation cannot be overstated. By harnessing the rhythm of our breath and turning our attention inward, we unlock a pathway to mindfulness and inner calm.
Here are five tips on how to incorporate breathwork and meditation into your busy, everyday life:
1. Start small and be consistent
Begin with just a few minutes of Breathwork and Meditation each day.
Find a quiet corner or a peaceful spot where you can take a breather. Set a realistic goal to practise consistently, even if it’s just for five minutes to start with.
Consistency is key to making these practices a habit.
2. Mindful moments
Utilise small pockets of time during your day for mindfulness. Instead of reaching for your phone during a break or while waiting for something, take a moment to focus on your breath.
Even a few deep breaths can make a difference in reducing stress and improving focus.
3. Morning ritual
Start your day with a short Breathwork or Meditation session. Dedicate a few minutes in the morning to set the tone for the day ahead.
This practice can help you feel centred and grounded, ready to take on whatever comes your way.
4. Lunchtime retreat
Use your lunch break as an opportunity for a mini retreat. Find a quiet spot, away from your workspace, and take a few minutes to practise Breathwork or Meditation.
It can help you recharge and return to work with increased focus and clarity.
5. Guided practice
If you’re new to Breathwork and Meditation, consider using guided sessions or meditation apps. These resources can provide structure and support as you explore these practices.
Get started and relearn the sacred art of breathing with some simple yet powerful techniques you can use in your everyday life to instantly relieve stress and anxiety.
JOIN US FOR COMPLIMENTARY WELLBEING ACTIVITIES THIS MONTH
As we cherish the final days of winter, Alba invites you to experience the transformative potential of wellness practices and join us for a range of wellbeing activities at our springs, sauna and spa.
These activities are complimentary with bathing and available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Your wellbeing is our priority, and we are here to support you find the right activity to suit your wellness needs.
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