Reset your mind in 14 minutes

Reset your mind in 14 minutes

Lots of my students ask for exercises to reset their mind. Here’s a great guided meditation class – try it out!

A busy mind

During a busy day our stress hormones, especially adrenaline and cortisol, increase. Our thoughts are easily distracted. Suddenly you realise that you’ve read a sentence several times or gone to the kitchen and back without the thing you went there for. Tensions in the body build up; your shoulders rise towards your ears and the back is starting to ache.

This is the time to reset. Try the exercise below – I promise it will make you feel more centred.

Yoga Relaxation Bodyscan

The video below is a short and easy meditation exercise called “bodyscan”. Find yourself a quiet space where you can lie down (preferably – but you can do this exercise in a seated position too). It lasts for 14 minutes, so make sure to set the phone on silent.

Ps.To me it feels like 4 minutes – not 14. Good luck!

 

How do we make the right choices?

How do we make the right choices?

In a world of unlimited options, the act of choosing one path implies the exclusion of other preferences. How do you know if you are making the right choice?

People spend a lot of time assessing pro’s and con’s to ensure thorough decision-making. After all, a choice has the potential to alter your whole life!Flow chart - decision making.

Unfortunately, the effort put into the thought-process often generates a lot of frustration. Moreover, the degree of effort put into a decision does not necessarily lead to a feeling of having made the “right” choice. In fact, science shows that we actually end up being worse off as a result of more choices.

 

The paradox of choice

In an experiment, a number of students from Harvard University were given a choice of selecting one picture each to keep. Half of the students were allowed to change their mind and swop their chosen picture into another one at any time, the other half were not given this choice. Then their relative happiness was measured.

What was the result? – It turns out that those that were not given an option were a lot happier with their painting than the other group.

Moreover, the study found that most of the students at Harvard University believed that the group with a choice was better.

We prefer having more choices but end up being worse off with those privileges!

 

A world of opportunities

In a world of unlimited options this is a real problem, for the paradox of choice applies to all aspects of life.

Case: You get invited to a dinner next weekend, and you have to make a choice; yes or no. You hesitate. For it might be that another event pops up in the Facebook-feed, and that this event could be more appealing. You check Instagram, Facebook, messenger and Snapchat too, just to be sure. And the gym timetable just in case your favorite class is an option. You also check the weather forecast – what if it’s sun? Then you would rather want to be outside enjoying the energy of fresh air and heat rather than being at an indoor dinner party. But wait. Your calendar looks full next week, and you have been stressing a lot lately. Maybe it is better to stay at home and do yoga? To catch up on some of that reading. And what is your boyfriend doing? I should really see him, it’s been a while since you two had a date night. I can’t respond the dinner invitation just yet. Just in case…

See the problem? We keep thinking about what we might lose out on whilst life is passing by. We are not enjoying the current events, things, people or places 100% because we are dedicating thought and energy into constantly considering everything else. Just because we are under the delusion that more options are always a good thing.

How do we take advantage of our privileged world of opportunities?

 

The link between choices and yoga

One can learn a lot about decision-making from yoga.

1.Ahimsa

Asana offers a practice of decision-making on the mat. How much do I push myself in order to be challenged, yet without trying too hard? Do I go further into the posture? Am I ready to try handstand? Should I pass on the next posture because of my injured knee, etc. A general rule is to practice Ahimsa, non-violence. To be kind to your body and soul. To not strive for the perfect but for the safe and smooth practice that gives you progress. What is really perfection compared to progress?

2. Asteya

Asteya is another corner stone in yoga philosophy which is super helpful in decision making. Literally it means “no-stealing”- ie. not stealing time, things, ideas and so on. Further it can be interpreted as not getting lost to your ego – to not force anything. For instance, if you are cuddling a puppy and she wants to leave, you should let her go. For if you force the puppy to stay on your lap, it doesn’t want to come back next time.

Learning to letting things come and go is part of the yoga philosophy. We are accepting that change is inevitable. We are practicing to be content with “enough”.

“Learning to letting things come and go is part of the yoga philosophy. We are accepting that change is inevitable. We are practicing to be content with enough.”

3.Meditation

Meditation is key in yoga. It improves your observation of the body and mind. Is the mind still and focused, or are the thoughts wandering off? With practice one becomes better at realizing when the thoughts wander. Hence, you get new chances to bring yourself back to the moment, to what really counts. Being here and now 100% increases your clarity and trust in your intention. Instead of making lists, you start feeling what choices to make. You do what makes you happy.

 

It doesn’t really matter

A similar trend for all those three points is balance. Yoga is essentially about learning to practice with dedication but effortlessly. Not too much, not too little. Just enough. Throughout a yoga class, you are constantly challenged to make decisions in order to find this balance.

Feeling lost in the paradox of choice? Join our yoga classes to explore the power of moving meditation. The goal is less effort to choices and more to the current moment. You’ll see that you don’t have to think about all your options at all times. For as long as you are present to experience that the now makes you happy, it doesn’t really matter what choice is “right” by thought.

 

The Yoga Science Project – Høst 2017

The Yoga Science Project – Høst 2017

The Yoga Science Project (YSP) søker nye studenter til andre del av vår randomiserte kliniske studie. Sammen vil vi finne ut om yoga kan bidra til bedre velvære, søvn og akademiske resultater. 

Recap

Vi er halveis ut i første del av yogastudien. 102 studenter har vært igjennom målinger og halvparten deltar nå på yogakurs hos HiYoga to ganger i uken. Tilbakemeldingene er over all forventning! Det blir spennende å se hva tallene sier. Til høsten skal 100 nye studenter i Oslo gå igjennom akkurat samme opplegg. Noe for deg? Da er det lurt å titte fort igjennom spørsmålene og svarene under.

Spørsmål og Svar

Kan jeg velge om jeg kommer i yogagruppen eller kontrollgruppen?

Svaret her er nei – dette er en randomisert klinisk studie og en datamaskin vil velge for oss. Dette er for å styrke validiteten av resultatene. Uansett gruppe vil du derimot få tilbud om yogakurs på HiYoga – yogagruppen starter med kurs i august mens kontrollgruppen får valg om å delta på samme kurs etter at målingene er gjennomførte

Skal både yogagruppen og kontrollgruppen utføre målingene i løpet at høsten 2017?

Ja. Første måling er i slutten av august 2017, andre måling er i november 2017, og siste måling vil trolig være i februar 2018.

Kan jeg ha gjort yoga før?

Ja, du kan ha gjort litt yoga tidligere. Det er dog et kriterie at man ikke har gjort yoga fast de siste 6 månedene. Siden halvparten av deltakerne vil havne i kontrollgruppen så ønsker vi ikke at deltakere må “avstå” fra sin vanlige praksis mens de venter på sitt kurs.

Hvilket språk går studien på?

Alle kurs og spørreskjemaer er på norsk.

Må jeg være student?

Ja.

Må jeg gå på UiO?

Nei, vi aksepterer alle studenter i Oslo-området. Fra høgskoler og universiteter.

Må jeg bo i Oslo?

Nei, men det er lurt å ikke bo langt unna. For å sørge for at vi kan stole på resultatene av studien, er det viktig at alle fullfører målingene og at det er lite fravær fra yogakurset. Om man bor langt fra Majorstuen, så vil det bli vanskeligere. Ett av inklusjonskriteriene er at man selv skal tro at man klarer å gjennomføre studien.

Om jeg havner i yogagruppen – kan jeg velge hvilke dager jeg har kurs?

Tidspunktene for kurset blir sendt ut mer informasjon etter randomiseringen. Vi vil prøve å sette opp timene på kveldstid i hverdagene. Om man er syk kan man bytte gruppe unntaksvis etter avtale.

Hvordan er det å ha kurs på HiYoga?

Du kan lese mer om Hi Yoga her. Deres hustavle forteller litt om regler og trivsel i lokalene. Dette er det viktig å ha lest igjennom før du deltar på kurs.

Kan jeg trene som vanlig under studien?

Ja – du kan trene vanlig styrke, jogging, pilates og all annen trening under studien. Om du er i kontrollgruppen er det kun yoga man skal unngå mens målingene pågår.

Er det mye å gjøre med målingene?

Du vil motta spørreskjema på mail hvor du logger deg inn med et unikt deltakernummer og svarer på spørsmålene online. I tillegg skal man hente en pulsklokke på HiYoga til en fastsatt tid, sove med den i en natt og levere den samme sted dagen etter.

Dette gjøres ved tre målerunder; en i august 2017, en november 2017, og en i februar 2018.

Når får jeg vite om jeg havner i yogagruppen eller kontrollgruppen?

Med en gang vi har mottatt alle påmeldinger vil vi randomisere deltakere med et dataprogram. Du vil motta et unikt deltakernummer og gruppe per mail med en gang dette er gjort.

Kan man trekke seg fra studien?

Ja, det er frivillig å delta i studien. Dessverre er det slik at hver drop-out vil påvirke resultatene våre negativt. Jo flere som trekker seg, jo mindre kan man stole på resultatene. Derfor er et av kravene til deltakelse at man selv tror at man vil kunne fullføre hele studien – dvs. alle tre målerundene, samt hele yogakurset (totalt 24 yogatimer over 12 uker) for de som havner i yogagruppen.

Case: Om du har planer om å flytte ut av Oslo i løpet av studien, for eksempel, håper vi derfor at du ikke melder deg på studien. Ved forrige runde var det lang venteliste. Som deltaker får man et profesjonelt yogakurs som er verdt mye for mange, i tillegg til at det ligger mye arbeid bak planlegging og gjennomføring av studien. Vi håper derfor at våre deltakere respekterer dette.

Ønsker du å delta?

Les mer om studien her, eller send e-post til info@yoscience.com for å få tilsendt informasjonsskriv og samtykkeskjema. Har du andre ting du lurer på – ikke nøl med å ta kontakt. Vi aksepterer deltakere etter tidspunkt for mottatt signert samtykkeskjema.

The Yoga Science Study

The Yoga Science Study

I am proud to announce that Yoga Science is organizing a randomized controlled trial this year. The aim is to investigate yoga as a means to reduce distress, increase subjective well being, promote better sleep and increase academic grades.

Background

University students show increased levels of mental distress. In a recent report on the well-being of Norwegian students, it was found that one in five has severe mental health issues. This number is the double of that of the normal population in the same age range. Similar results have been found in other countries.

Hence, we wish to investigate whether yoga can reduce student distress and increase subjective well being. Furthermore, we’ll assess sleep parameters and academic performance.

Together we’ll find out whether yoga has the potential to increase student well being, sleep quality and academic results. 

Students – look here!

Are you a student in the Oslo area and new to yoga? – Then you are a potential candidate for our study. Let us know if you are interested in being a participant by sending an e mail to info@yoscience.com. As a participant you’ll get a 12 week yoga course at Hi Yoga. By filling out some questionnaires and wearing a pulse watch, we’ll gather the data anonymously. Together we’ll find out whether yoga has the potential to increase student well being, sleep quality and academic results.

The first round of data collection starts in February 2017. Start the new year with a great, new challenge and contribute to the largest yoga study within the field to date!

Mind Workout

Mind Workout

Prepare your head for a kickstart after the summer holiday! Try out this amazing meditation app from Headspace! It takes you through short sessions of body scans and meditation, which encourages mindfulness.

Boost your focus with yoga

Want to learn more? Empirical evidence shows that meditation increases your focus and performance, as written about in this article.