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Yoga and Mindfulness

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At Cubex, we believe that we are all unique and individual. However, there is one thing we all have in common, we are human and a large part of what makes us human is our social nature and desire to feel connected and alive. We all deserve to feel this. But life has a habit of throwing us all challenges that makes it difficult to experience our world the way we would like to especially true if you experience the effects of the cognitive load from reduced hearing ability or tinnitus. The important thing is how we choose to deal with it.

 
Learning to manage stress and cognitive load is the most powerful way of ensuring that life is fun, fulfilling and creative. Mindfulness, meditation and yoga are generally practiced as a means of improving mental, emotional, cognitive and physical health and it is accessible to just about everybody. At Cubex, these tools and techniques are used to help you reduce the negative psychological and cognitive effects of hearing loss and other audiological conditions. If appropriate for your individual needs it can be recommended as part of hearing loss, balance disorders and tinnitus treatment plans. Cubex clinical mindfulness, meditation is accessible to anyone who simply wants to learn how to slow down, reduce stress, increase mental clarity, and achieve calmer state of mind – essential for contributing to a healthy and happy cognitive self.

Sessions consist of either a pure mental focus aimed at empowering you with the tools to manage stress and improve mental control, concentration and clarity or as a full yoga practice involving movement through physical postures, breath control, ending with mindfulness and meditation.

 

Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, Cognition and the Yoga Connection

 

Different meditation and yoga styles can benefit our brain and body in unique ways. There is a wealth of evidence that suggests that regular mindfulness, meditation and yoga practice can influence cognitive function, gene expression and immune response. (1)Recent studies have identified that brain changes associated with meditation and subsequent stress reduction may play an important role in improving cognitive reserve and slowing the progression of age-related cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Long term meditation practice can lead to an increase in the amount of grey matter in the brain, strengthening the brain’s networks and slowing the effects of ageing on cogntion.

It can alter how we react to stress and reduce anxiety whilst improving overall quality of life. How we think and act on daily basis has a direct influence on the chemical composition of our brains. Regular practice of mindfulness and meditation is key for changing old negative habits and re-wiring our brains to learn new ways to react to life’s stressors and contributing to healthy cognitive function collectively and individually.

The benefits of a regular practice is well documented.

These include:

  • Improved concentration
  • Sharper focus
  • Increased mental clarity
  • Reduced sleep disturbance
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced depression
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased sense of well-being
  • Positive shifts in locus of control
  • Improved coping mechanisms
  • Improved balance
  • Improved attention and focus
  • Increased muscle relaxation
  • Increased energy levels
  • Production of the relaxation response
  • Enhanced daily happiness

 

Mindfulness

 

Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally – Jon Kabat-Zinn, MBSR

Mindfulness and meditation is a practice that enables our ability to change the way we respond to life’s challenges and contributes to healthy cognitive function. Simply put, we can use our thoughts and our breath to positively influence our mental & physical physiology.

Mindfulness is the act of staying in the room, being present & being aware of all your actions & interactions.

The modern mind is often bombarded with scattered thoughts, multiple distractions, anxiety and worry. We tend to function through life in an automated and reactive mode on a daily basis with little awareness. The intention of Mindfulness is to train you to manage your mind. The practice of mindfulness helps us achieve the ability to develop and grow our awareness of the present changing how we view things and how we relate to what is happening around us at that point in time with greater clarity. It is about looking inward and consciously focusing our attention on thoughts that exist in our awareness and acknowledging these thoughts non-judgmentally. It aims to gradually shift the way we think and to re-structure our thoughts and re-wire our minds to interact with situations more mindfully.

Meditation is a daily self practice where time is carved out to create space and bring calm to the mind & body.

Every day we apply so much cognitive energy to navigate through our auditory world, especially when living in a loud, chaotic, fast paced city like London. For the most part we are unaware of the mental skills and effort involved. As our natural ability to hear starts to reduce, we become even more reliant on our cognitive skills to make sense of the world and this increases the load on our brains. There are a variety of Meditation techniques, styles and guidelines to help put the mind at ease and improve cognitive reserve in the most effective way. There are a few easy and accessible practices that are relevant for the modern man or women.

One example is using breath and attention to rewire our brains and positively influence our physiology, both mentally and physically. Our breath is acutely intertwined with our thoughts and emotion. Reactions to situations can sometimes leave us feeling stressed, frustrated, anxious or angry. This might be familiar particularly if you find it difficult to communicate and converse due to reduced hearing ability or if you suffer with tinnitus. This is because the sympathetic branch autonomic nervous system triggers one of our most primitive physiological responses called “fight or flight”. This results in short, rapid, shallow breathing and a release of adrenaline to the body that elevates the primary stress hormone, Cortisol.

Fortunately, our remarkable brains have the ability to re- organise itself, forming new connections between neurons and changing how we think. We call this Neuroplasticity. (2,3)Focused deep breathing activates the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system and reverses the stress response by eliciting the relaxation response – the opposite of the flight or fright response. The problem is, most of us do not breathe with enough depth or intent.

Learning how to harness the power of your own breath and incorporating deep, mindful breathing and meditation techniques into your life for just a few minutes per day can have a tremendous impact on your cognitive health and your overall well-being and the best part is that it is easy and we can share the tools to help create space in your everyday so that you know that you’re always just one breathe away from calm.

Duration: 75min
Fee: £150 per session

 

Brain Power Yoga

 

According to a recent international study in the Lancet, midlife hearing loss, social isolation and physical inactivity were identified as potentially modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline.

Yoga is a great way to stay physically active, fit and functional. It is a full body discipline involving movement through physical postures, breath control, ending with mindfulness and meditation. The best party is that yoga can be done anywhere, at home, in the park, in your hotel room. All you need is a mat.

There are many styles of yoga to suit almost everyone. Yoga at Cubex are highly individualised, one to one experiences. The practice is highly beneficial at nurturing mindfulness, sharpening concentration and fine-tuning movements within the body. In doing so, the mind is ‘worked’, having to apply itself to accurately placing and sensing different body parts, as well as ‘cleared’ from being immersed in a physical, mindful hour and half long practice.

The first session starts with understanding you, your needs, your experience and physical capability.

This is followed by practicing physical yoga postures (asana) and challenging yourself both physically and mentally. How deep you go into asana at your initial session will depend on your individual experience and abilities. However, expect to see progression with each session.

The final focus is the practice of mindful breath control (pranayama). Deep breathing, muscle relaxation and cultivating a positive outlook are essential tools for achieving a calmer state of mind and a happier brain.

Duration: 75 mins
Fee: £150 per session

 

Find our more about our yoga and mindfulness therapy by contacting us

 

What our customers say

Thank you so much for your email and of course the session. I now feel confident that I can do yoga and build up my balance, something that was quite an unthinkable notion until very recently. Yesterday I had all my body cells dancing, singing and giggling with joy, and had only 2 coffees to survive being awake for nearly 24hrs :)Margaret, London

 

Find our more about our yoga and mindfulness therapy by contacting us

 

References

(1) Psychology Today: Eight Habits that Improve Cognitive Function (accessed August 2014)

(2) Harvard Medical School: Mind-body Genomics (accessed March 2016)

(3) The Chopra Center: Breathing for Life: The Mind-Body Healing Benefits of Pranayama (accessed April 2016)

(4) Harvard Medical School. Harvard Health Publications. Stress Management: Approaches for preventing and reducing stress. May 2009.

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