If the past two years has taught us anything, it is that our mental health and wellbeing is just as important as our physical health. After the stress and uncertainty that the COVID pandemic has brought, nurturing ourselves and taking the time to take care of ourselves is more important than ever when negotiating what has now become our new normal. It has become a realisation for many of us that it is no longer selfish to indulge in self-care, it has become a necessity to maintain our mental equilibrium.

It has been medically proven that activities such as Pilates and Yoga help to reduce stress levels in those who practice this form of exercise. Pilates is a gentle form of exercise that helps to not only increase muscle strength and tone, as well as improve flexibility, but also helps to create a calmer and more relaxed mind. Conversely, Yoga is an ancient mind and body practice that involves movement, meditation and breathing techniques to promote physical and mental well-being. Both Pilates and Yoga can help to improve your mental health in many ways.

Focusing on your breath for a calmer mind

Mindful breathing is one of the most powerful tools for calming the mind. When attending a Pilates or Yoga class, focusing on your breath and concentrating on repeating gentle, effective movements is the perfect way to create a sense of calm. By doing this, you are only focusing on the present, allowing you to concentrate on your mind body connection, thus creating a calmer and more relaxed mind.

Relaxation and Stress Management

It is scientifically proven that exercising regularly alters your body chemistry. Exercise decreases stress hormones such as cortisol while increasing happy chemicals in the brain such as endorphins. As a form of exercise, Pilates and Yoga may also improve your ability to respond to and cope with stress, enhancing your stress resilience.

Brain Health and Training

During a Pilates or Yoga class, when focusing on a new movement, modification or style, our brain is challenged to learn a new skill, keeping your mind engaged at all times. By clearing your thoughts, focusing and calming your senses, these actions help to assist in boosting your concentration and memory capacity. This, combined with the rush of oxygenated blood that your brain receives when you exercise, enables you to think more clearly and helps to keep the brain young and protected against injury and disease.

Assisting in treating Depression and Anxiety

The practice of Yoga helps to regulate your stress response system and calms your nervous system. Yoga also assists in reducing your heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn relaxes you and helps to reduce levels of anxiety. From a sensory perspective, attending a Pilates or Yoga class provides a change of scenery in a calm atmosphere, further enhanced with the support of trained instructors and the opportunity to socialise with other like-minded attendees. Attending a class also provides a distraction from negative thoughts, helps to relieve stress, enhances mindfulness and helps to create a self-care routine.

So how can we serve you? Inna Essence is a small business born out of a love of Pilates, Yoga, genuine community and support of one another.  Our vision was to create a space where clients felt greatly cared for and would receive an experience that helped them to reconnect with their inner calm, create a sense of peace and empower members to feel connected and healthier in their mind and body.

In 2022, our studio theme is ‘Self-care is no longer selfish’. At Inna Essence, you are important, respected, encouraged and loved and we want our members to feel that they are not only taken care of at our studio, but that this time taken for themselves is not selfish, it is an investment in their physical and mental health. You cannot pour from a cup that is empty…

Our beautiful studio has been custom-designed, with every detail carefully considered; spacious and light-filled studios, a calming reception area, well-maintained and cleaned equipment, treatment rooms offering counselling, massage, reiki and osteopathy, and a Private Pilates Room for one-on-one sessions.

We operate 7 days and offer more than 50 Reformer, Mat Pilates, Barre, Yoga and Meditation classes each week with Child Friendly and Livestreamed options available. At Inna Essence, our teachers are exceptionally trained, and we encourage you to attend a blend of sessions to achieve the perfect balance of strength, cardio, flexibility, and relaxation.

Let us help you take care of yourself. We can’t wait to see you in the studio soon!

Written by Renee Cotey