Last month at Breathe Salt & Sauna, I attended the Gentle Stretching Meditation Class and the Stress Management Workshop. I had never tried meditation or stress management prior to these experiences.
Stesha Larson from Abundant Joy Yoga guided the meditation class. Heidi Lindsey led the Stress Management Workshop. Both ladies were extremely qualified and passionate about what they were teaching. It was obvious that they truly cared about the subject matter, and that it was important to them to make sure that everyone was enjoying and benefiting from their classes. Just realizing that made me appreciate them even more!
In the meditation class, Stesha taught us how to regulate our breathing to calm our bodies down. She then took us on a journey about morals. She guided our minds, as far as where to go and where to stay concentrated. This class was more than a stress reliever. It helped me observe my own life and ask myself if my inner younger self actually liked where it was going.
The majority of the meditation concentrated on our “child self.” We all have an inner child, but when we were children, we didn’t stress over things that we do as adults, and we didn’t let society influence so much of how we feel about ourselves. We were too busy playing, loving, and enjoying our young lives to the fullest extent. Because we were just children, we hadn’t learned about the bad things in life yet, and to us, life was just amazing and stress-free.
Stesha also helped us recognize that our present selves can protect and be strong for our younger selves. At the center of all of us, we are innocent, calm, joyful and beautiful — inside and out. Stesha helped us connect on a deeper level with our core values and morals. Once the class was over, I was in a daze. About half an hour later, I felt very inspired and ready to take on the world. Because I attended this information-packed, inspiring class, I now plan to incorporate meditation into my daily life.
The Stress Management Workshop presented by Heidi was very educational and gave me tools to relieve stress. Prior to this, I did not know how much of a toll that stress could have on my physical and mental health. I learned that when we are stressed, it can be difficult to sleep. I also learned that we can be too harsh on ourselves — both physically and mentally. It can cause us to overeat or not eat enough. I learned that stress can cause us to be very emotional, and as a result, we can perform at a lower level, compared to when we are not stressed.
Heidi made everyone feel included, and she listened to everything that everyone wanted to share. I could tell that she was really passionate about helping us learn how to reduce stress in our lives. She taught us stress-relieving exercises that we could all put to use in everyday life. It opened my eyes to the fact that we all experience stress from a young age, and we all experience it throughout our whole life. I learned that to overcome stress, we need to recognize what it is so that we can know that it’s not the end of the world when things in life go wrong.
Everyone — regardless of race, gender, religion, or social-economic status — experiences stress. Before you stress out about something, ask yourself if it is really something worth stressing over at all. I learned that it is okay to care so much about something that you get stressed about it, but because it causes a physical and emotional toll on you, it is not okay for stress to control our lives. I learned that unfortunate situations do not have to define us; instead, they can make us stronger.
I learned that through meditation and stress-relieving techniques, we can manage our day-to-day stress. When we are stressed, our bodies release a hormone that affects our respiratory and cardiovascular systems, making it harder to breathe. Using meditation and stress-relieving techniques, we can actually control our breathing. This also helps us to live in the moment.
Because of these classes, I now have the tools to manage my stress so I can be in control of it and prevent any negative effects it can have on my mental, emotional, and physical health.
I feel very fortunate to have Breathe Salt & Sauna in my community and to have these amazing, beneficial learning opportunities right at my fingertips! Check out the Breathe Salt & Sauna Facebook page and website for upcoming workshops.
— Megan Happ