A not so Sweaty Sweat Test: Meditation class at Kula Health

Yin & Meditation at Kula Health in Newstead

By Kelly Gibson

Do you meditate? I already know you’re already committed to regular exercise for your body (you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t!) but how often do you think about exercise for your mind? This week I tried a Meditation class with our beautiful friend Dr Laura Elliot, owner of Kula Health in Newstead.

I’m a pretty busy gal, as I’m sure you are too, so I’ll admit I find it hard to calm my mind and ‘be present’ in any given moment. My mind is constantly racing with endless ‘to do’ lists and I feel like I’m always trying to do multiple things at once, scrolling Instagram, whilst watching TV and eating dinner at the same time- can you relate? Although I’ve dabbled in meditation though apps such as Calm and Headspace before (both highly recommended by the way!) I’ve never stuck with it consistently despite knowing how much calmer and clearer I feel when I do.

Meditation, which is the deliberate focusing of attention to bring about feelings of calm and heightened energy and awareness, is fast gaining popularity in the health and wellness space. There is growing evidence to support the fact that regular meditation can lower stress and anxiety and improve concentration and focus, and many top performing entrepreneurs, elite athletes and celebrities swear by the practice. Meditation can be done in a number of ways, but is commonly practiced by focusing on the breath and bringing awareness to the body and thoughts. Meditation can be done anywhere, anytime and even a short 10 minutes each day can bring about powerful results.

I really like Laura’s classes as she also incorporates some yin style yoga poses (deep stretches held for a long period of time) with an hour long guided meditation. As we began the class, Laura explains that the focus of the session will be the power of thoughts and manifestation. I have been doing a lot of self work in this space lately so I was absolutely stoked. Without getting to deep into it or sounding too ‘woo woo’, this concept is pretty simple in that what you think, you create and by developing a positive mindset and focusing on what you want (instead of what you don’t want!) you can shape your reality.

Ok, back to the meditation class. We started with a simple meditation, focusing on the breath and winding down from our busy day. It’s amazing how much calmer I felt after only a few minutes- I was able to clear (ok, maybe not fully) my busy mind.

As we moved into the main part of the class, Laura started to talk about the power of our mind and thoughts and how important it is to be aware of what’s going on in our head. She explained that our thoughts and belief systems are what drives us to make certain decisions and act in certain ways and that often, we aren’t even aware of what’s going on until we start paying attention. If you do want to try meditation, whether that be in a class or by yourself, becoming aware of your thoughts is important as we can only change our mindset if we are aware of our thoughts to begin with.

Throughout the hour long meditation class we were also moving through a series of stretches, mainly though our thoracic (middle part of the back) and hips- kind of painful to start, but felt amazing after a few minutes into each stretch.

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We finished the class with my favourite part of a yoga sesh, Savasana- I felt totally calm and relaxed, a feeling that does not come easily to me. As I mentioned previously, there are so many ways to meditate and it’s really about finding something that works for you. For some people, a simple breathing exercise is enough, for others, like me, you want to tap a little more into the spiritual side of things. There really is no right or wrong way to meditate but it is something I would recommend to anyone who is feeling stressed, frazzled, or like me, simply finds it difficult to calm the mind and relax.

Kula Health offers meditation classes on Tuesday nights at 7pm. Drop in classes are $20 and you can find out more and book in here. Anyone and everyone is welcome and I’d recommend giving it a few sessions before you decide whether or not meditation is for you. Meditation can be a challenging practice when you are just starting our but I guarantee you’ll feel the benefits if you are open to giving it a go!