DE-STRESS: Jes Kerle is a firm advocate of yoga and pilates to obtain balance.
DE-STRESS: Jes Kerle is a firm advocate of yoga and pilates to obtain balance. Molly Glassey

Why meditation is more than breathing and stretching

IT'S more than just stretching, breathing and sitting still. Yoga and meditation are two beneficial activities you can do to improve your overall health.

Owner of Essence of my Heart studio in Warwick Jes Kerle said by using yoga and meditation you could strengthen your muscles, mind and soul.

"There are so many ways you can practice yoga. It all takes a little time and space," she said.

Ms Kerle encourages people to become more in touch with their emotions through meditation.

"The worst thing is to block out our thoughts. We need to speak our truth and be OK with it," she said.

"There are a lot of people suffering with anxiety and depression who are not coming to terms with their emotions."

Having a safe space is essential to begin any mindful practice, Ms Kerle said.

"I encourage everyone to find a space which has no judgment," she said.

"People should know they are allowed to feel emotions and shouldn't be ashamed."

The simple act of slowing down and focusing on breathing can be difficult for some but Ms Kerle said not all meditation needed to be done while seated.

"Most people find it challenging to sit still, which is fine," she said.

"As long as you can slow your breathing and focus your thoughts you can still process the layers of meditation."

Meditation can be practised through exercise, going for walks, journaling or even having showers, the instructor said.

An important part of being mindful is focusing on the positive aspects of our lives.

Ms Kerle suggests to practice gratitude and to think of five things which we are most grateful for to draw away from negative thoughts.

Anyone who is experiencing mental health issues are urged to seek professional help by phoning Lifeline on 131114