Calm to the Core
Calm to the Core sessions for Epiphany Term, 2020:
Calm to the Core is a series of classes to help you understand the link between mind and body and to develop the skills to manage your mood using breath and movement. Classes are offered without charge.
The classes are aimed particularly for students who experience anxious or stressful feelings. It is more than a relaxation class. It combines insights from counselling and psychotherapy with body-based methods for calming distress, but we will also look at how anxious, stressed feelings impact our capacity to work and study. We aim to equip with the skills to know what kinds of movements or breath patterns will support you if you feeling overwhelmed, lethargic, obsessive or hyper-stimulated.
We will offer one-off sessions on Saturdays at the Sports and Wellbeing Park (formerly known as Maiden Castle Sports Centre) in the aerobic studio. These will be two hour sessions.
1 February, 11am - 1pm
7 March, 11am - 1pm
Over the coming months we will develop online resources and handouts and add them to this page. We are also preparing some short films to assist in the practice of movement and breath exercises between sessions. We have answered some Frequently Asked Questions below, and there is a link to a short film we made last year for our first pilot programme
Frequently Asked Questions
How is Calm to the Core different from a yoga/ Pilates class?
Although the course will have Yogic and Pilates influences, the main aim will be on the therapeutic use of body postures, breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation, targeting the particular symptoms of anxiety and stress. The outcomes are focused on building emotional health and bringing physical balance.
Can I manage the class if I am unfit or inflexible?
You do not need to have any experience of yoga or be athletic and flexible. No prior experience of any kind of exercise class is required.
What should I wear to Calm to the Core?
The class is done in bare feet with loose comfortable clothing suitable for a movement class. Please bring extra layers to wear for the relaxation at the end.
Do I need to bring any equipment e.g. a mat?
A mat will be provided but if you prefer to bring your own please do.
How many times a week should I practice Calm to the Core?
As with any new technique the more often you practice it, the better you become. We will prepare supporting materials through the term to support your practice in between sessions. The aim is to provide you will a ‘toolkit’ to improve your mood.
Do I need to attend every week?
Each week will have a different key focus area, and the same class will be offered at different times and locations through the week. If you do miss a week you could catch up in the following cycle.
What data will you hold?
We will ask for your name and IT username at the start of each session, so we can monitor the uptake of the sessions and also email you to ask for feedback. A record of your attendance will be held at the Counselling Service, but we will not require any further information or self-disclosure.
Later in the year, we may request participants to complete short pre- and post-surveys so that we can begin to research the effectiveness of this approach. Participants will be asked for their consent for this, and if you do not want to participate in the research element you can still participate in and gain benefit from the class.
Which poses are good for fatigue or stress?
We will add to this over time, but a quick fix for anxious feelings might be:
- Put your mat against a wall where you can stretch your legs.
- Place your buttocks as close as possible to the wall. It is easier if you curl to your side first, pressing your hip to the wall and then turn when you can stretch your legs straight against the wall.
- Relax your arms by your side with your palms facing up.
- Close your eyes.
- Focus on your breath: 5 counts to inhale, 5 counts to exhale. Allow yourself to release tension here as you hold this pose for as long as you like. Your heart rate typically slows down immediately here.