In Santa Barbara, a health-conscious lifestyle affords us plenty of time to run on the beach, eat leafy greens, and spend time outside. But how are we caring for our mental health? At Santa Barbara Athletic Club, we believe in a holistic approach to wellness. Using these three mental health exercises in your gym routine will get you the most from your time at the club.
Mindful Breathing for a Better Headspace
Slowing down the breath is always a good mental health exercise. Deep, controlled breathing calms the central nervous system, promotes mental clarity, and helps you feel relaxed in your own skin. Find a guided breathing exercise recording to follow along with if that is easiest. The best part is—you don’t need any equipment to practice it!
For a self-guided breathing practice, start by lying flat on your back on the floor in a comfortable position. You can also have a yoga mat under you, if that suits. Place one hand on your lower belly and another on your chest where your ribcage starts. Take the first breath in through your nose and release it slowly out through your mouth. Notice which hand is rising and falling more with your breath. If your chest is doing most of the work, try and pull more breath in through the belly on the next breath. After you learn what a deep breath feels like, you can practice it anytime you feel a wave of oncoming stress.
Get Grounded with a Yoga Class
Above all, mindfulness begins with paying attention to both your mind and your body. One of the easiest ways to get started is through intentional movement, like yoga. Yoga releases tension in the body and brings us back into the present. We provide classes for all experience levels, so you can feel comfortable as a seasoned yogi or first-time participant:
Gentle Yoga – a slow intro to yoga focused on calming stretches and tranquil poses
Yoga Multilevel – for beginners, intermediates, and advanced yogis, this multilevel class is designed to flow through poses while allowing you to practice at your comfort level
Restorative Yoga – a healing practice centered on physical, mental, and emotional relaxation
Core & More — Focus on stretching, strengthening and balance as well as integrating the mind/body/heart connection. All levels of yogis are welcome
Dedicate some time to your mental health and check out our class schedule.
Find Your Zen in the Sauna
In addition to diverse yoga offerings, Santa Barbara Athletic Club is home to the trinity of relaxation: shower, steam room, and sauna. Moving from the sauna to the steam room helps the body eliminate toxins and reduce muscle tension. And while you’re finding your blissful set point, you can bring a bit of mindfulness into this practice by setting your intentions for the week ahead.
Holistic Mental Health Exercises at Santa Barbara Athletic Club
At Santa Barbara Athletic Club, we love seeing our members thrive. This means going beyond fitness. These simple mental health exercises will help you reduce stress, relieve tension, and start living your best life. And our expert team is here to help support that journey. Schedule a complimentary tour of our Santa Barbara club to get started.