When I look at how I manage the everyday juggle and grind, there is one thing that keeps me most grounded through it all. There is one thing, that no matter how stressed I am, or how frazzled I may be, that literally transforms my entire aura.
Almost 20 years ago, I was close to burning out. Literally. I don’t think anyone knew just how close I was. I owned a successful company, sales growing by the quarter. I was named one of the Top 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs. Top 40 Under 40 Nominee. I graced the cover of multiple business sections in newspapers. I was named a Profit Hot 50 Company– One of Canada’s 50 Emerging Growth Companies– I was the only female CEO on the list. And more. I was newly married. I had no kids.
But the more my company grew, the more felt like I was burning out. I wasn’t sleeping at night, I was agitated, and my mind was consumed by the business 24/7. Thanks to my mom who saw the direction I was headed, I started to see a therapist who told me to create a “Worry List” on my nightstand for my sleep difficulties. The Worry List worked as follows: When my thoughts kept me up at night, the idea was to transfer them from my head, onto paper, to worry about them at another time (not during my sacred time, when I deserved to sleep).
She also told me to try something else. Yoga. And so I did. I hired a private yoga instructor to come to my house twice a week – something I declared my non-negotiable as an entrepreneur. Steve looked like Mr. Clean with a bald and shiny head, but when he stepped foot into my house each week, he helped me catch my breath– literally and figuratively. He taught me how to create my sacred space on my mat where the world could shut off, and I could focus on regrounding myself. I did prenatal yoga throughout both my pregnancies. Ever since that near burnout, I have never stopped doing yoga. And as you know, I now teach.
So, In honor of International Day of Yoga today, I wanted to perhaps turn YOU onto yoga. And give you some tips. Yoga heals. Yoga will change your life (and your body, and your mind). Yoga strengthens your body and softens your heart. Yoga is the answer to a bunch of ailments you might be experiencing right now. Or if you already feel awesome, yoga will just enhance that.
If you think you won’t enjoy it, or that you can’t relax, or if you think yoga is for weirdos, I want to leave you with 5 reasons… WHY YOGA?
1. Simply put… yoga will make you feel better
And not just right after you finish a class or your own practice. This feeling carries you throughout your day. Scientific studies have shown the benefits of yoga on overall health, over and over again. It literally cleanses your organs, and yes, EVEN HELPS HANGOVERS! Yoga has been studied to help cure depression as well. Susan Orem, a yoga teacher in New York City and the owner of the Heathen Hill yoga retreat in the Catskills, says that a brief 20- to 30-minute yoga sequence that includes sun salutations, along with a few good twists and restorative poses, may bring extreme relief. (New York Times).
2. There are many different yoga practices. Try them, and find a practice that you enjoy
I have linked you to different types and styles of yoga- click here. The yoga practice I did for years is called ashtanga yoga, or power yoga, and the last few years I enjoy a great vinyasa flow and yin yoga experience. I certainly love hot yoga! But there are benefits to all the different types. If you’re interested in incorporating more yoga in your life, head over to our online store to choose something that feels right for you.
3. You don’t have to spend money on yoga to re-balance yourself
You can create your own yoga space. All you need is a good yoga mat, a space to call your own, some water, perhaps a nice smelling candle, and an app or YouTube. All my yoga and mindfulness classes in my HEALTHY AT HOME SERIES can be found by clicking this image.
I discovered yoga for stress relief purposes, but there are a ton of ways to consume yoga online, and one great app I enjoy is called Downward Dog.
To make your practice extra sweet, you can try Bliss Essential oil blends to enhance your practice- for a morning or lunchtime flow, try Good Vibes blend or Stress Free, and for a bedtime flow, try Sleep Easy blend. These are the highest quality, purest essential oils that are 100% pure therapeutic grade, no synthetics or fillers, and all 3rd party lab tested and certified. Take a drop or two and rub the oils on the bottoms of your feet. The soles of our feet have much larger pores than the rest of our body, so the oils get absorbed quickly and immediately start to help our well-being.
4. Yoga is truly for EVERYONE- young and old
Beside making you feel better, yoga will build your strength and flexibility, and I’ll say it again… decrease stress! Yoga promotes a balance between the mind, body, and spirit FOR ALL WHO PRACTICE IT REGULARLY. And I will be honest, yoga WILL give you a longer, leaner body, and promote better posture (if you combine it with healthy eating). So even if you do yoga as your ‘workout,’ (another reason I did yoga at the beginning), over time, you will experience all those other benefits as well.
5. It takes time, so give it a chance. It WILL feel weird at the beginning
You’re gonna laugh, you’re gonna feel uncomfortable at the beginning. Maybe even bored. It’s pretty much a guarantee. You might feel very inflexible and very tight in your muscles and joints. But give it time. It just takes time. Be open.
My yoga mentor Natalie said it best a few years ago,
My personal yoga mood these days is one of rediscovery. I’ve reconnected with some of my past teachers and recommitted to my own learning and practice.
My message with yoga is this– we know it works, it’s the medicine to remedy the effects of the world we live in, but in order for it to work, we can’t simply talk about how amazing yoga is without personally investing time on the mat. Once a week, five times a week, we have to DO it to benefit from it. It’s like talking about how amazing it is to put money aside in a retirement fund, without actually saving anything.
For people who don’t do yoga but are curious, find a class and do it. And if you don’t like it, try another teacher, another studio and if you still don’t like it, try again in six months.”
As the Buddha says: “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
I’d love to hear if yoga has helped you in any way. Feel free to leave any yoga tips for our readers, or any ways yoga has helped you in your life.
Wishing you guys an amazing first day of summer!
And please join me this afternoon on the mat for a 60-minute Vitality flow in honor of International Day of Yoga. Click on the image to register.
See you on the mat,