Learning & Sharing

Recently, I have found some inspiring mentors and embarked on a six month course to help me in my own movement practices as well as bring new tools and ideas to you.

I am of the belief there is no one perfect way to move the body and no perfect movement practice. During different times in our lives we may need different practices. It seems to me the important thing is to be in touch with our bodies so we can learn to know and honour what our bodies need.

The first three and a half months of this course is a lot of internal work where the work is focused on the self. During this time I am very excited to be exploring a variety of movement practices. Some are ones I have always wanted to try, while others are ones I have never heard of. Some are ones that might become part of my routine, while others I might try once then never again.

Last week I did my first class in Feldenkrais. I am still reflecting on what I thought of the practice. I have decided to try the practice one more time, then I will share some thoughts on it.

As I go through different practices and find interesting instructors from around the world I will share my discoveries with you. Maybe one of these practices is exactly what your body needs.

Letting Go of Regrets (and starting to trust the timing of your life)

A week ago I saw tweet from a woman in her 30s who despite having a good education had found herself back in her hometown living with her parents and working a job that barely paid for life’s necessities. She expressed concern that she was not meeting the milestones in life like she had thought she would. She said she felt like a failure as an adult.

Like many others who saw her tweet I assured that she was not a failure and that there are no ‘right’ timeline for people. We all have our own journey and that may not look like the journey of our friends, family members and neighbours.

I shared with her how when I was in my 30s I was insecure about my lack of education and that I was fortunate to be able to finally pursue one. I shared how it wasn’t until my 40s that I started my own small business.

It could be so easy to get locked into inner dialogues about the what-ifs of doing things differently. However, that would serve no purpose.

Last weekend a memory came up on my Instagram (photo above). It was when I graduated from my yoga teacher training three years ago. I have been practicing yoga for decades and had often thought about, and even looked into becoming a yoga teacher. Yet, I didn’t.

This is another thing where I could chastise myself about for not doing it sooner. However, when I look at the photo I am reminded of the wonderful, kind instructors I had, the other inspiring students I met, and my frame of mind at the time of that training.

If I had done it years ago I wouldn’t have had the experience I did. Connections I made in that training have led me to other things that I may never have heard. I was meant to connect with the people I did. It was the right time for me.

If you have come across this and have sometimes felt like the woman who wrote the tweet, may I also assure you. There is no perfect timeline for a life. You are not a failure. You are good enough – just the way you are.

#RealLife

In the March newsletter I said I was going to launch some yoga courses the first day of spring.

I didn’t forget. As the first day of spring was approaching I knew I wasn’t going to do it yet. The yoga part of these courses is so much fun for me. However, the technology part of setting everything up stresses me out.

I imagine most of us have things that cause a bit of anxiety. Playing with new technology is one of my things. However, when I take a deep breath, sit down and just do it, I often find it’s not half as bad as what I envisioned. Once I get to it, I even find myself having fun. I love learning new things.

Maybe yoga is something you would like to learn more about. Perhaps, the idea of learning yoga even stresses you out a bit. That is actually part of my inspiration for these courses. I believe everyone deserves to have their own personal yoga journey. I want to share some tools to empower you for that journey.

Whether you are brand new to yoga, or want to deepen your knowledge in the practice, I invite you to check out the three courses I am currently offering, Foundations in Yoga Level 1, Foundations in Yoga Level 2, and Yoga with the Chair.  
https://livingskyyogafitness.ca/online-courses/

Registration is now open until April 4. Courses begin AprilĀ  7.
In these courses you work through them at your own pace. They are yours to useĀ again and again.

I invite you to join me
Warm Wishes
Denise

It Was A Year Ago Today

It was a year ago today I drove over to Grain & Pulse Bakery Cafe in Imperial, SK to pick up an order I had placed. The plan was for Beauty by Jay and my small business, Living Sky Yoga & Fitness to have an open house the next day at the building we share.

Jay had placed an ad in the local newspaper and I had ordered treats from the fabulous local chef at Grain & Pulse. At the open house Jay was going to do a hair tutorial and I has going to offer Tabata GX and yoga classes.

I didn’t think about it at the time but we were women entrepreneurs with small businesses working together to support each other in the same week as International Women’s Day. I like that.

News of Covid-19 was already intensifying in the days leading up to this. I remember texting with Jay while standing in Grain & Pulse picking up my order. We both felt that it was okay to go ahead with our planned event.

As I was driving home though, I began to have a change of heart. Jay must have been having second thoughts too. Once home, I touched base with her again. We eventually ended up deciding to to postpone the event (we still haven’t had it). Now, I was stuck at home with the delectable treats for 50 people that I had ordered… (best problem ever)

Over the weekend that followed I reached out to some registered nurses and two doctors I know. They didn’t mince words and their advice was unanimous. Their recommendation to me was to shut things down for the time being. I didn’t like their advice, but decided to take it. On the Monday that followed I taught a 6:30am Yoga Flow class and let everyone know I was closing things down for a bit. Little did I know that a year later I would not have had a regular in-person class since.

Within a day or two of my decision the government was shutting everything down. Since then I have been allowed to be open for some of the months with tight restrictions. When open I was only allowed to have about 25% of the people in the space than prior to the pandemic. However, in November when the government expanded the required distances I needed to keep folks apart, I had to once again shut things down. My space was just not big enough.

The current guidelines are set to expire March 19. The government has seemed hopeful about loosening restrictions and I am curious if I will benefit. However, I am fairly sure that it will be a while yet before I can return to ‘normal’.

Going into opening my studio I had a five year plan (lol). In the first year I got sick, had surgery, and a long recovery. In the second….a global pandemic….

But here I am – still trying…

I know I could focus on the negative (and sometimes I do), but for the most part I refuse to. So on this one year anniversary of sorts I want to reflect on five positives in my life with my small business over the past year.

  1. Tech skills- I have learned (often teaching myself) more technology in the past year than I had learned in my entire life.
  2. Continuing education- when the world shut down and everyone pivoted to online offerings I was able to do huge amounts of continuing education. I still am. Virtual classes has opened the door to learning with experts from around the world at a fraction of the cost.
  3. New opportunities- Shortly into the pandemic a casual comment to a friend led me to writing for the local paper. The pieces started on health and fitness topics, but have evolved since. The editor is fabulous and open to me exploring a range of topics. Writing for the paper has become one of the highlights of my week.
  4. Pushing me out of my comfort zone- As 2020 started one of my goals was to explore offering some online options to my clients. I confess, I probably would have procrastinated on that. I would have been super nervous, unsure of myself and that would have led me to putting it off. 2020 forced me to tackle that. I now love offering online options and know that it will alway be one part of my business.
  5. Support- Finally, I am so grateful for all the support folks have given me over this challenging time. I truly appreciate how people genuinely care about and support small business. All the fabulous women I get to meet and work with makes this journey rewarding.

I keep the ad Jay placed in the paper for our open house on the bulletin board in my home office. It is already starting to yellow around the edges. I imagine I will keep it there for a long time to come. It’s a reminder of the risks you take when starting a small business, that to do so one has to be a little bit fearless. It’s a symbol of women entrepreneurs and the support we give each other. Most all it speaks to me of hope and optimism in the face of uncertainty.

The Winter Blues or Something More?

How are you feeling? Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day. So let’s talk.

How are you doing? Is everything okay? Or are you struggling a little bit (or a lot) right now?

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association 15% of folks suffer from the winter blues. If you have the winter blues you might find that you are needing more sleep, craving more comfort foods, or feeling unmotivated and just want to hang out on the couch and chill with the TV.

The winter blues are different than seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which affects 2-3% of Canada’s population. SAD is a regularly occurring depression that impact’s one’s daily life.

Almost year into the Covid-19 pandemic our current circumstances are having an impact on people’s mental health. This summer one in 10 Canadians polled said Covid-19 has negatively affected their mental health. People are feeling anxious and depressed.

It’s always a good idea to reach out and talk to someone when you are struggling. Family or friends might be one option to turn to. You can also visit the Government of Canada website to find resources for help

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/mental-health-services/mental-health-get-help.html

If you think it is the winter blues some tips from the Canadian Mental Health Association include

  1. Getting outside for some daylight and keeping curtains open while inside. The natural light can help boost your mood
  2. Sticking to a normal sleep schedule as much as possible. Over-sleeping can actually make symptoms worse.
  3. Be kind to yourself and give yourself credit for how great you’re doing.
  4. Get some physical activity. If it seems difficult to get moving start small with a short walk.

One strategy I have started using is I set the alarm on my phone with a soothing ringtone for twice a day.

When the alarm goes I pause and become AWARE of how I am doing. I check in body, mind and soul. Then I make a choice to ACCEPT how I am feeling in that moment- no matter what. It is what it is. Finally, I set an INTENTION on how I want to feel. Then I let it go and get back to what I was doing.

This whole process takes less than a minute but I have found it helpful to have these little check-ins a couple times a day.

Hopefully, you have are having a wonderful day, but if you find yourself struggling never hesitate to send a message and we can chat.