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.

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.

Eating My Frogs (no actual frogs were harmed)

I first heard of the concept of ‘eating your frogs’ through the Brian Tracy book, Eat That Frog.

The idea comes from a Mark Twain quote “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

With this idea Brian Tracy encourages the reader that a key to being more productive is to tackle those frogs first thing in your day. He claims that by ‘eating those frogs’ early you gain a positive momentum to your day. Likewise, once your most difficult task is done everything else is relatively easy.

Another idea Tracy shares is how often, by putting off ‘eating our frogs’ it means that we end up spending so much time thinking about it, dwelling on it, and fearing it.

I have found this in my own life. We all have frogs that we try to put off- whether it is a phone call we have to make, a workout we keep putting off, or a chore that needs to be done.

Often we find those ‘frogs’ become so much bigger in our head. When we actually deal with them they are so much easier than we have imagined. Dealing with them also gives us a confidence boost.

This week my frogs were tech challenges that needed to be done to launch my very first online course https://livingskyyogafitness.ca/online-courses/

Learning new technology is definitely a challenge for me. Yet, with each ‘frog I eat’ I find I am learning, and gaining confidence in my new skills.

This weekend give a little though to what your frogs might be. Then see if you can commit to eating just one of those frogs this week.

The more I ‘eat my frogs’ the more I find I am learning to love my frogs. Maybe I will start ‘kissing my frogs”.

12 Days of Yoga- December 20-31

Some extra virtual classes to nurture ourselves through the holidays. 

December 20- Winter Solstice Sun Salutation Class 4pm
December 21- Winter Solstice Yin Class 7pm
December 22- Nurturing Foot Massage 7:30pm on Zoom
December 23- Yoga Joy (a class of some of people’s favourite poses)  5pm
December 24- Christmas Eve Yin  7pm
December 25- Christmas Morning Meditation 9:30am
December 26- Saturday Morning Flow 10am
December 27- Playing with the Breath 4pm on Zoom
December 28- Focus on the Foot 5pm on Zoom (we’ll be using a tennis ball in some options)
December 29- Moon Salutation Class 7:30pm
December 30- Cleansing Power Yoga Class (let’s burn off anything we don’t want to bring into 2021) 4pm
December 31- New Year’s Eve Yin  4pm

Message to join the virtual Facebook group or to get the Zoom links
If you can’t make the class recordings will be available till early January. Message for more info.

Wishing you a beautiful holiday season
Warm Wishes
Denise

The Joy of Trying New Things

One fun unexpected thing about 2020 is it has been a year of being pushed out of my comfort zone. When I look around at things that are happening in the world I know that I have been fortunate in many ways. Though this year isn’t what I had envisioned, and I have often had to adapt, I have also found that some of this has provided great learning experiences for me.

When my business had to shut down in March due to Covid-19 guidelines I quickly took my classes virtual. I was lucky to have a tiny bit of previous experience with Zoom, but the whole thing was definitely not easy for me. I was so nervous those first virtual classes. Since then I have played with different platforms, cameras, rooms to shoot in and more. I still have so much to learn.

Yet, I adapted. Months after that first virtual class when a local TV station wanted to visit my studio I was extremely nervous but so much more prepared with all that virtual class experience. Now I am collaborating with them on an upcoming project.

As the pandemic continues and opportunities for in-person classes have not returned to what they used to be I find myself nurturing new dreams and goals. One of those is to launch my first online course.

Though I can navigate some technology, a lot of it seems like a whole other language. Technology does not come naturally or easy for me. However, this is stuff I need to know, stuff I want to work towards these new goals. Over the past few weeks I have slowly started trying to work with new software and platforms. I started quite tentatively, reaching out for help often.

Today though I tackled several mini projects on my own. I had success! I was reminded of the phrase “neurons that fire together wire together”. I could almost feel those neurons at work. The more I am doing, the easier it is becoming. I can feel myself learning.

Maybe technology is easy for you. Maybe yoga and fitness don’t come naturally for you. Maybe you would like to try but you’re nervous or unsure where to begin. This year has been one where so many yoga and fitness instructors have taken their offerings online. I encourage you to find one you connect with and give it a try. You might just surprise yourself like I have surprised myself with these small technology victories.

Perhaps my new online course is a right fit for you. It’s designed for those who have never practiced yoga, been away from yoga for a while, or those who want to deepen their foundation and knowledge in the practice.

It’s a great time to begin a yoga journey.