Feeling overwhelmed? Life feel somewhat out of control? Feel that no matter what you are doing you simply can't keep up?
The other day I was listening to a podcast and the person being interviewed mentioned that each year they had a "quit list" of all the things they were going to quit that weren't really enjoyable or adding value to their life. This is genius I thought. As an overcommitted, perfectionist, workaholic this sounded like an amazing idea. So I started my own quit list. What in the world does this have to do with yoga you ask? Well everything. What is yoga? Yoga is the "yoking" of the mind and body. You see the body can do nothing without the mind. The practice of asana or postures is one limb of eight that is involved in changing patterns, or habits. In the yoga world often known as "samskaras" or mental and emotional patterns or one might even say neural pathways.
Our subconscious mind is controlling much of our life, meaning we do many things without really thinking it through. In order to change this some tools are to visualize the process or outcome, focus on whats important, meditate, we practice discipline, all of this is yoga. For more info look into the eight limbs of yoga.
Here is my quit list and it was not as easy as one might think. I am also including my "what to focus on list" when I quit the other craziness.
Courtney's Quit List
1. Quit focusing on creating a side hustle (website, blog, vlog, more ebooks) when we have three jobs that are bringing in plenty of money. When and if I do these it will be simply for fun. I instead will focus on the three business we run that are making money, increase those profits by managing the books, marketing, and calendar. Optimize what is working and running.
2. Quit worrying about finishing another book or having a goal for a book until I retire and I'll revisit. I have three books in the works. One is in editing so I will finish it and get it published. Then the other two if I have the free time I may upload those as an ebook but it will no longer be a priority. Only after everything else is done will I focus on this, if I want to.
3. Quit saying "yes" to projects that wear me out, take my time and don't produce income. I have gotten a lot of media attention this year and it has not brought me one bit of money except book sales. At $3 average on a book (about $700 a year) that is less than a week of work. I will instead focus on things that make me feel good about sharing or helping others. If it helps someone or can possibly result in more money I "may" do it.
4. Quit trying to learn new ways to sell stuff. Use what I have, Facebook Market place, Instagram, Craigslist and good old fashioned yard sale type stuff. Let go of making money online with anything else than what I am already doing. Let go of the darn "shoulds"!
Before taking on anything else these things should be optimized in my life.
WHATS IMPORTANT LIST
1. Doing my best at my current job. Showing up, doing a good job that is most important, everything else is not necessary. I have already proven myself.
2. Manage the income we have better. Follow a budget, handle the taxes, handle the investments and tax deferred retirement accounts and health savings, optimize what is coming in by saving, cutting spending, and investing wisely.
3. Manage the household. Take time to organize our life in regards to food, finances, organization of space, cleanliness, maintaining order and operations, autos and animals.
4. Manage my own self care. Eating healthy, exercise, being in nature, time off, reading, watching movies, travel, flea markets, yoga and meditations and generally having down time.
5. Finish what I have committed to and look at this list and make sure these things are going well and I have time for them before taking on anything new.
There you have it. Basically it's focusing on "What's important and letting go of everything that is not". I need structure to do this. I need list to bring me back to ground. As a creative if I don't have structure I get willy nilly in my ideas and before long my day dreams are taking on a new reality that has created a ton of self imposed work. This keeps me from really enjoying life.
What are you going to quit to focus on what is important? Share with me if you like.
Routines can be hard to establish but once you have them in place they become part of your everyday life. I'm a busy working mother, wife, and friend. If I tried to stick to an hour a day routine at a gym everyday it simply wouldn't work for my lifestyle and I am quite sure I would fail. At different times in my life going to the gym for an hour a day may have worked and off and on for many years I did this. I myself worked in the gym setting for many years as a teacher and administrator. Now I live in the middle of nowhere, all but one of my kids has grown and moved on, and life is very different. Finding "Minimalist Fitness" has been such a great find in my life and I am in good shape because of it. What is it you ask. It's setting a routine that works for you that takes very little time. It's also flexible. And for me personally it cost nothing.
Here is how it works for me.
1. I work out 5 to 6 days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes at home with You Tube.
2. I commit to two strength training workouts per week of 13 to 20 minutes, with You Tube. I love HASfit.
3. I commit to two to three days a week of cardio, which is often walking on my treadmill. If it's nice out I go outside and usually do two miles. If I am on the treadmill I often end up going at least 30 minutes because I love to listen to podcast.
4. I do not allow myself more than 2 days without exercise. This means when I don't exercise if 2 days go by I make myself do something stat! This is called the 2 day rule and it is invaluable.
5. I try to go to a yoga class once a week but more often make it twice a month due to time and distance.
6. I don't get militant. Moving is my priority, something over nothing.
What my workouts look like. Here is what the past week looked like.
This adds up to 3 hours 3.5 minutes of activity and 35 minutes of meditation (outside of my job which I don't count).
There where two days I did nothing. Notice on some days I did as little as 20 minutes. The most I did was an hour and that was a class.
I've gotten in really good shape, lost a bit of weight (15lbs) and I've been at this for a year. I was doing much more previously and not losing weight. I combine this will a paleo, low carb diet and have one or two cheat meals per week (which are still fairly healthy, maybe three small pieces of gluten free pizza).
Do what you can. Something is always better than nothing.
Minimalist fitness usually is defined as about 15 to 20 minutes a day, most days of the week, with a day or so off here and there. That's not to hard!
Medical Yoga Therapy
Many people today live high stress unhealthy lives. This stress often means working long hours, eating processed and fast foods, not getting adequate exercise or sleep which leads to many health care problems and disease. Lack of management of stress and self care often lead to heart disease and other diseases like cancer, diabetes, liver disease, lung disease, and suicide. The leading cause of death in the U.S. to date is heart disease.
The purpose of yoga therapy in management of heart disease and other disease process is to teach the participant to learn to manage their stress with breathing exercises, progressive relaxation, postures (stretching), meditation, and visualization. Yoga therapy has been shown to reduce glucose levels, reduce depression and anxiety, keep the cardiovascular system in tune and have many psychological benefits.
Yoga therapy is one element of four in the Ornish Reversal Program which is a noninvasive intensive cardiac rehab program. In conjunction with nutrition, proper exercise, and love and support, yoga therapy is useful in not only improving but reversing heart disease.Through the study of epigenetics (the blueprint of our genes and how they express themselves) we now know that lifestyle and stress management play a huge role in the health and well being of an individual long term.
In conclusion reversal of heart disease through the four element approach of exercise, nutrition, stress management through yoga therapy and love and support has been proven by Dr. Dean Ornish . The Ornish program is covered by Medicare and many other insurance companies. This saves hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care cost and improves the quality of life for the individual. The Ornish program is expanding in the United States and at this time there are several more clinics looking to open in Arkansas.
Saline Heart Group, under the guidance of Dr. Allan Hatch, is expanding the Ornish program to more individuals. Anyone can participate in the program with a referral if they qualify under the guidelines. There is no need to change physicians to participate in this program.
Circa 1977 a little blond headed girl turns on the black and white t.v. to P.B.S. to see Lilias Folan teaching yoga. She has no idea what's going on but does the practice with the t.v. and loves it. She feels like she is in dance class without the awkwardness or the clumsiness she often feels in ballet. She enjoys the pace and doing the practice with the t.v. and not in front of others. This little girl is an only child, mostly plays with the boys in her neighborhood, has divorced parents, is being raised primarily by grandparents, walks on her tiptoes and usually has some animal thrown over her shoulder, she is painfully shy and has a had a lot of trauma in her life for such a short life, she often feels like she doesn't belong. This practice feels somehow healing though she won't find the words for it until many years later.
Fast forward to 2019, forty two years later and that little girl (I'm sure you guessed was me) is sitting in her office about to go in and teach a stress management yoga therapy class for intensive cardiac rehab and she is now at forty eight a medical yoga therapist in cancer and cardiac rehab.
The take away I will give you ahead of time, as I tend to be a rule breaker. If you go into a field like this for a career you better make damn sure you love it because it will challenge you at best and your ego will simultaneously heal and be torn apart the day you decide to become a teacher of the practice. You will never feel that you know all there is to know. You will struggle to feel appreciated, validated and at times you will help someone potentially save their life from debilitating pain or depression. It is wonderful and awful at the same time, or as I tell my clients "good and hard coexist".
As I write this I have been a professional in the field since 2001, eighteen years of diligent teaching. It's taken me that long to be able to support myself as a teacher. And I have worked by behind off.
I'm not telling you this to discourage you or to dissuade you from teaching, continuing to teach or from becoming a teacher. I'm telling you this so you can get the honest truth and make an informed decision. If you want to know more about me you can see my videos or read my book but here I want to tell you more about teaching and making that decision.
Here are ten things to think about as you build a teaching career or before you become a teacher.
1. Before you spend money becoming a teacher learn all you can about yoga. It's not like a retreat to go to school. It actually is school.
2. Don't do it for the money. There isn't a lot of money in the field, only a few people can survive only on teaching and even if you own a studio or school it's still really challenging (I've done both).
3. Many days you will be walking on clouds as someone shares how their life has been changed by the practice you shared with them. These are the days that shine.
4. Many days you will stare at an empty classroom because no one will show up. Especially during holiday season and summer. You will wonder if it's you. It's likely not.
5. You must promote your classes.
6. Get comfortable accepting money for your services unless you are independently wealthy. See your teaching as an exchange of energy, money is energy.
7. If you find a good training it will benefit you the rest of your life but whatever you do don't pick a training simply by location or cost. Take classes from the teacher or look at their work online, meet them in person if you can and make sure you talk to some people who they trained. I've known schools that closed in the middle of training and people lost money.
8. Never assume because people practice yoga they are ethical. There are unethical people in all career fields and if you go into this field and you start to grow you will deal with it and it can be soul crushing if your expectations are to high.
9. Be business like, have contracts, treat it as a business. You must protect yourself. Take it from me you may think some people are your friends or that because they are yogi's they will be ethical but that is not always the case. 90% of people are good but 10% are not and they are out there and if you are a kind and benevolent person you will likely deal with them.
10. Show up, day in and day out. Don't overuse subs. If you do have to cancel a class get a sub if at all possible. This depends on your clientele. Be dependable.
If you want more information about what school is like my book is the curriculum that I used to train over 225 people over ten years of owning a school. I am retired from that now but my curriculum in still available on Amazon and other major book sellers online.
Thanks for being here.
1. Take a multivitamin, Vitamin C, and a B stress Complex.
2. Take flaxseed oil. It helps with regulation of your nervous system.
3. Meditate for 5 minutes. Use the free Head Space App.
4. Exercise for 10 to 30 minutes.
5. Do a gentle yoga video or take a class. Even 5 minutes.
6. Write down three things you are grateful for in this moment. Visualize for an added bonus.
7. Take a shower and get dressed and put yourself together (even if you don't feel like it). My Granny used to say "Put on your lipstick". Whatever works my friends.
8. Say this in your mind, out loud or on paper "I am ________________(Something positive and present tense)". Such as "I am brave. I am smart. I am capable. I am joyful. I am healthy. I can do hard things. I am worthy of love." Repeat often, even and especially if you don't feel it.
9. Take a moment and ask yourself "What is going on in my life right now?" Then answer in your mind, listen, name it, don't try to fix it just notice and be aware.
Then if you find "I am stressed because.............." (fill in the blank), then say "What do I need to feel better?", take a moment with your eyes closed and hand on your belly and see what comes up in your mind or gut. Your higher self will only lead you to good.
10. Smile, watch a good movie, put on music, turn on twinkle lights, open the blinds.
*Bonus: Eat some protein or a complex carb. Proteins help your blood sugar stabilize and complex carbs can help with serotonin uptake. Think oatmeal. :) Much Love friends.
Courtney Robinson C-IAYT and Solution Focused Coach U.C. I.
To To Ten Simple things you can do today to reclaim your health for nearly no cost.
1. Exercise for 10 to 30 minutes. Take a walk, go on a hike, ride your bike, do an internet workout video.
2. Meditate or sit quietly for 5 to 10 minutes : I like the Insight Timer app on my I Phone. It's free.
3. Eat some veggies (not fried).
4. Eat a serving of fresh fruit or a healthy fruit smoothie without the sugar.
5. Drink a few glasses of water.
6. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings or call and ask about how they are.
7. Make a meal plan for the week that includes beans, peas, grains, fruit, veggies, clean soy, nuts, and yogurt.
8. Give or get some hugs.
9. Shut off all social media and news for one day or at least 1/2 a day. Turn the dang phone off.
10. Go to bed on time or an hour early allowing for a full 8 to 9 hours of sleep tonight.
To see an interview with Courtney on Reclaiming Your Health please watch the video below. Thank you.
Hello I work as a medical yoga therapist, writer, presenter and have been in the yoga world as a teacher since 2001. I've been a practitioner since I was a young girl.
Here I share post I've made over the past eleven years and new post with new musings and teachings from my current work. Thanks for being here.