mediation

Achieve Work Life Balance from Within

For many, "work life balance" is an oxymoron. How is it possible to feel any semblance of peace when we have so much going on? 

I’m a Fermentation Coach and Yoga teacher, but balance is still a practice for me—as it is for everyone. However, my personal practice is easy and attainable, because it focuses on my state of mind rather than my to-do list. 

Simple acts of mindfulness and self-care can better equip you to deal with life’s many challenges—and appreciate the successes. As the saying goes, “Change your attitude, change your life.” 

Instead of rearranging your entire schedule overnight (which can be a shock to your nervous system), achieve work life balance with these simple steps: 

Get Moving

Had a busy day? Been sitting for 8 hours straight? End your day with gentle yoga. A walk or cardio training can also do the trick.

Getting into our bodies enables us move away from the thoughts and worries occupying our minds and helps us release endorphins (also known as one of the “happy hormones”).  

Fuel Up

If you’re like me, you might find yourself running around all weekend caravanning kids to sporting events, birthday parties and friends’ houses. This might prevent you from sitting down and eating. But hunger can throw your blood-sugar levels way off balance, making it harder to handle stress.  

To avoid an energy dip, prep gut-healthy snacks that will give you the boost you need to stay on an even keel throughout the day. Get portable snack ideas here.   

Be Present

When you’re constantly on the go, it’s easy to miss the simple pleasures of life. Sitting still for 3-10 minutes each day can help you reset at any point. Set an alarm and use the time to focus on your breath. 

Stillness can also be achieved through awareness. If you’re washing dishes, feel the warmth of the water on your hands and watch the bubbles of soap rise from the sink. If you’re taking a walk, concentrate on the air filling your lungs and the heat of the sun on your face. Just noticing the beauty of the world around us can help us gain a positive perspective. Suddenly, we're getting more done and stressing less.   

Feel inspired? Leave me a comment and let me know one action step you'll take toward achieving work life balance this week.  

 

Yoga Poses for Transition

As humans, we’re constantly in a state of transition. Some are smaller, like the act of going from rest to rising or from sitting to walking. Others are more prominent, like moving from summer to fall and warm to cold. While these transitions are natural, it’s important that we honor them and realize the impact they have on our health and well-being. 

These shifts in our body and environment can actually cause stress if we try to push too hard or move too quickly. Have you ever jumped out of bed because you were late and felt dizzy? Or, have you ever transitioned into a situation, like a new job, and felt sick to your stomach? If we don’t take the time to easefully and gracefully move through our lives, we risk disrupting our digestion and getting ourselves sick. 

I bring this up because I’ve fallen ill with the flu. I’ve experienced a great deal of change in my life recently, and this is my body’s way of reminding me to slow down. As I build up my strength, I’m excited to get back to my yoga practice, as it always helps me to ground and transition mindfully. 

This simple practice is a favourite of mine, especially as the seasons change. Seasonal shifts require reflection, and in the colder months, we’re meant to be gentler in our thoughts and actions. Moving the body using yoga and breath is a beautiful way to relax the nervous system.

Daily Yoga Sequence for Transition

  1. Start in Mountain Pose: Place your feet firmly on the floor. Moving from the bottom up, scan your body to ensure it’s in comfortable alignment. Let your hands fall to your sides, palms facing out. Hold this pose to find connection with the Earth and calm in the mind. 
     
  2. Honor the Sun: From Mountain pose, begin a few rounds of Sun Breaths. Inhale your arms around and up. Exhale and float into a forward bend (bend the knees to keep your back flat). Inhale and rise halfway up, gently placing the hands on the shins or thighs. Then, exhale and fold again. Inhale and float the arms around and up. Exhale your hands to heart center or by your side. Repeat. Note: Be sure that you slowly transition from one breath and movement to another, as opposed to moving quickly. 
     
  3. Breath Awareness: If you’re an experienced yogi, you’re welcome to flow into Surya Namaskar A before sitting. When you’re ready, carefully transition to the floor. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, propping yourself onto a blanket if it helps you sit up straight. Feel your sitting bones connect to the Earth, and find your breath. Notice how it flows after some gentle movement. Continue to focus on the breath. If thoughts bubble up, let them come and go without attaching to them. If you’re pressed for time, set an alarm and sit in this state of peace for 3-5 minutes. 

Honor yourself for taking the time to practice by bringing your hands to heart center. Namaste! 

Did you enjoy this sequence? What are your favourite poses for transition? Let me know in the comments below. Or, join me on Instagram for more healthy tips and ideas.