September is the new January

September is the new January.

Although there is no champagne, no fancy parties, or balls dropping at midnight, for me at least, the beginning of September as we head into fall feels a lot more like a new year than January 1st. Perhaps it is the same for you. September brings with it a lot of new beginnings. Back to school, maybe starting a new job, back to a work or exercise routine that may have shifted during the relaxing summer months. There’s a lot of goal-setting that happens this time of year. A renewed focus on plans for sporting events and family gatherings. And if you like “old school” calendar planning, so many of the paper planners available these days don’t start in January, they start in September to coincide with this newness that is going on all around us.

So as the seasons change, and we fill our schedules with family gatherings, sporting events, and school-related activities, perhaps this is also a good time to set new resolutions for ourselves. We all have things that we want to accomplish or achieve before the year ends, if for no other reason than to set up good habits to carry us into the (real) new year.  So without creating an additional hefty to do list to cart around with you, consider these as a few new (September) year resolutions:

Try something new. You already know how amazing you feel with a regular yoga practice. Perhaps consider adding an extra day to your routine, and trying a modality that you don’t usually enjoy. Do you like power flow classes? Come enjoy a gentle or restorative class and notice the sense of balance that you achieve. Do you prefer the gentle slower-paced classes? Fall is a great time to amp up your game a little bit and maybe try a flow class, or build some strength with TRX. Do you enjoy a good massage but find that you just don’t have the time to enjoy a massage as often as you would like? Sign up for a Great Wall session once a week…your body will thank you.

Expand your network. It doesn’t matter what your new goals are, it will be much more attainable if you have a community of like-minded people to encourage you along the path. Reach out to one of your yoga teachers, or a familiar face in class and work on deepening that relationship. Connecting with people that you practice with will help you to see your progress and hold yourself accountable. We have several events throughout the year to help with this as well. And beyond a yoga class, enjoy a special Friday night event or maybe a workshop or teacher training so that you can hang out and learn with and from like-minded folks.

Get organized. Decide what your yoga routine looks like, be very specific about days and times and classes, and then write it down. With the change of the seasons and back-to-school, this is a very natural time of year to grab a new notebook or planner. It’s a built-in opportunity to redo your schedule and help you avoid being overwhelmed by distractions. Be mindful of planning errands, meals, and other “to dos” around your routine, so that your self-care doesn’t become an unchecked item on your list at the end of each day.

So why not?  Embrace September as the new January!

I am spilling the tea…

…on my number 1 secret.

Do you want to know my number one secret to staying committed to time on my yoga mat during the holidays?

It’s probably not what you think…

You are probably thinking, “there she goes again, telling me to write it down, make an appointment with myself, blah, blah, blah…

It’s telling a friend or another teacher that I am coming to class.

I find that knowing that someone else besides just me knows my plans and is expecting me to show up makes a huge difference in my success.

Now, I don’t want you to all start blowing up your teachers’ phones letting them know you are coming. But mark your calendar, reserve the spot in class online or via the app, and then call or text a friend, and make it a date!  You for sure don’t want to let a friend down, or miss out on a hug, or a cup of tea or lunch afterwards, do you?

Of course, Iwant nothing more that for you to keep showing up for yourself at the studio day after day, week after week.  Let me know if you need a nudge…..I have so lots of great tips to help you make your mental, spiritual and physical health a priority this season! We just completed our 30 Mind-Body-Spirit Challenge and over 50 of you made a point to acknowlege yourself and your efforrts each time you showed up on your mat, by placing a sticker on the challenge chart. Our tips don’t have to be hard, or complicated, or exepenseive, just doable.  You can also revisit our September newsletter here for a refresher on more of my favorite tips.

Do you need a plan for how to get the most our of your yoga practice this holiday season?  Reply to this e-mail and let me know what you are sturggling with, and we can work together to come up with a plan for you to spend more time on your mat.

Can you list 3 things you are grateful for?

I am sure we can all agree that Fall is a crazy busy time of year. I cannot believe I can say this, but in the past 6 weeks I attended 6 football games, 5 band competitions (some far away!), spent 15+ hours a week volunteering for 3 weeks in a row, in additon to my home, teaching and business responsibilties.  And that is with just one child at home and it is not even the holidays yet!  That’s a full calendar for this mom, wife, yogi, business owner! I am not at all saying that I am busier that you or anyone else, because I certainly am not.  This time of year is nuts for all of us.  How do you get thorugh it, and feel joyful at the end?

One of my favorite ways to celebrate these kinds of accomplishments (and to stay motivated in the midst of it)  is to carve a little extra “me” time out of the calendar when I can see the free space coming.  I look ahead to a less busy week and plan a pedicure, a facial or massage, or a dinner out with girl friends. I always keep this reward in mind when I’m in the thick of it and feeling like I don’t have one moment to spare, and that if I stop for one moment all of the spinning plates will drop.

My best tip for getting through those jam-packed seasons? Schedule everything, and stick to it.  Stay organized,say no to extraneous and unnecesary activities that were not previously planned, and stay focued on one task at a time to avoid distractions.

And of course, yoga.  You have heard it from me and others that yoga doesn’t take time, it gives time, and it is very true, especially when we are in the midst of being crazy busy. When we give ourselves permission to carve out time for ourselves, we create more space for clarity in our thoughts and ease in our actions.

I happen to be a huge proponent of time blocking. A day, a week or a month at a time, whatever works for you…(honestly, I can’t do more than about a week, except for “big” stuff), mark the appointments, the meetings, the errands and the self-care on the calendar. While a spontaneous lunch out or browsing in the craft store is fun, invariabley that can lead to guilt for what didn’t get done in its place.  So schedule it all!  Find your balance of work, fun and chores and self-care and stick to it.

The Yoga West sechedule for the rest of 2019 is set, and the 2020 class and workshop calendar is already in place!  Find a few minutes to plan you next few weeks, and in the midst of the crazy busy end-of-year and holiday activities, make sure you take care of yourself and come see us for class.

What has your month looked like? How do you like to unwind after a big month? Let us know!  We would love to hear from you!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This week, Friday to be exact, marks the 14th anniversary of my ownership of Yoga West. (Same date as my youngest’s birthday!). I never would have figured myself as a small business owner. Too many unknowns, too much uncertainly, and no guarantee of a paycheck. I like certainty, plans and schedules.  I have always been good at problem solving; cutting through the weeds and the chatter to identify issues and put processes in place to resolve them or making decisions that are tough but necessary to thrive.  Small business ownership is certainly not for the faint of heart!

It’s interesting to look back and see how much has changed in our community and in what I like to call “Yogaland” in 14 years.  While the practice itself is the same, the way we teach, the way we train, and the way we communicate are very different that even just a few short years ago.  I have learned how to navigate through fear and uncertainty, how to ask for help from others when needed, and how to know when you are at the limits of your skill set/finances/time and reorganize.

Now that I’m 14 years into this whole studio ownership thing I feel confident in my ability to build a robust schedule with amazing teachers, and sprinkle in teacher trainings and workshops to allow those who want to grow in their practice to dig a bit deeper, and allow Yoga West to continue to be what I believe is the best yoga studio around.   It is always perfect and make everyone happy?  No, and that is OK.  But even now, let me tell you there’s something new to learn every day about how we can improve.

Currently, I’m working on both our class schedule and our training schedule for the new year.  I work diligently to strike the perfect balance between what our clients and teachers want and need, as well a what they will show up for, week after week.  It isn’t easy, but at the end of the day, it is tremendously rewarding.

Over the years, I’ve learned that sometimes you must be flexible and creative in your approach to challenges, that perfection is the enemy of getting it done, and that being consistent matters.  When stress is high, and my time on my mat becomes limited, my mood and decisions suffer.  Consistency on my mat makes all the difference.  Maybe it is a different class, or a shorter practice some days, but sticking with it is the key.  Always.

And you know what? That’s okay! It doesn’t have to be perfect; we are all allowed to be a work in progress and beginning again is permitted.

Tell us — what’s your “work in progress?”  Come see us this week and let us know!  I’d love to hear from you.