A Break to Come Back and Find Myself

My little over 5 months of a cross country season has finally come to an end. First, I want to thank everyone in the studio who always checked in to see how my season was going and congratulated me on accomplishments during the season. We have the best yogis and community!

So what does this mean?

It means I have a lot more time to do the things that I sacrificed during my cross country season. I really did enjoy cross country but it came with a lot of sacrifices. I can finally stay up late again and skateboard and practice guitar and not stress so much about not having enough time to finish homework. It has been nice to reconnect with some of my passions again. I could talk about the importance of staying connected to your true self and indulging in your passions but I will leave that to my mom. She is way more knowledgeable on that topic with her B3 method and is a lot more well spoken in the topic. In fact she has a whole program to help you reconnect with your passions in her B3 Method Institute.

All I can say is I feel more like myself now that I can do some of the other things I haven’t done in awhile.

One of those things I have not done in awhile is yoga.

I decided I needed some yoga in my life again. I have become afraid the longer I go without yoga the less mobile I will be. That did not go well with my overall fitness goals. So going into the Saturday Hot Vinyasa at 10am I did not have very high expectations. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty but I was just happy I was finally taking a yoga class after such a long time.

To my surprise I hadn't lost as much flexibility as I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, it was still tough and I definitely can’t do those splits or lotus poses, but I was able to still touch my toes and really extend my downward dog. I just felt accomplished in a sense I was working on my flexibility again. During the class I also felt nostalgic. It had been such a long time since I have done yoga that it was bringing me back to the past. I remembered how easy it was to just fly up into a crow or do wheel pose or move fluidly to the next pose. This is what I wanted to work back towards. Now that I had the opportunity to go to yoga again, I want to be able to work on this.

My body felt renewed from the stretching.I felt the post yoga class buzz through my body that I haven’t felt in awhile (I also felt very drenched from my sweat which wasn’t one of the more pleasant feelings). Most Importantly, I came out of that class with a goal come to yoga more often and fight the tightness of aging with yoga.

So don’t be surprised if you start seeing me in your yoga class here at Drishtiq.


Yoga Goals

Yoga Goals

Whatever your goal is DRISHTIQ Yoga wants to help you reach it.  Our classes are designed with you in mind. Often our instructors ask at the beginning of class- what are your intentions, what do you need from your practice today?  These are questions you should also be asking yourself- Why am I here?  What can I commit to each week so I can reach my goal?

Stop in and chat with our front desk. Share your goals with us. Let's get started reaching them.

We're ready....are you?

Confessions of a High School Senior & Yogi

Confessions of a High School Senior & Yogi

Sitting behind the front desk one wednesday evening shift, I thought it would be cool to enlighten the readers of the Drishtiq Yoga blog perhaps with a new perspective on the presence of yoga in my life. This reflection begins even before this very space we call Drishtiq Yoga was even a thought. It begins even before my family and I moved to Ohio. It begins when this new word was just being introduced to my 5 year old vocabulary. It sounded kinda funny to me. YO - Guh. In fact every time I heard the word Yoga, I thought of the well known Star Wars character, Yoda (my Dad was just beginning to show me this awesome trilogy). Well it turns out it wasn’t a character in Star Wars but still a pretty foreign concept to me.


At this time my mother had just had my little brother and had been left pretty sick after the pregnancy. So bad that her doctor told her she couldn’t do any physical activity. Now if you know my mother she maintains a pretty active lifestyle and the thought of no physical activity seems like the end of the world. So this prompted her to ask the question: So there’s nothing I can do? That’s where this new foreign word pops in. YO-Guh. The doctor said she could do yoga. It would actually prove to be pretty beneficial.

Back to School Not Back to Stress

Back to School Not Back to Stress

For teachers and students alike, gearing up to go back to school is not the most exciting thing in the world. Besides seeing your friends and meeting new teachers, the school year brings stress and anxiety for everyone.

Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever gone to sleep before midnight on the first-day-of-school-eve as I lie in bed, anxiously contemplating what will happen the next day and where my summer had gone.

It's common for you or your children to feel stressed on the first day; who am I going to sit with at lunch? What if my teachers don’t like me? What if I fall down the stairs and make a complete fool of myself? With this, the cycle of stressful classes, homework and tests also begins. And to make a healthy learning environment, we need to eliminate some of that stress. Here are a few tips to help you or your child transition into a stress free school year:

Make Self Care a Lifestyle, Not just a Resolution....

Happy (almost) New Year!

Time to set those resolutions, get inspired, and energized for the New Year you have been given.

2018 is knocking at the door and it will soon be time to let it in!  Before you do-- take a moment in gratitude to truly FEEL 2017. What do you have to be grateful for in the past year? Even if it's been the hardest,  most challenging year yet…. What can you find hiding in the corners that strikes a bit of gratitude in your heart?

Now stop-- breath there...allow the gratitude to become an ALL OVER physical sensation for a moment-- notice how the physical body responds to gratitude-- and instead of letting the thought pass-- for a moment, be OVERWHELMED by the physical sensation of gratitude.

Now moving into 2018, how can you channel that which brought you bliss in 2017 and bring it with you in 2018?  

Perhaps it’s the relationship you had with your yoga mat, your meditation bolster, or lavender eye pillow?

The safe space you have created to come and surrender, find space, and move into peace and bliss in the body-- and likewise because, we believe yoga means Union- if we can find space in the physical body-- perhaps, then, we can also believe this transcends into the mental-emotional space as well.

How do we cultivate, feed and encourage our commitment to our mats (or any self-care practice) in 2018?   

#1 BELIEVE in self-care

Ask a yoga practitioner on the way out of class- we are overwhelmed by the “I love Yoga” feeling-- at the end of a practice. We know we feel better, (and others around us feel better) when we practice.  Like any other commitment we make, the practice must come daily. The effort to carve out space for ourselves must be paramount on our schedule.  We must believe that self-care- regardless of its form-- is as important, if not MORE important as caring for others. When we put self-care into practice-- it OVERWHELMINGLY shows up in our personal connections with others, our work productivity, our energy to connect and live peacefully.

#2 Reinforce the belief-

Stop and notice the effects. Take in the gratitude when you take time for self-care.

So what happens?  What happens to New Years Resolutions on January 15? (if we make it that long).  We forget to stop and take our “I love Yoga Moment” or pat ourselves on the back-- for carving time and making the effort towards our self-care.  We need to stop and acknowledge when we take-- even 5 minutes of our day to stop and rest in stillness or meditation-- or our efforts will be lost to “busy-ness and fight or flight existence.”

#3 Form a community

Self-care comes more naturally when you surround yourself with people who also practice self- care.  Join a yoga studio, a running group, get a book club going or try a meditation circle. Sometimes, when we know someone else is going to show up to a class-- on the days we are really struggling to find time-- make a date and an effort to just get there.  This does not mean your practice is not personal to you.

#4 Have a backup plan

What if you get hurt and you cannot exercise? -Meditation takes no movement.  What if you are traveling or do not have exercise equipment with you? - Grab your phone and a towel and play an on-demand class.  What if you just don’t have time? -Make an effort to focus on breath in your morning commute or while you are waiting for your child to get done with basketball practice. Do you have to work a double? -Take the stairs. Do some pushups before lunch and stop while eating lunch-- to actually “taste” the food.

Have a backup plan-- should things not work out as you would have liked.

#5 Do not skip a day

Do SOMETHING every day that brings you bliss. You do not have to do an hour of yoga or a run a day.  It can be as simple as getting out of bed and stepping on your mat to take a child’s pose-- and that’s it.  Make the effort towards self-care-- any DAILY habit, like brushing your teeth or combing your hair.

#6 Let us help

Our community here at DRISHTIQ is here to help you.  Grab a teacher after class. Chat up our front desk crew. Among our many opportunities to practice all types of yoga- we also have challenges-- you can join in-- to keep you motivated. For instance, work towards our 2018 Om Club re-birth or try any of our super helpful workshops-- which will get you closer to finding your bliss. We also have private one-on-one opportunities-- where you can meet for a personalized class with a yoga teacher. Our On-Demand Library of classes is there for you to access ANYwhere-- at ANY time! Our goal for 2018 is to better equip our community for self-care.  We are here to help. Get in touch!

Namaste,

Amy K

 

What I Learned From My TEDx Talk Experience - Amy Vetter

What I Learned From My TEDx Talk Experience - Amy Vetter

My @tedxcinnati video of my talk: Disconnect to Connect (below) was just released this past weekend on YouTube. This experience was truly life changing for me personally and as a speaker. I thought it may be helpful to share some of what I learned during this year while going through this process of creating a TED Talk, auditioning to make it to the main stage and then performing it.

Summertime! ~Matthew

Summer is here, and with it, some great weather and a barbeque, the occasional vacation, and many pool days under the sun. I mean, who could not like the summertime? Besides the fact that school is out, I always feel like the summer provides me with more time; the days are longer, which motivates me to get up earlier, and go to bed later. In my endeavors to be productive, I am always trying to find something new. A new game, a new activity, a new experience.

And this is why, this summer, I am challenging you. While you are always encouraged to try new and more difficult classes here at Drishtiq, this summer, I want you add to your usual practice by taking it outside. Whether in your backyard, at the park, or on the beach, expanding your horizons will only aid you on your yoga journey.

Get some friends together and meet at the park to greet the rising sun with sun salutations or bring your mat the next time you let the dog out. On vacation? Nothing can beat the calming rush of waves on an evening beach with your mat grounded in the soft, but firm sand. Perhaps you can even try taking your practice to a standing paddle board. All of these experiences provide a great opportunity for you to focus on you and what you need to improve and challenge your practice. This can include working on that really cool armstand you saw the lady next to you do during class, working on that pose you just can’t seem to get right or simply taking time to focus on your breath and meditation; challenging yourself will not only provide you with a great new experience but an increase in confidence as you let loose in the surrounding environment.  

Research has shown that by taking your practice outdoors, the fresh air and the environment can help your nervous system eliminate stress and heighten your energy. Additionally, Yoga Journal notes that practicing outside can help your brain increase its awareness of your breath and of your mind, making it a more mindful experience. But besides all of this, I hope you find this opportunity as a really rewarding experience that expands your practice and challenges the edge of your yoga journey. Let me know if any of you take me up on this trial this summer. I’d love to hear about what you explored and experienced when I see you in the studio next!

~Matthew

Teen Yogi Checks In

With homework starting to increase and college acceptances beginning to roll in, this month I have been trying to focus on self care. For me, that means a number of things (starting with getting more sleep). Instead of letting stress get the best of me, I’ve been making an effort to slow things down and spend more time doing things I enjoy. For me, I’ve been trying to spend  more time getting into the studio. With so many extracurricular activities after school, the morning classes have become a great way for me to start my day on a positive note. Class starts at 5:30, which is about the time I usually wake up for school. Pushing myself to wake up even earlier has helped me reinforce my goal of going to bed earlier. I’m usually a night owl, but I’ve found that shutting my computer down after 10pm has helped me fall asleep faster and feel more refreshed in the morning.

Along with my goal of relaxation, this month I have been trying to push myself to take advantage of opportunities that are outside of my comfort zone. Last week, I decided to join the track team. Now that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but for me joining track was HUGE. I have pretty severe asthma and I don’t really enjoy running (that was an understatement). But I decided to join track as a senior because I want to rise to the challenge. Right now, I’m one of the slowest girls on the team, and one of the only seniors who will be on JV, but I’m okay with that. For me, it’s not about being the fastest sprinter or the highest jumper. I just want to push myself to be faster than I was when I started.

Lastly, I wanted to share a project I’ve recently been working on.  I’m currently taking AP Macroeconomics, a college level economics course at my high school. As I was sitting in class one day attempting to study all of the graphs, I came up with this random idea to connect yoga to economics. I developed a cool worksheet with pictures of yoga poses, and over top of each pose I drew a graph that we’ve learned in class. I ended up spending a class period teaching the class about yoga while helping them study for the upcoming exam at the end of the year. This project was not for a grade, however I really enjoyed being able to connect what I’m learning in class to something I love. The session went really well, and I invited everyone in the class to join the teen yoga class at DRISHTIQ offers on Wednesdays. Hopefully, I’ve been able to spark someone’s interest!

 

Taking a Break.

We did it. Don’t worry. We all survived 2016! I could not wait to have a break because boy I needed it. With school and exams my brain was fried. Just like all of you, I yearn for the time that I can just fly away from stress and responsibility – an escape. I guess that’s sort of a neat way to describe a break. I know for me at least, after that school bell rang, I ran and never looked back. Over break, I’m that person who doesn’t know what day it is, and frankly, I really don’t want to know. When I know what day it is I’ll just start thinking of how much time is left before I am trapped into the quicksand of routine again. I’ll think about how much farther away the next reward is, the next break.

The past few weeks I got to spend a lot of time with my family. We went up to Michigan after Christmas. There I finally got to see my grandparents because the eleven-hour car trip makes it tough to get up there. We probably only get to see them once a year. My Grandma is starting to show the early signs of dementia and he short-term memory is the worst. We don’t really know if she remembers us being their last week. It makes it so much better when we get to finally see them, but at the same time, so much harder.

Over break I also got to do some more yoga. For instance, Sasha from the front desk and I went to Deb’s yoga flow on Monday. In the class, Deb had us testing our strength, balance and flexibility at a constant and continuous pace; breathing in and out as we flowed from posture to posture. I really enjoyed the class and the whole pacing theme really made me think about how rewarding it was.

In a way, the break was like one big reward. A reward for surviving the first semester of the school year or a reward for the responsibility you have encountered and taken on. But instead of looking for the next big reward, we need to focus on the little ones — the simple things That happen in your life like visiting family and going to a yoga class.  These are all rewards to us! All of these little rewards are what have built up this break as that one massive reward and I’m not ready to let go. But they don’t just happen on a break, they happen single every day even if you don’t realize it. By just coming to yoga and being more mindful of those rewards, we are building up a much better reward than a break, but a reward of a more healthier and happier lifestyle. The small rewards help us pace ourselves between breaks. They don’t simply drag us through our lives to reach get to that big reward, but they happen so we can enjoy the journey. In a way these little rewards are like little breaks every day. A yoga class is an escape just like a trip to paradise is. If we are more mindful of our little rewards, then maybe an escape won’t always mean running from the school and not looking back.

Teen Yoga Scholarship Winner

I am so excited to be the 2017 Teen Yoga Scholarship Winner, and I can’t wait to blog about my journey over the next year.

A little bit about me, I’m a senior at Mason High School and I love to dance, write and (poorly) play the guitar. I started attending yoga classes at DRISHTIQ last winter with one of my friends just to alleviate some of the stress of finals week. I ended up enjoying class so much, that I came back to the studio and took classes during summer vacation.

Now, I’m so excited for the opportunity to continue taking classes at DRISHTIQ over the next year!

One of my favorite things about yoga is that anyone can do it, no matter how old or young you are. I always tell my friends that it’s not about flexibility, it’s about a willingness to learn and accept your body’s strengths and weaknesses. As a former dancer, there are some days when my body is feeling super flexible, and I’m able to stretch my leg up to the ceiling. On the flip side, there are other days when I feel like I can’t even touch my toes. No matter what state your body is in that day, you have to be willing to let it go.

In 2017, I am looking forward to coming into class consistently. I am hoping to stop by at least twice a week (maybe even more). After all, as Elle Woods said in Legally Blonde, “exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make people happy”.  With senior year being super stressful, I need to make sure that I take care of my body and set time aside to do the things that make me happy.

I can’t wait to start coming to class and I am excited to see what things 2017 brings!

Pacing Yourself

Exercise has always been a way to balance my busy life – whether when I was a student in school, in a public accounting firm or running my businesses over the years. I love all forms of exercise, but I am most passionate about yoga, spinning and running in my life as a way to release stress and be ready to take on each day. When I was out running one morning, it occurred to me that pacing myself running or in my yoga practice, is much like pacing yourself in your job or business that you run.

When I start out each run, it takes me awhile to feel good, get my breath in line and get a good pace. Even in my yoga practice it is the same thing, I start out getting in touch with my breath, clearing my mind and stretching slowly so I am ready to go. It is the same when you start out in business or a new service you want to offer in your business – you can’t start off too fast. To really achieve success and optimize the opportunity, you need to plan and ground yourself with goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. I know if I start out a run too fast I peter out – it’s the same thing with business, you need to know where you are going to have meaning in what you do each day. Even when it’s really hard, you can set the intention to visualize and focus on your end game.

When I was out running, I noticed a runner on the same path ahead of me getting ready to start her run. That moment of anticipation of whether it’s going to be a good run or not happens right in that split second. Once she started running, I ended up following her along the path for a while until eventually the path split and I went another direction. It was nice having her in front of me to focus on my pacing, but it was ok when she split off and went in her own direction as well. It reminded me of the many mentors along the way that I modeled either different parts of my business after or milestones I wanted to achieve myself that they had paved the way. Not all of them knew I was admiring them from afar, nor did they know me. Some did, because I reached out to them when I wanted to learn something from them and developed relationships that I could call upon for advice along the way. When it’s been time to split off and take my own direction, that part of them have stayed with me. My successes (and failures) are my own and a mix of so many people along the way that I aspired to and learned from. But when each time was right, it was time to split and take my own path.

In running, the most challenging part of a run can be going uphill. But, how do you take the downhill? When you are in the midst of a yoga practice, and its heating up and really challenging, what do you do? To me, it’s at these types of crossroads that test our ability to persevere in business. If you just let the downhill take you with it without doing it with purpose, or if you let your mind take over during a challenging sequence in yoga, instead of coming back to your breath, you aren’t controlling your destiny. In business, when you are going uphill, everything feels hard. But when you are coasting, that’s a testament of the type of entrepreneur you are. Do you coast? Or do you take that time to control the downhill and run it with purpose, set proper goals for the next phase of your business, new customer acquisitions or at least think about what the future looks like. If you coast, will you be caught in the next uphill and stagnate or get behind in your business. Where can you look for opportunities and keep growing your vision for what you want to do? In yoga we learn to breathe through the chaos and clear the chatter from our mind. When things are the toughest, its important we distinguish the noise from reality and clear out what isn’t useful.

When I finish a run, I feel accomplished. I measure myself against my last run or what I had intended for that run when I started out. When I finish a yoga practice, I feel refreshed and open. My mind is clearer and I can move a little more slowly through what comes up next in my day. As each day finishes in your job, try to find a way to identify accomplishments or progress you have made. Even if it was a day of different areas of failures – what have you learned by it and how can you improve the next day? How can you take time and step back from your day and review it and feel more open to take on your evening or your next day at work? Find ways to stay on the path of learning from your business and listening to what your customers or employees are telling you. Taking that time to reflect can help you pace each upcoming day, in addition to the upcoming goals you have for your business.

Getting Back to Our Roots

I had an interesting experience in my yoga class. The instructor was playing random music from Pandora, and chose a classical station to end our practice with. What she didn’t realize when she turned on this station was how it affected me. I immediately went back to being a teenager as soon as I heard the first piece play. Life takes us in so many directions; we sometimes forget where our beginnings were. The pieces that were played were ones I played as a High School student on my viola in a local symphony orchestra. For that moment in time, I wasn’t in that yoga room anymore. I transcended back to my childhood bedroom where I practiced every note of those pieces over and over again. I heard the notes I used to struggle with and was amazed I still remembered the whole piece. I then found myself remembering working on those same pieces with my viola teacher, the things he said, the goals we set, the measures upon measures we worked on over and over again so it would come out sounding right.

As the piece continued…I remembered the feeling I would have on stage. As the music grew louder during the concert, the stage floor vibrating and pounding with the instruments, the conductor waiving his arms furiously with the music and remembering the exhilaration I used to feel that sometimes brought tears of happiness to my eyes when it all came together on stage. All the work that led up to that final concert and how amazing it felt to be a part of an Orchestra at that moment in time.

We all have forks in the road – when it was time to make a decision on college majors – the choice was between music and business for me. I chose business, and packed my viola away. However, just because I no longer spend hours practicing my viola and playing concerts, the experience of playing came into my business life without realizing it. These roots that we have inside us, create the education for us on how to conduct our careers later. I learned through playing viola, the concert was the fun part, practicing was not; but it was necessary to be able to achieve a successful concert. The discipline and redundancy of playing the same notes over and over until you got it right – is the same discipline you need in business. We all are performers, in one way or another. Whether we are presenting in a meeting, pitching a sale to a prospect or speaking at a conference, we have to practice and know our subject matter better than anyone else does.

The way you win in business is to have discipline and to set goals. Making decisions too fast is really hard not to do. Making sure that each decision is in alignment with the goals you have with your business is even harder. Taking your yoga practice in your business can help you with slowing down and making sure the steps are in place. Learn to breathe. Take a deep breath before making a decision and think through the impact. Just like in our yoga practice or playing an instrument, it’s the details that count. No one may actually know what happens behind the scenes before it all comes together, but the time has to be taken to go through the steps and “practice” to achieve the outcome you want. No one may know when you couldn’t touch your toes or you played out of tune, because the end result creates an amazing business that the outside world appreciates.

Take some time to go back to your roots. Let yourself go back to something in your life that had real impact to how you do things today. Was it the right way to do it? Are you following a path because you have always done it that way? Or is it time to step back and assess how to do it differently and set goals that take you into a different direction. Make sure you are achieving the successful outcome that you want. Practicing the wrong note over and over will not translate into a good experience for the audience of a concert. Going into a pose incorrectly over and over will create injuries and frustration that you are not getting it right. Instead aim for the appearance of a seamless orchestral concert where the audience doesn’t understand the mechanics to get there, nor needs to. You did the work and took the necessary steps behind the scenes so they get what they paid for.