The Hot Yoga Experience

Part 1

Right now, I’m going through a stressful time in my life. Not to mention…it’s also the holiday season.

Getting through the holiday season is one thing but adding life’s obstacles can make it even tougher.

So, to stay sane and calm through all of this, I have turned heavily to three things:

While I have good moments and tough moments all within a day, I’ve relied heavily on just trusting my instincts and focusing on my breaths at moments of frustration. But, a few weeks ago I discovered a healthy outlet that is so beneficial if you’re going through some hard times.

Here’s the first part out of three, of my story about Hot Yoga…

On a cloudy Sunday morning I was at home, in my office, sitting crosslegged on the floor. Earbuds in, listening to a 45 minute guided meditation about how to connect with my spirit guides.

I felt like I was completely hypnotized. My imagination ran wild and I envisioned three spirit guides plus a coyote.

Okay, I know that this might make me sound crazy. Trust me, a few years ago I would’ve thought this would be all nonsense or a really active imagination.

But after months of practicing mediation I hit this weird place where I could feel myself going deeper and not overthinking things. So, when this happened, (even though I know it might sounds crazy,) I decided e to accept it and take it for what I feel it was.

When I came out of the mediation, I immediately had one of the strongest urges to go to a hot yoga class.

Hot yoga is something that I’ve always heard of, always wanted to try…but was always hesitant about.

I would hear people say, “It feels like you’re going to DIE! But then afterwards….you’ll love it!”

The part, “feels like you’re going to DIE” is the part that made me hesitate to commit to a class. I didn’t want to be that sweaty girl who ran out of the class because I couldn’t handle the heat.

Years before, I had been to a few yoga classes. I know, it’s a chill environment but I’ve never been in a situation where I would feel like I would die.

So, I’ve always been curious…but honestly never felt I would actually do it….until this day.

As I was still sitting on the floor of my office, and the urge to go to hot yoga entered my brain. The vision of the road side sign of “$5 Yoga Class! Sunday Morning!” popped into my head. I saw this sign about 2 weeks ago, as we were leaving the neighborhood pizza joint.

“It was nearby…maybe they still have that $5 class going on!” I thought as I picked up my phone to google it.

 Cooper Moon Yoga Studio appeared in the search results. I clicked on it, went to the calendar and the $5 class was over.

But… low and behold a hot yoga class was starting in 20 minutes!

I didn’t give myself time to talk my way out of it. I didn’t care about the price, I didn’t care about what it would be like. Instead, I just cared on making the class on time.

I frantically dug around my dresser drawers for workout clothes to put on. I grabbed my old and worn orange yoga mat from my office, slipped on my sandals and went out the door.

5 minutes later, I was in the parking lot, with my car idling. My anxiety was beginning to rise to the surface. My heart was loudly pounding, vibrating throughout my chest and beating in my ears.

I had 10 minutes. So I decided to spend one of those minutes calming my body down.

I relaxed my shoulders and breathed.

In. Out.

In and out.

In…..Out….In…………Out……….

I tried to not think about anything other than the feeling in my chest and making it slow down. After the minute, I was still felt anxious…but not as bad as before.

“Don’t think about it. Just do it.” I thought to myself as I pulled myself up out of my car. “Just breathe and relax” I thought again as I walked towards the front door of Cooper Moon Yoga Studio.

You know you might have a huge anxiety problem, when you have to calm yourself down to walk into a yoga studio, right?

Behind the counter,stood a smiling woman and a smooth skinned square jawline man, who looked like he was the yoga instructor. After pleasant greetings, I found myself admittedly blurting out, “I haven’t been to a yoga in years!”

They welcomed me back and Tina, the woman behind the cash register (who I would later find out was the owner) gave me a towel and explained to cover my mat with it, so I don’t slide from the sweat dripping.

And with that, I put my shoes up on the shelf next to the yoga room, slid open the heavy wooden door to the hot room and stepped in.

To be continued….

How to Improve Our Emotional Intelligence

Growing up we were taught that our IQ score would determine how intelligent we are. The higher the IQ the more successful we would be in life.

However, there is more to intelligence than the intellectual level. In fact, most successful leaders, such as billionaire Warren Buffet does not have a higher IQ than the rest of us. Instead he shows a tremendous amount of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence, (EI) is the ability to control and express our emotions in a clear and well thought out manner, while also having the ability to recognize emotions in others.

Individuals who have high levels of emotional intelligence are good listeners who show empathy to others. They are a person that others seek out for support or advice due to their compassion and open mind. Due to having their emotions under control they are also adaptable to change and able to express themselves clearly.

Now, we may be asking, how do we improve our emotional intelligence?

The best method out there is to practice mindful meditation.

Mindful meditation is being aware and staying in the present moment. In other words, let go of the past and stop thinking about the future. Just simply enjoy and pay attention to this present moment we are in.

According to John Darwin from the Centre for Mindful Life Enhancement, “Regular practice of mindfulness meditation can enhance our ability to understand our own emotions” By calming the mind through meditation, our ability increases to recognize our own emotions.

As we begin to become aware of our emotions, we are able to recognize and control them under intense or upsetting situations. This allows us to think deeply upon our actions and words before subconsciously blurting them out.

This is one of the main reasons why highly emotional intelligent people are more successful in the workplace and build more meaningful and beneficial relationships with others.

The best part is that we can practice mindful mediation any time and any place.

Mindful meditation doesn’t require any special instructions.

Find a comfortable pose in a quiet space and choose any amount of time.

Relax the body, (including facial muscles) and close the eyes. It may be helpful to play calm music or concentrate on the breath, as a tool for staying in the present moment.

Think of daily mediation practice as important as preparing for a meeting or test.

This daily practice will lead to a higher level of emotional intelligence, which only increases our ability to find success and happiness in our lives.

Abandoning Perfectionism

Since the introduction of smart phones and social media the desire to be perfect has increased in our culture. While it’s a positive to set goals and aim high, it can turn negative if you begin to feel contradictory emotions while on the journey to achieve the end goal.

It boils down to adaptability and positive self-talk.

For example, if a non-perfectionist makes a mistake, they can feel let down but also recognize that mistakes are normal and are willing to use it as a learning tool. In other words, they do not self-depreciate themselves when a mistake is made.

On the other side, a perfectionist will feel like a failure and frustrated by a mistake. Or they may be so scared to actually make a mistake that don’t even take action. This causes this type of person to become vulnerable to mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, frustration and other negative disorders.

Signs of Perfectionist

  • Fearing you’ll be judged for imperfections
  • Unwilling to make mistakes
  • Social withdraw
  • Lack of self-care, due to overworking
  • Actions resulting in bad quality of life.

Treatments

  • Break big goals into smaller goals
  • Start with a small goal such as, organizing your closet. Instead of giving it 100% do it at about 80% and experiment with accepting it.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Seek professional help
Be kind to yourself

So remember, it’s not perfect to be perfect. We all make mistakes which are necessary for learning and growing. Life’s a journey and while you cannot control obstacles in your path you can choose how to handle them.

Do you want to handle your thoughts poorly or do want to handle them positively?