Follow Your Bliss in the Workplace


Follow Your Bliss in the Workplace Today

When it comes to following your bliss, do you have difficulty to find out what you want? Did you know that when you focus on what you don’t want, you bring more of what you don’t want!  Let’s stop and take a minute to do a bit of guided imagery or even journaling.  If you have a few minutes, take out your notebook and write down some of your thoughts. I assure you, you will find this very relaxing and enlightening way to spend some free time.

Is it impossible to find a deep and honest answer to the question: “what do you want”? You are not alone! Many of us struggle to find out what we really want in life.

The time comes when it is easier to come up with a long list of what you DONT want than creating a list of what you are really looking for. That’s where creative writing comes into play.  Take a deep breath and let’s begin this visualization!
Imagine you have a huge bag full of ideas, situations, things, characteristics, images, etc. The bag has a never ending supply of every imaginable thing and thought. Now visualize yourself taking pieces out of the bag. Take one thought, idea, image, opportunity…. Have a look at it and decide if you want it or not. Make the decision as intuitive as you can. Decide quickly, you need to move fast to sort through all those possibilities in the bag.

Take one, look at it, decide, done. Then repeat. Take notes of the things that went to the “don’t want” list.  To help you I have come up with different ideas, images, situations and characteristics to help you with this exercise. Below is a random list of possibilities around teaching yoga.

Here is the list:
, Making money
, Comfortable living
Coaching others, 
Practicing yoga every day, 
Practicing yoga as you wish, no set times, Flexibility, Doing what is good for your family/community , Self-appreciation, 
Taking care of yourself
, Calming environment, 
Working for yourself, 
Passion, great health, 

Working for a non-profit, Creating value
Creating new ideas, doctors Alternative medicine, Nutrition, Ayurveda
, Acupuncture
, Quantum healing

Now, you can write up the above 30 possibilities on small pieces of paper then put them into a bag, jar or box. Or write them down simply on a piece of paper!  Feel free to add to the list above! Now take one piece of paper out of the container, decide if you want that or not. Separate the “want” and “don’t want” items. Keep on going until you worked through the whole list.

When you look at the “don’t want” items, you will have a pretty good idea what it is that you don’t want. And this will be a tremendous help in figuring out what you really really want out of your everyday life and attracting more of the same!

Clayton Yoga has been teaching over 13 weekly corporate yoga classes for more than ten years in the greater metro St. Louis area.  We follow our bliss everyday and love what we do.  Interested in having more of that energy in your company?  Get started with corporate yoga wellness and onsite classes today, contact Michelle at 314-630-1677!   

7 Relaxation Tips Before Falling Asleep

macro-800236_640Do you find it hard to relax at the end of a long day? Do you find falling asleep a challenge? Are you worrying and stressing over situations in your life instead of enjoying a good night’s sleep?

The following 7 tips will help you relax before you go to bed, so you naturally sleep restfully and start each and every day at your fullest potential.

Routine is your best friend

Develop a set pre-sleep schedule of activities. Let your brain know it is time to shut down. This means limiting stressful thoughts and outward influences before bedtime. “Wind down” by consistently reading for 1 hour before bedtime. Your brain will eventually recognize that 60 minutes of reading in the evening is a signal that sleep is approaching.

Same time every day

You go to work at the same time, eat lunch and dinner about the same time, and have several consistent daily routines. When you go to bed and awaken at the same time consistently, you program your internal clock to shut down your busy brain and wake up on a given schedule. Putting your sleep pattern on autopilot will help you relax and you don’t have to anxiously try to force yourself to sleep.

Exercise but not too late

Exercise and other forms of physical exertion immediately deliver a boost of energy. Soon after, your body tells you that you need rest and recuperation. Exercising in the evening, 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed, signals your brain for rest and recovery, rather than a stressful “how will I go to sleep” mentality.

Start counting sheep or … apples

There is a good reason the sheep counting strategy works to help you go to sleep. What you are actually doing is replacing stressful and worrisome thoughts with a simple and boring, repetitive mental exercise. You can accomplish the same by thinking of objects or foods whose names start with each letter of the alphabet. Your brain only focuses on one thing at a time, in this instance a simple mental exercise instead of stress and anxiety.

A moment of gratitude

Before falling asleep, think about all the reasons you have to be grateful. It is hard to be anxious and stressed out when you realize you have so many things to be thankful for. Praying can also be a very valuable tool in creating calm before sleep. Doing this right before falling asleep implants positive thoughts on your nighttime brain.


Mindful meditation focuses on the present moment. You concentrate on your breathing and your present state. Give no room for focusing on past problems or future issues which have yet to arrive. Lifelong practitioners of meditation can even slow down their heart rate and fall to sleep quickly, enjoying a healthy night’s rest.

Clear the chaos

Ideally, the place where you sleep should have minimal distraction so no consumer electronics, cell phones, MP3 players in the bedroom, please. The fewer pieces of furniture in your bedroom the better. As you are preparing for bed, your mind unconsciously takes in all of the distractions and objects in your environment. This can negatively affect your ability to fall asleep.


The Power of 4-7-8

buddha-85673_640Do you have a problem falling asleep? Looking for some tips on how to increase the quality of your sleep? This article is a must-read for you!

At St. Louis Corporate Yoga we truly believe in the power of proper breathing. There are many special breathing exercises we share with our corporate yoga students during on-site classes. There is really an appropriate breathing style for nearly all ailment of body and soul.

Would like to fall asleep fast and stay asleep longer? Discover the power of 4-7-8!

The mysterious 4-7-8 means a certain breathing rhythm. Let’s explain!

4: Breathe in through your nose for four seconds,
7: hold your breath for seven seconds,
8: exhale through your mouth for eight seconds!

Please note that the exact counts are important in this sequence. Also when practicing this breathing keep it to max. 4 sequences otherwise you might get light headed.

How does this work? Most of the issues around falling asleep reflect your stressed out state. You might be breathing shallow and even not breathing for a few seconds. Your heart rate is too high which is not conducive to sleep. You need to use your breathing to trigger a more relaxed state and lower your heart rate in order to fall asleep.

Do you have difficulty to practice this special breathing? Watching a demonstration is always best! Below is a detailed demonstration of 4-7-8 breath by Dr. Weil. After watching it once you will be able to “put yourself to sleep” much easier tonight!

Would you like to read an enthusiastic account of how this special breathing rhythm works for falling asleep and sleeping like a baby?

“It was the week before my best friend’s wedding, and my anxiety (nerves, plus excitement) had reached epic levels. I wasn’t sleeping, to say the least. Part of that had to do with the maid of honor speech I would be giving. I was terrified and could not shut my brain off to fall asleep at night.

After day three of lying awake until the wee hours of the night, I sheepishly admitted to her that I was too nervous to fall asleep, and she—the bride, who was sleeping like a baby the week before her own wedding—told me I needed to try the “4-7-8” breathing trick….

…I couldn’t wait to put the trick to the test, and to my complete disbelief, I woke up the next morning unable to even remember getting to the eighth second of the exhale because it knocked me out that fast. For the next four nights leading up to the big day, even as my stress increased, I was able to fall asleep the minute I tried the 4-7-8 trick. I also used it to relax in the moments leading up to the speech.”



Watch the demonstration by Dr. Weil then put the special 4-7-8 breathing to test tonight. It worked for us!


Fall Asleep Without The Struggle

bedroom-349698_640There is nothing that influences your day more deeply than your sleep quality. How many times do you just drag through the day having no energy or inspiration after a bad night’s sleep? This happens all too often. Of course you can actively support yourself to get a better quality sleep. It all begins with falling asleep without the struggle.

Here a few true and tested tips for easily falling asleep

Turn off your buzzing mind. Do you have a problem falling asleep as your mind cannot stop thinking about the million things you supposed to be doing the next day? Worried about forgetting the most important tasks? Get out a piece of paper and make a to-do list! Then make a priority list. Separate the most important and the most urgent things to get done tomorrow. Make a plan to get those urgent and/or important things first thing in the morning.

Get off the worry train. Do you constantly worry about the many things that can go wrong? Puts those worries on paper – this will help you put them into perspective. You might even find solutions as a result of seeing your worries on paper. If it is outside of your control, saying a prayer might help.

Get an old fashioned alarm clock. You don’t need all those digital gadgets in your bedroom. Ban the TV and all mobile devices if possible. No, you will not miss out on anything, I promise.

Yoga breathing to the rescue. Take a few deep yoga breaths. You don’t even have to get out of bed. Breathe in slowly to the count of 4, then exhale slowly to the same count. Did you know that exhaling really slow helps you relax even more? Try to exhale to the count of 8… don’t rush those numbers! You might need some practice to exhale twice as long as you inhale.

A warm bubble bath might be what you need to help with relaxation. Take a soothing bubble bath or add a few drops of essential oils to your bath water. (Don’t put the essential oils on your skin and don’t overdose them as they can lead to allergic reaction.) Enjoy up to 15-20 minutes of your bath. Add soothing music, a few candles for perfect relaxation.

Prepare for the morning rush the night before. “What to wear to the meeting tomorrow? How about breakfast? What about the weather? Will there be a traffic jam on the way to the office?” – you might be asking a thousand questions silently as you try to fall asleep. Take 10-15 minutes every evening to prepare for the next morning. Check the weather forecast to help you what to wear and plan for traffic jams. Put out the clothes and shoes you want to wear to avoid any surprise early tomorrow. Prep your breakfast if possible. You can gather all ingredients for a healthy smoothie or prepare a sandwich the night before.

Give in. If you still find impossible to fall asleep, instead of getting angry as you waste precious time, just give in to being awake a bit longer. Listen to some relaxing music you like or read a good book. Poems, quotes or inspirational stories are great choices. Reading thrillers or mystery novels might not be a good choice obviously. Let yourself being taken to sleep on the wings of quality entertainment.

Which of these tips will you try tonight?



Want To Practice More Yoga?

IMG_4976Having the opportunity to take corporate yoga classes during the workday is awesome to find relief from every day stress. If you fell in love with yoga at your organization, why not practice more during the week?

In our corporate yoga programs we teach Vinyasa yoga as this type of yoga is very easy to integrate into a work day. You won’t need to take a shower and you can get back to your desk immediately after class. Still you will enjoy a full workout and experience stress reduction as a result.

Although Vinyasa is the fastest growing yoga style for a reason, there are many different yoga styles you can experience! Which one will work best for you? The only way to find out is to try them and see how you feel after taking a class. Check out the yoga studios in your neighborhood and try different styles. Your gym might offer different type of yoga classes, too.

Besides experiencing different yoga styles, you might love to practice more than just that one class at work. We invite all out corporate yoga participants to visit us at our Clayton Yoga Studio in Clayton. For information about our studio, please go to our website.

Especially if you are a beginner yoga practitioner, we advise you to take live classes and not online ones. You will need the caring eyes of a certified yoga teacher to help you practice yoga in a totally safe way. Your instructor will be able to show you modifications of poses to fit your body’s special needs. Plus nothing substitutes the encouragement of a personal interaction with your teacher and fellow students.

Online yoga classes can be a good option if you are at least at the intermediate level and already have a good understanding of the poses. If you are generally healthy, taking a virtual class can be a good option. Please be mindful that you need to be cautious as there is nobody to support you on the spot.

As a general rule of thumb, if you have health issues or you are not yet confident in your yoga practice, we advise you to take the extra effort to practice at a studio.

One excellent option could be to take private yoga classes where the attention is 100% on you. You work very closely with your yoga instructor to create the best possible yoga plan for you. You get undivided attention and instruction. Our yoga teachers are more than happy to provide private classes at the studio.

Have you thought about taking a yoga retreat? This is the ultimate yoga experience! One week or more at a fabulous resort to forget about all the challenges in your world. Being immersed in your yoga practice, taking care of your soul and learning new ways to find meaning in life. A quick search online for yoga retreats will give you a colorful list of many possibilities.

Clayton Yoga International offers a unique yoga retreat and yoga teacher training combo next summer in Guatemala (June 28th-July 12th, 2014). Would you like to explore Guatemala while enjoying daily yoga work to deepen your practice? Learn more on our Clayton Yoga International site!

The opportunities are practically endless to practice yoga. Take the ones that fit your life and delight your soul!


How to Supplement Your St. Louis Corporate Yoga Classes With an At Home Yoga Practice?

One of the greatest benefits to yoga practice is our ability to feel safe, well cared for and appreciated.  When we take the time for our spirit, we feel strong, peaceful empowered and connected to universal force.  The universe as Edwina Gaines like to say, “loves me, nutures me and wants me to win”.  So how do we build a better yoga practice outside of yoga class?  This article will explain.

In order to create the right sacred space, think about setting a reasonable schedule.  Try to practice regularly about 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning and again in the evening before retiring for bed.  These times of the day are the most important.

More importatly, be realistic about stillness and space.  Often our greatest obstacle is our own expectation that yoga and meditation is about perfect stillness or having a particular blissful state.  The gift you give to yourself is a timeless realm where you can learn to simply be.  Put some soft music on, open a window, particularly if it is cold outside.  The most important thing is just to bring yourself, start by sitting quietly, maybe writing in a journal, appreciating that first cup of coffee, and then begin to move the body gently through safe and accessible postures.  For a list of correct sequences, please come to our yoga studio, ask a yoga instructor, or sign up for our Facebook page.

The second step is make sure to clear away the clutter.  When your room is messy with piles of clothes or books, this will distract and create also a busy mind. So, in your new, clean space, add some soft lighting, implement new tea lights.  Have some fresh flowers, dry the flowers, purchase a bunch of lavender, fresh cinnamon sticks in a glass, place a picture of yourself when you were little, happy, and full of wonder for this existence.  You may even like to occasionally change your space around adding and taking away family heirlooms or wonderful gifts received from friends.  Have about you, things that bring certainty and good feeling.  You may even like to start an altar or have a vision board with wonderful images from magazine pictures that represent your heart’s true desire.

How do you know when you are practicing the movements correctly?  When you practice yoga, it is supposed to hurt but a good kind of hurt.  Good pain is when your body feels sensation.  Sensation in the body are places where energy has become trapped in the tissues of te body.  Any areas that are tight, achey, confrontational, dull will come up to surface in order that they may heal.  Meeting sensation with breath rather than judgement about what the experience is, will create awareness and greater acceptance.  Use common sense.  Anytime, you feel anything sharp, electrical or taking away your breath, remember this is not yoga.

Meditation is a flow state, a realization of learning to trust in the moment and finding that universal support inside. Be in a state of gratitude for it all.  Be in awe of even the smallest ways in which you receive and are supported by the universe.  Be willing to have a welcoming attitude and open yourself to joy.

Rumi, a famous mystical sufi, once said “sell your cleverness, and purchase bewilderment”. The people that are there in your life, that love you, the peace and quiet of your office space.  The fresh food in your fridge that awaits your next meal.  Realize in this moment, how many people are taking care of you.  More and more, we see that if we are positive and can stay centered, we will attract more of the same.

So, get started having fun, let go of the busy mind that constantly wonders if you are doing it right, and tap into effortless knowing, harmony and meditation that you will find constant universal light within.  The real secret to a successful yoga practice is just to keep on keeping on!




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