6 Ways Yoga Increases Your Self Confidence

rock-731140_640We all want to feel good about ourselves, don’t we? Confidence makes us feel better emotionally and mentally. Our behavior changes as a result and the quality of personal and professional relationships improves. No matter if we want to attract a new work opportunity or a new partner, feeling confident just makes all these endeavors so much easier.

Exercise generally and yoga practice specifically can be one of the best ways to boost your self-confidence. And of course let’s not forget about the great health benefits, either.

6 ways how yoga can boost your confidence

A better mood. How do you feel after a good yoga practice? Of course you feel much better emotionally and physically. A yoga workout will stimulate brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, which promote a general feeling of well-being. The results are a reduction in stress and anxiety. If you lack time to get to a yoga studio before or after work, do take advantage of on-site yoga classes!

Keeps the body in shape. Being is shape involves having a well-toned body and better posture – all aspects connected with self-confidence. When you feel good about yourself, it’s so much easier to make friends and create more professional connections. In return having a flourishing personal network will make you feel more confident.

More energy on demand. If you don’t have the energy to do things, then everything becomes a chore. That can lead to feeling bad about yourself. Regular exercise helps the whole body work more effectively. Instead of dreading chores you can decide to become responsible for your actions and results. And this small shift will make you feel better!

Sleep your way to feeling awesome. It is proven that sleep is necessary for feeling great every day. Getting enough sleep is also the cheapest way to look better. Just imagine preparing for an important meeting and looking in the mirror and seeing dark circles under bloodshot eyes – how confident will you feel? Having that spark in your eyes and spring in your steps will start you on the path of more success – who wouldn’t want that? A gently yoga practice helps you prepare your mind and body for sleep. And you can even practice near bedtime.

Getting clarity. One of the best ways to clear the mind is to exercise regularly. Yoga especially gives you a chance to wipe the slate clean and start from new. In the midst of confusion or having difficulty finding a solution for a problem you face? Get on the mat to find the space for thinking without boundaries and letting go of “the way it should be”. Often, what you thought was a major problem before starting your yoga practice might turn out to be an opportunity in disguise.

Improved focus. Exercising helps you develop the necessary skills to concentrate on the task in hand. Focusing on the most important tasks every day will lead to better results at the workplace and even in your private life. And all the praise you get will make you feel more confident.

Don’t wait to experience the benefits of yoga! Get started today! You can visit Clayton Yoga Studio for a nice class. Or even better yet, set up your on-site yoga program right at your workplace with the help of St. Louis Corporate Yoga. Just give us a call at 314-630-1677!

 

4 Ways To Stop The Critic Inside

shame-799094_640Who is your biggest critic? Your partner or boss? No. Your critic is staring right back at you through the mirror. No one has more power to criticize you as that little voice inside.

We all know how it starts: “You are not good enough. You don’t know enough…. And it never stops, does it? No matter what happens there is always something that you find to criticize on yourself. Now what would happen if somebody else would give you the same treatment? Most probably you would stop them sooner or later!

Why is it that it is so much easier to stand up for ourselves when others criticize us but we keep listening to our own belittling voice inside?

Keep reading to find out four ways that you can send that cynical noisemaker packing.

4 Ways To Stop The Critic

Box up your negativity – literally. This is great exercise especially if you are deeply impacted by your own negative thoughts. In the grand scheme of our life, each problem holds only a small place overall. Seeing it as small minimizes its power over you. Get an empty box or buy a fancy box if you would like. The box needs to be small. Whenever you are plagued by a negative thought about yourself for the way you handled a problem or because you made a mistake, write it down on a piece of paper. Put it away in that small box. See your issue diminishing in size. Why not have a special, extra small box for the office so you can immediately deal with the “work critic”.

Treasure all the good in you. Now get a big box (can be a shoe box that you decorate nicely if you wish) to keep all your achievements, strength, wonderful experiences in one beautiful place. Write them all down and put it into your treasure trove. When you feel negativity bubbling up in you, just look at all the goodness your big box contains!

Accept your imperfections. Oh, yes, you are not perfect. Nobody is. You might procrastinate or forget about your yoga class. You might not be able to do a headstand. Or you might lack effective communication skills. First there is something you can do about these things. Act proactive and find ways how you can improve those imperfections! The baseline is that all the less than perfect parts are still a part of you – the good, the bad, the ugly and the peculiar. Love who you are and then move on to making changes in your life.

Talk to somebody you trust. Explain the situation that makes you feel so bad. Allow a friend or co-worker to console you, counsel you and challenge that negative thought pattern that is condemning you. Depending on the situation, you might think about getting a personal or success coach help you. Many companies offer coaching support to their employees.

Many times stepping away from a situation that triggers your inner critic is the smartest choice.

Why not take advantage of a corporate yoga class to create that distance between you and the mean voice inside? At St. Louis Corporate Yoga we would love to support you so just give us a call at 314-630-1677 to see how a corporate wellness program will benefit your company.

Yoga Testimonials From Our Students

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 3.38.24 PMFor the following blogpost, we chose to capture the most positive testimonials we hear from our folks. We featured several new Clayton Yoga student testimonials telling everyone about the many benefits of yoga they are receiving. We hope especially for beginners that you are inspired to start.

Natalie Warren, Office Representative with St. Louis County tells us for example that yoga, provides her with the much needed time to practice meditation. She finds that she can now practice using her conscious breathing in everyday difficult situations. That this breathing stuff really works! She also says that she now seeks out alternative ways to ensure that I get plenty of rest, and eat well. “I understand no one is perfect and when I do eat a potato chip or something I know I shouldn’t, I find I can let it go much easier and start again with go healthy lifestyle choices.” http://claytonyoga.com/corporate-yoga-benefits.

Lisa Watson, associate editor for Ladue News and fabulous yoga student with Clayton Yoga who talks about the amazing benefits of yoga. Recently, Lisa was set back with a minor car accident and found her back was very tight. Within 48 hours, she decided to try a yoga class with Linda and felt it was very challenging. The next day, however, she woke up feeling much better. Lisa feels she is much more confident in her body’s own healing mechanism and is 90% better and on the road to perfect health once again. http://claytonyoga.com/lisa-watson-talks-about-the-amazing-benefits-of-yoga

Walter Jones has been a housing specialist with St. Louis County for 18 years. Walter found some success with weightlifting, bodybuilding and even Pilates. But in all honesty, he was looking for something that did not build bulk, but rather helped him to feel lighter and more flexible. In practicing yoga, Walter Jones really enjoys the relaxing and soothing breathing and the conscious way he notices how to listen to his body. He likes the fact that at work, his energy levels are very high. The social community that he finds with co-workers is also fun as everyone else apparently really enjoys participating in the yoga program as well. The yoga classes relieve lots of tension and stress during the workday. Walter Jones also states that he feels renewed and more relaxed at work. http://stlouiscorporateyoga.com/walter-jones-corporate-yoga-testimonial

Samantha Eulk, a Yoga Teacher currently in Training at Clayton Yoga. “Yoga came into my life at exactly the perfect time. I didn’t quite know it then, but looking back, it was when I needed it most. I had lost myself for many years, losing my drive and motivation in life, then almost six and a half years ago, I came to the realization that I needed change”.

Jamie Danieli says: “I’ve really enjoyed my Monday evenings at Clayton Yoga. Teachers here are very open to suggestions on what people want to focus on for the evening and willing to change up the class at will. It’s a different type of yoga studio than what I am used to because it feels a lot more informal. I think everyone in the class has a nice time and it’s a very personalized experience. If you are a beginner or someone who has not taken yoga in a while and are trying to get back into it, this is a good place”.

Stop by for a yoga class at Clayton Yoga soon! Check out our class schedule here, www.claytonyoga.com and if you are interested in setting up a corporate onsite yoga class, please call us immediately at 314-630-1677! N.a.m.a.s.T.e.

 

Clayton Yoga Now Serving up 13 Corporate Classes Weekly!

red-112329_640Clayton Yoga now offers through its subsidiary company, St. Louis Corporate Yoga, 13 weekly yoga classes throughout St. Louis. In addition, we offer daily drop-in yoga classes, yoga teacher trainings, and corporate on-site wellness programs since 2003. We are the experts in this field and would love to help you get started.

Summer days are here in full measure. The light can feel long, heat oppressive and pressure to have all that darn fun! Here are some additional helpful tips to help you get through the “dog days” of summer!

Three good reasons to keep up yoga this summer:

1. You need the energy boost yoga gives you in the summer! Heat and humidity can make you feel sluggish. Just thinking about getting in the car and drive to the studio might seem too difficult. In reality, you will walk out of the yoga class energized so it is totally worth the extra effort to get to class. You might want to take early morning or late evening classes during summer if your schedule can accommodate these times.

2. Don’t give up on “me” time! Especially if you have kids, your summer can get even more stressful now that the kids are out of school. Organizing activities, carpooling, managing higher expectations…. And who is at the end of all the lists you produce? You! Keep your yoga class once or twice a week sacred.

3. Keep up good habits! Don’t give up on your good habits even though this might be the easiest solution to manage your busy summer schedule. If you do, it might happen that by the time September comes around, it will be very difficult to get back into the habit of yoga classes. You worked hard to establish this good habit in your life, don’t let it disappear this summer!

To read more about what we offer and do, please click on one of our helpful yoga blogposts here:

http://stlouiscorporateyoga.com/get-unplugged-for-more-serenity/

http://stlouiscorporateyoga.com/what-exactly-is-meditation-and-can-i-begin-practicing-in-the-office-too/

http://stlouiscorporateyoga.com/how-to-deal-with-stress-in-your-workplace/

Our yoga classes are all level style and a great fit for both brand new beginners to yoga as well as those who are more advanced.

Corporate Onsite Yoga Special Promotion

Become a Corporate Yoga Ambassador and receive $100 Amazon Gift Card. Simply refer a new client to us and after three months, we will gladly offer you a way of saying thanks! We also are excited to announce the growing momentum of our corporate yoga 13 corporate wellness yoga classes each week.

Our corporate yoga clients report a much greater overall level of joy, life satisfaction, vitality, and improved energy.

We would love to schedule a complimentary phone consultation at your earliest convenience. Let us help you bring yoga to your workplace – call us 314-630-1677.

Namaste!

Learning To Relax To Prevent Burnout

chrysanthemum-659111_640Learning to relax is one skill that will support you in all situations in life. If you looking to decrease the chance of getting burned out you definitely want to practice relaxation at will.

Why is relaxation so important? You might create free time by traveling or taking a few hours off your usual schedule and visit a spa. You might physically stop working and give yourself the time to relax – sounds great, right? But you don’t give yourself a mental break!

If you’re relaxing on the couch but you’re ruminating and stressing about your page long to-do list, then you are not getting the recharging break that you need! The time you think is all about relaxation became just another type of stress.

In order to properly recharge and to avoid adrenal fatigue you need to switch your mind off as well and you need to avoid additional sources of stressors.

Do you think that crashing in front of the TV on the couch will get your batteries recharged? Not at all. Here is what’s happening: your cortisol levels will increase due to the unnatural light from the TV, your joints might ache as a result of bad posture and of course you might eat a few extra calories that you don’t need. To make it all worse: you’re probably going to still be panicking and stressing about all the work that needs to get done while you stare at the screen.

The best thing you can do to recharge your batteries? Exercise! Do you feel that hitting the gym is just putting more stress on you? There are so many other ways you can get your mental break while exercising! How about taking a funky dance class? Or taking a ballet class? Maybe Tai Chi is more your thing. The important thing is to find an exercise that you love and value. If it feels like a punishment… keep exploring.

Why don’t you enjoy the great outdoors? Look for gentle exercise like a brisk walk in a nearby park. The natural setting will help you to relax while the light exercise will trigger the release of serotonin – a natural antidepressant and a perfect tonic for our stress hormones.

Practicing yoga is an awesome solution for relaxation. Vinyasa flow is perfect for helping you get into a flow like state where stress seem to melt away. St. Louis Corporate Yoga offers Vinyasa classes perfectly adjusted to the stressful setting of corporate life. When your company is willing to invest in on site classes, you don’t even have to travel to the yoga studio… as the yoga instructor comes to you before or during work hours.

In order to properly relax, you need to distract your brain, you need to stimulate the production of serotonin and you need to avoid screens. Better yet, try to choose something that you genuinely enjoy and that you can look forward to. This is about the most important thing because when you do something you love doing, it will produce all the right neurochemicals.

Interested in setting up customized corporate yoga classes at your workplace? We would love to help! Call Michelle at 314-630-1677  to take the first step.

 

 

Clayton Yoga Celebrates 5 Years with St. Louis County – Employee Testimonials

waterfall-612184_1280Our yoga classes throughout St. Louis County government are growing strong! For close to five years, Clayton Yoga has been presenting 9 classes directly with St. Louis County. Even better, many of these students have reported tremendous health benefits and continue to enjoy high levels of excitement for the practice of yoga.

Do you know the real story about how Clayton Yoga Studio got started?

The owner, Michelle Maue, began teaching in 1997, without any formal teacher training. Trusting in her intuition and love for yoga, Michelle just followed her passion and with great excitement started teaching new students at a local community college. Over time, she developed her technique and learned from one of her favorite yoga instructors, Jonny Kest.

Jonny would say that peace was not the absence of conflict but the choice was make to remain peaceful in the face of challenge and difficulty. Yoga empowered Michelle to become better with her finances and gave her the strength to achieve her dreams.

Today, she has taught over 5,000 corporate yoga classes and trained over 500 fabulous yoga instructors around the world. Michelle likes Vinyasa yoga because of its healing, lasting and powerful results.

Let’s see what some of the yoga participants say about these fabulous yoga classes.

“The main thing I like about the St. Louis Corporate Yoga classes is the convenience. I work during business hours here at St. Louis County and I also have a part-time job that I work in the evenings and on the weekends. I exercise during my lunch hour and I actually feel like I’ve accomplished something great for the day. I’ve noticed a greater sense of calm in potentially stressful situations. St. Louis Corporate Yoga has helped me to focus on my daily tasks and produce better quality work. This benefits me and in turn benefits my employer both personally and professionally.” Natalie Warren

“You were awesome today! Everyone was feeling great after class. That’s all they talked about.” De’lacey Robinson

“When I found out St. Louis Corporate yoga was being offered at my workplace, I signed up for the convenience. However, after a few classes, the instructor was better than most I had practiced with and I was pleased to continue with yoga at work. Mentally, I use deep breathing and meditative aspects of St. Louis Corporate yoga when encountered with stressful moments throughout my day. These methods have helped me deal with my own anxiety and stress so that I can be at my best on a day to day basis. Yes, I would recommend yoga to others.” Sharon Schuler

If you are interested in having yoga at your workplace, please contact 314-630-1677. You will be very glad you did! Namaste!

 

 

Got Breath?

yoga-422196_640This blogpost offers an introduction to deep belly breathing at the office! For over ten years, St. Louis Corporate Yoga has offered more than 2,500 yoga classes to the corporate clientele in St. Louis, Missouri. Learn here in this wonderful blogpost why deep yoga breathing works and how easy it is to implement a daily deep breathing yoga practice.

Deep yoga breathing unlocks the diaphragm muscle, associated with courage. When we breathe correctly, we ignite the parasympathetic nervous system and calm the anxious mind. Breathing deeply massages all the internal organs, reconnects us to our lightness, strength and inner peace. When our mind is calm, the body is at peace. Widespread scientific evidence tells us that deep relaxation and breathing lowers blood pressure and causes a decrease in the bodies cortisol or stress hormone levels.

Breathing correctly reignites our natural presence and desire to be open, curious and explorative both in our thinking and discussion with others. Deep breathing ignites our courage, up levels of positive thinking, and increases feelings of trust, connection, motivation and appreciation. Breathing soothes the nervous system, helps us to remain grounded and seek out solution based practices. Shifting our focus onto the breath, wherever we go, we can find the natural ability to awaken and realize our natural state is joy!

Wayne Dyer once said, change the way you see something and what you will see changes. Friendly people live in a friendly world, hostile people live in a hostile world, same world.

Here is a beautiful yoga breathing exercise written by one of our favorite yoga teachers, Nicole Thompson, who currently teaches corporate onsite yoga for St. Louis Corporate Yoga.

Breathing Practice

“Lie flat on your back and close your eyes. Breathe naturally. In through the nose, and out through the nose.

Begin to deepen your breath. Inhale, 1,2,3,4. Exhale, 1,2,3,4. Feel the breath fill your lungs. Exhale slowly, completely. Inhale. Feel the space it creates between the ribs. Exhale slowly. Breathe into your side ribs. Notice how the chest expands, creating space from your collar bones down to your abdomen.

With each inhalation, scan your body. Notice any tightness or tenseness and breathe here and as you exhale, release the tension. With each breath in, locate some area where you’re gripping or holding tension, even just a little bit, and with each exhale, release that part of the body. You can start to cultivate Ujayii breath and ride the breath in and out of the body. We do this by slightly constricting the passageway in the back of the throat to create an audible hissing sound on the inhale and exhale. It can help throughout our practice to return to this breath when our mind begins to wander or we find ourselves struggling in a pose.

Place your hands on your belly and breathe into your belly. Let the inhale pour into the belly and fill the lungs. Exhale completely, getting rid of all of the old air to make space for fresh air. Feel your belly rise and fall slowly with each breath. The breath is a wave. Follow that wave in and out of the body slowly, consciously. Listen to the sound of the waves.”

If you are interested in reaping the tremendous benefits of onsite corporate yoga and joining the ranks of our many different corporate yoga clients, why not set up a personal consultation phone call to see how onsite yoga classes can bring positive change at your company. Just give us a call at 314-630-1677! Namaste.

 

Help Your Employees Deal with Job Stress

calculator-178127_640Is your organization one of the very few companies worldwide whose employees have only moderate stress? It is no secret that stress is commonplace and even expected in a work environment.

While some stress will actually increase productivity, there is a fine balance between stress that helps and stress that destroys performance. Conflicting personalities and work methods, increased responsibilities, pressure from management and peers – it all adds up to increasing stress levels for your people.

How can an organization help its employees to better deal with work related stress? Yes, it is possible to ease the burden of stress with simple and cost effective methods!

Create an environment that supports a great work climate. If there is a chance to involve your employees in creating their own work spaces, definitely take advantage of that.  Even if all you offer is to decide on the color scheme of the office, your employees will be happier to work in a room they helped design. Soft uplifting colors, some selected art pieces on the walls will work wonders to keep employees inspired all day.

Invest in ergonomic furniture if all possible. Sitting for hours in the office is a cause of many dangerous health issues. People who suffer from constant pain have very low tolerance level for stress. Fortunately there are many healthy options out there, special chairs and even standing desks enabling working standing up. What a blessing to be able to choose the position that minimizes any discomfort. These ergonomic options might cost more at first, but will pay back in the long run.

Add a plant to every office. Large plants will clean the office air and adding to the wellbeing of your employees. Their vitality and lovely green colors will cheer up everybody.

Adding an aquarium to an open office or to the entrance area will soothe the eyes of not just your people, your visitors will enjoy the sight, too.

Many companies had good experience with using Feng Shui (Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing the human existence with the surrounding environment)  principles when designing the workplace.

Offering seminars and programs around health, nutrition, and overall well-being gives your employee an opportunity to heal what ails them. Having speakers come to speak on subjects of yoga, exercise, and healthy food choices gives an employee the opportunity to learn techniques and tactics to de-stress on his or her own.

Financing corporate wellness programs is an investment although many times employees are more than happy to contribute to the costs.

St. Louis Corporate Yoga brings yoga to the workplace! On the basis of more than a decade of offering yoga classes at the office we know that when you take an interest in the well-being of your employees’ it will reflect in your office atmosphere. This is a win/win situation.

Would you like to take the first step in adding yoga to the workday? Let us advise you how your organization can integrate yoga in order to have healthier and happier employees. Just call us at 314-630-1677!

 

The Best Start to Your Workday

sunrise-182302_640Do you find that the beginning of your day has a major impact on your whole work day? Have you ever had a real bad start that didn’t want to stop until you finally dropped into bed?

The preparation for a great workday begins in the evening before. The more prep you can do before going to bed, the more stress free your morning become. Now, this doesn’t sound as the most unique tip ever, right? But how many of us do this?

Go to bed early or at least earlier than usual. It is easy to think that you can cut back on sleep. In fact when we have too much on our plates, this might be the first solution we try: let’s burn some midnight oil and get that last pieces of stuff done before we fall in bed. Now this can function for some time, even for weeks. But inevitable the day comes when your body will send you warning signals. Maybe you will find it difficult to fall asleep even if you feel very tired. Or you cannot wake up and sleep in. Or your stress levels explode. Don’t wait until this happens. Respect your sleep and never cut it short except for emergencies.

Get up a few minutes early. If you had enough sleep to replenish your energy, it will be fairly easy to hop out of bed. Did you know that we sleep in 90 minute cycles? If you can time your wake-up at the end of a 90-min cycle, it will be a breeze to wake up the next day. This is how you can easily calculate when you should jump in bed: if you want to wake up at 6am, go to bed at 10:30 pm for getting a good night’s sleep (7,5 hours).

Arrive a few minutes early at the office. Just imagine arriving 5 minutes early instead of 2 minutes late? Do you feel your stress level going down? You ca use the extra 5 minutes to arrive calmly and breathe out when you get to your desk. Maybe making a short action list for the day? Or looking through your projects and making a priority list? Or have a short chat with a co-worker?

Mindful beginnings. Now that you have a few extra minutes in the morning, you can take just 1 minute to be mindful. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly. Then another deep breath. Focus on your body. Breathe in to welcome the day, then breathe out to let all stress flow out of your body. Try this mindful breathing sequence and see the results it bring to your life!

You can repeat the same mindful breathing at lunch break, too. This way you prepare yourself for a stress-less afternoon.

Does your company offer corporate yoga classes at the office? Definitely take advantage of those! And if you don’t have a corporate wellness running at your workplace yet, please talk to the HR staff. Please refer them to this site to learn about the benefits corporate yoga programs offer to all participants!

 

 

 

Create Routines To Manage Stress

daisy-144677_640What causes major stress in your work life? There is a good chance that you will say things like this: unmanageably deadlines, cranky coworkers, unreasonable bosses, heavy workload and too much administration.

You would probably not answer “having to make too many decisions”.

Most probably you are not even aware of the fact that decision-making is a powerful cause of stress in your work and private life.

Every time you make a decision, whether it is about hiring an employee, scheduling a meeting, or choosing eggs or avocado for your sandwich, you actually create a state of mental tension which is a stress factor. Now hiring a new team member is more demanding than picking your sandwich for lunch and so is the stress tied to the decision making process.

Making many small decisions can wear you out quickly. This is the reason why it is exhausting to go shopping. The almost constant decision-making state you are in when you constantly have to choose between the different prices, qualities, brands, etc. Having an abundance of choice can be exhilarating, though. No wonder that shopping is a favorite pastime.

How can you reduce the number of decisions you have to make every day? Create some powerful routines! If fact create as many as possible!

Yes, creating routine doesn’t sound very exciting…. Hearing the word “routine” is enough to send some of us running the other direction. Routine in not “sexy”.

Just remember when you first learned how to drive. At first every move had to be considered and that is why you were driving slow, slow, slow. Then you got more and more experience and you developed your driving routine. Now you don’t even notice the zillion small decisions you make on your commute to work – it is all done automatically. Until of course something strange or unexpected happens like a fellow driver cutting you off and you immediately have a decision to make: get angry and curse or let it go.

What activities can you systemize and add as small routines to your life? You can create a morning and evening routine. A menu plan for the week. A master shopping list for the month. No more last minute shopping runs and buying all the wrong food choices. Wouldn’t that be just an amazing thing?

At work, you can set up weekly meetings with your team at the same time and place every week. A great example could be a weekly kick-off meeting on Monday mornings at 9 am.  No more decisions to make around whether to meet or not and if yes, when and where and who should be invited, etc.

Taking corporate yoga classes can become a powerful routine in your life, too. Just make the decision once to take the class at your workplace. Plan it in your daily schedule. Then enjoy the benefits of a consistent yoga practice. The important thing is that you don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to ask every week: do I go to yoga or not? It is all set and no more decision is needed aka less stress in your day.

Reduce your stress by having as many routines as possible in your daily life as well as in your working life to reduce the number of decisions you have to make each day. Start today!