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Embracing Your Fears Through Yoga
Wellness
Published Thursday Jun 21, 2018 by Georgina Marie

Embracing Your Fears Through Yoga

Yoga
Personal Growth

In June, my guiding mantra is “great things never came from comfort zones.” This holds true when starting, maintaining and growing through a yoga practice—especially when you enter into the wonderful world of yoga with fear, nervousness or insecurity. I know this feeling all too well. Two and a half years later, I now understand that fear does not need to be an action that holds us back, but rather one that springs us forward.
 
Before yoga, I was stuck in a toxic, long-term relationship. I was plagued with stress, depression and felt disconnected. My relationship, along with many other life factors, became a weight I was obligated to carry around, leading to an overwhelming feeling of stagnation. I needed to take action, or I knew my life would never improve, and my body would ultimately suffer. My first step towards personal recovery: yoga.
 
One day, I found a local Iyengar studio in my hometown. Starting with a beginner’s class, I was unsure how I would feel and if I would fit in, especially as a woman with a larger body. Yoga is only for fit people, right? I was worried about how I would appear to others, if I could handle certain poses, if I would fall…or fail?
 
That first class changed me. After years of neglect and disconnect, being in a yoga class where I was immediately forced to find my connection—even with some discomfort or tension as I settled into new ways of moving my body—was exactly what I needed at that phase in my life. Sometimes we stay right where we are, no matter the pain because we fear change. But in yoga I found change and fear to be synonymous with strength. I faced my fear and guess what? I didn’t fail. I blossomed. 
 
I practiced Iyengar for a few weeks before I found and fell in love with vinyasa, which is all about heat, flow, and heart-racing movement. I have also since practiced Bikram, restorative, Buti and aerial yoga, but my heart is in vinyasa. No matter the yoga class, I have practiced with people of all shapes, sizes, and ages and there was never any judgment. I learned quickly that yoga is not discriminatory. It is for everyone. It is for every body
 
Each instructor I’ve encountered since beginning yoga always inspires me with the same message: If we fall, we get back up (and we do fall in yoga, many times); we bend so we don’t break. Fear ultimately has the potential to turn into motivation, rather than a setback. By accepting this truth on the mat, I changed how I handle situations outside of the studio—trusting myself to face what I am afraid of. But this doesn’t mean life, or our yoga practice becomes easier.
 
Less than a month after finding yoga, I gained the courage to end my relationship. An incredibly significant, scary, and courageous decision that I couldn’t have done without learning what I did from my yoga practice. Don’t get me wrong, there are still moments of discomfort and weakness, but focusing my mindset on embracing fear shifts my ability to handle the hardships that come my way. Don’t be afraid to jump! Let yourself fall, and you’ll find that you do get back up. May your practice lead you to the fearless warrior you are inside.
 
Namaste.

Georgina Marie
Written by
Georgina Marie
Contributor
About the author
Georgina is a poet from Lake County, CA. Working with a community nutrition program serving low-income families, Georgina also volunteers for a non-profit animal shelter. She enjoys dancing, hiking, painting, practicing vinyasa yoga and spending lazy Sundays in bed with her two dogs and cat.
what is wellness
Wellness
Published Wednesday Oct 06, 2021 by Denise Prichard

What is Wellness?

Expert Advice
Wellness

To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.

Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.

If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.

Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.

Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.

Here’s what you all had to say.

Wellness is more important to you than ever

According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.

I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.

What wellness means to the pros

Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.

Here’s what they had to say.

“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights

“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center

“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio

“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates

Putting wellness into action

I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.

Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Senior Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.