Meeting up with other people in the wellness field has been a game changer for me- I began learning about so many new ideas through meetups! When I met with Margo Chabot, it was like I had met my spirit animal. Margo's a yoga instructor as well as the founder of Project Goodness, which is a worldwide movement inspiring people to find the amazing ness that surrounds us!
It may be no surprise to you that no matter how much I talk and write about the importance of mindfulness and recovery tools like yoga, I can't actually leap into DOING it consistently. This month has been all about me supercharging my own health and implementing those habits I've always wanted to add into my wellness routine. I asked Margo some questions that I think many of you out there are thinking!
Q: So Margo, for readers like me who just can't wrap their mind around yoga being considered a "workout" and therefore not willing to schedule it into our week, what can you say to convince us?
A: Practicing yoga builds strength and increases flexibility. It doesn’t have to replace what you are already doing, but it would be a great thing to add in. You will find that when you do, your other workouts will feel even better - in addition to you feeling more calm, centered, and in touch with yourself!
Q: Is yoga more for your body or more for your mind? I go to exercise to workout my body but my mind could definitely use some work!
A: It’s really what you make of it. When you get on the mat, you have a choice, to check in or check out.
When you choose to check in, it becomes a “mental workout” in addition to a physical one. By choosing to check in, you bring self into the present moment – a place we get pulled out of often with worries, regrets, and to-do lists. By choosing to check in you keep bringing your mind back to the moment when it naturally strays. Another way it works our minds, is that what we learn on the mat, we can take off the mat- making it can be a great place to build a habit! Your yoga mat can be a miniature world, where you will probably encounter a lot of the feelings you feel everyday. As an example, when a hard yoga pose comes up, what do you do? When “life pose” / situation comes up, what do you do? Chances are they are very similar. The yoga mat would then be a great place to practice self love, being easy on yourself, and using positive self talk (instead of, “why cant you do this?!”.. etc).
Q: There's all these funky names for yoga classes- vinyasa, flow, hot - as a newbie so many people don't know what these names are and its just another reason why we don't walk into yoga classes. Can you break down what these types of yogas mean and which is best for me?
A: The best think for you, and any “newbie” is to go to a beginner level class (and if there is not one offered at your gym or local yoga studio – at least go up to the teacher before class and let them know you are new to yoga). The most important thing I tell anyone starting out is stop right away if something doesn’t feel right. Everybody’s body is different and it is very important to listen to yours.
Q: What about kids? Is there a benefit to getting my kids in on the yoga action? My daughter is actually doing yoga in an after school program now, by the way!
A: Yoga for kids is amazing. I work with children as young as 2, and I see the difference yoga makes for them. Its creativity sparking and confidence boosting, and can help them self regulate. One of my favorite things to teach kid is what a calm body feels like, and how to have one. A lot of us grow up hearing the term “calm down” and have no idea what to do with that. One more thing, yoga is also a great place for kids to learn what they can do with their energy, and how they can use it in a safe, fun, and playful way.
I think FINALLY convinced me! I never thought about taking what you learn "on the mat" and applying it to my every day life! Plus the mental workout for me would definitely enhance my own focus and creativity! Also, lately I've had issues with my older daughter telling me "her body is going too fast," and I think that self regulation is so important.
What do you guys think? Can you find the time to add in yoga, for yourself or your kids?
For more information on enhancing your kid's mindfulness check out:
Kid's Mindfulness Workshop Resource Guide
Thinking Outside the Box on Kid's Wellness
For more information about Margo:
Margo Chabot is the founder of Project Goodness, a community dedicated to noticing and adding to the goodness in and around us. She is also a certified health coach, and yoga instructor for kids and adults. She is passionate about giving out the tools to live happy, meaningful, and fulfilling lives.
Instagram: @withgoodness @projectgoodness