Connection. Balance. Simplicity.

Adulting can be a real challenge some days. Self care is vital to avoiding burnout and compassion fatigue. Here’s how to make self care routines easy, rather than just adding one more item to your ever growing list to do, hoping you’ll fit in today.

Though we know it is essential, a little TLC for the self is frequently overshadowed by a half dozen other responsibilities, errands, and appointments that crept onto our to-do list. So our knee jerk reaction is to push harder, work faster, stay up later and try harder. Because the more we do, the more productive we are, right? But consider for a moment if the opposite were true…

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

Emily O'Dea Teaches Pilates & Yoga at Longevita Pilates & Yoga Studio in Auburn

Meet Emily! Pilates instructor, yoga teacher, Longevita’s Community Director, wife and mom. Better believe she is an advocate for staying connected and balanced to avoid burnout and fatigue!

More than a decade ago, Emily fell in love with yoga during a chaotic time in life. She left her corporate career path, went through heart break, and has through the years became dedicated to the healing practices of yoga, Ayurveda and Pilates. 

Teaching since 2012, Emily has earned her certification as a Pilates instructor and completed 500 hours of yoga teacher training with a specialty in both pre and postnatal yoga. Her classes at Longevita are fused with a blend of influences from biomechanics, fascia research, Ayurveda and therapeutic applications of yoga. She also incorporates her training of both the SmartSpine™ Wellness System and the Essential Low Back Program into many of her private Pilates and yoga sessions. 

For Emily, Pilates and yoga are much more than being fit, more than movement. It’s about connection. It’s about seeking balance on a physical-, mental-, and soul-level. It’s about taking care of the whole self.

Seek Connection

A healthy dose of self care requires connection. Take time to nourish your own mind-body connection. Intentionally schedule things into your days that bolster you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. These small things done routinely make daily adulting much less challenging.

Taking good care of yourself also requires community connection. At least once a day, surround yourself with likeminded people who fortify your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. 

How do you foster your mind-body connection? Where do you find your community connection?

An Example from Emily

After the birth of her daughter, Emily recognized a real disconnect with the misinformation and lack of information on so many pre/postnatal topics – like pelvic floor disfunction and mood disorders – that mark the path to motherhood. Her own experience inspired her to begin building a community at Longevita and online with gentle reminders for mamas to sustain the mind-body connection and opportunities to connect with other local mamas and mamas-to-be in weekly pre/postnatal yoga classes. 

Postnatal Mom + Baby Yoga at Longevita Pilates & Yoga Studio in Auburn

Seek Balance

The suggestion to maintain healthy work-life balance isn’t new. What is trending lately, however, is taking this simple suggestion to the next level by thinking about wellness and striking that balance in a more routine, everyday kind of way. We all need easy, do-able ways to ease stress and anxiety and help us feel like we are maintaining our mind-body connection balanced daily.

The tendency is for us to think we need to feel balanced before before we add balancing things to our days?! We tell ourselves that we will start Pilates, just as soon as we whittle down our to do list and have more free time. Or that we will get back to doing yoga regularly, right after we lose a little weight or get a little stronger. (Spoiler alert: neither of those things are prerequisites for yoga class.) Or that we will start eating better, once we get past the stressful situation we are currently working through.

The reality is, doing Pilates, getting to yoga class, and eating better are examples of exactly what sets the stage for balance!

An Example from Emily

Emily was first introduced to Ayurveda (“EYE-yer-VEY-da”; a Sanskrit word meaning the science of life/longevity) during her first yoga teacher training. It is considered the sister-science of yoga. Ayurvedic Practitioners incorporate nutrition, daily self care routines, exercise (usually in the form of yoga) and meditation into individualized plans to help keep each person they treat balanced and harmonious – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. 

One of the most accessible ways for us Westerners to dip our toe into the Ayurvedic waters: food. Food is medicine. What we eat – and how it is prepared even – can be done mindfully to set the stage for good health and that balanced feeling. You can read Emily’s full story here, where she retells her own life experience working with an Ayurvedic Practitioner.

Ayurveda and Yoga

Want to learn more about using food to help sustain a sense of balance? Check out these two cookbooks by Kate O’Donnell: 

Seek Simplicity

Self care need not be an elaborate ritual or a scheduling nightmare. It is the little things we can do daily that affirm our innate need for a healthy sense of connection and harmonious balance. When we are simply grounded, operating from our parasympathetic nervous system (in “rest and digest mode”), then adulting seems less challenging. 

Share with us in the comments: How do you connect? How do you incorporate a little balance into your daily routine?

Finding connection and balance a little elusive? Join Emily for a class, workshop, or the spring retreat, and take that step towards better connection and balance in your days.