Beauty Break: Yoga at Work
Yoga is a big part of our lives and the practice perfectly complements our Kari Gran philosophy of being kind to yourself and loving the all-natural approach. There are days (OK, many days) when things are crazy, crazy, crazy around the office and if it wasn’t for yoga, our heads would be spinning, our shoulders tense, our minds frazzled. Sometimes we feel we’d be adrift without it – and to that end, when setting up shop, we decided to create our own personal little yoga studio right smack in the front of our office.
It doesn’t get much better than yoga at work, and here are some of our secrets:
How We Found Yoga
Kari: I have practiced yoga on-and-off throughout different times in my life, and when I started hitting the big 4-0, I decided it was something I was interested in practicing regularly. I tried a bunch of different yoga studios locally in Seattle, and found a studio and teacher I enjoyed. She pushed me to be a better practitioner and, most importantly, introduced me to a style that was perfect (both mentally and physically!), and I believe that truly makes a difference. The good news about yoga is that if you try one type you’re not particularly in love with, there are so many other styles to try, so be sure to experiment and find one you love to reap all the fantastic benefits!
Lisa: When I turned 48, I decided that I wanted to head into my 50th year looking and feeling the best that I could. I’ve always hated the gym environment, so I never really stuck with it. I also have knees that swell up if I run very much, so that was out for me too. On a lark, I tried Pilates and loved it. I became religious about it. One day at the Pilates studio, they offered a free yoga class, so I tried it and was really surprised how much it spoke to me. While I loved Pilates, I was still looking for something that had more of a mental component to it: yoga it was!
The Daily Routine
Kari: My daily routine usually typically starts around 6 a.m. (a.k.a. zero dark-thirty in the dead of winter!). Two to three times a week, at that hour – when it’s quiet and I can focus on my intentions – I take to the yoga mat. It gives me the energy to tackle the day and makes life just that much easier. Conveniently, we have our own yoga studio space incorporated into the Kari Gran office, so Lisa and I often have friends join us in the morning or take an afternoon yoga break to clear our minds. We’re very lucky that way!
Complementing the Kari Gran Philosophy
Kari + Lisa: We practice a style of yoga called Ashtanga Vinyasa. It involves synchronizing our breath with a progressive series of postures and heating up the body to create a purifying sweat that detoxifies muscle and organs. The results include improved circulation, a light and strong body and a calm mind. A total triple threat. Our beloved teacher uses the Sanskrit word “ahimsa” to help us focus when we’re down on the mat – it means “not harming others or yourself” and it’s the “yourself” part that’s key to the KG philosophy. We say “be kind to your skin,” and we try our best to practice self-kindness in all aspects of our lives and encourage others to do so too.
The Many Benefits
Kari: I’m a strong believer that regularly practicing yoga provides me with an escape from the stress that daily life often brings (we’re a relatively new business, people!). It reminds me to take a moment, breathe and to relax. After I have, it is much easier to digest the obstacles that come my way. I can honestly say yoga has become my saving grace by calming my mind, and keeping me flexible and strong.
Lisa: For me, yoga has both a calming mental side along with the obvious physical benefits. The discipline of yoga also helped me through a very painful period in my life that led to learning Transcendental Meditation about a year ago. The combination has been powerful in helping create balance as I walk through life, and as we run a boutique business. I now have more energy and sleep like a baby every night. Yoga and meditation are a big darn deal in my life!
Kari & Lisa