• Using Yoga to Slow Down Our Lives | Nancy Belisle | Episode 68

  • Today we’re talking about the common problems of stress and busyness that most families face. From crazy schedules to emotional explosions, modern families deal with it all. We know there are many ways to tackle these problems and today we’re taking a look at yoga as a resource to see what it really is and how we can use yoga to slow down our lives. There’s more to yoga than most of us realize and it may just be the solution you’re looking for. Mighty Parenting podcast hosts Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler chat with Nancy Belisle about the misconceptions around yoga and the various forms it can take as well as how it can connect us and heal our relationships.

     

    A Favorite Quote from the Show:

    “When I don’t relax, get quiet and take those moments to let things go, they build up. Then it’s like they become a barrier between me and family to communicate. When I’m doing yoga regularly, I’m a much better mom than I am when I let the busyness of life take over. When I don’t take that time for myself, everything else gets busier.” ~ Judy

    High Points of Using Yoga to Slow Down Our Lives:

    Families face a lot of different stressors: the intense business of family life, long days, being tired, feeling judged, information overload, feeling compelled to do everything and take advantage of every opportunity.

    Parents are saying, “I’m tired and I’m done!”

    This stress has physical, mental and emotional repercussions for us and our kids.

    Functioning from a place where we are stressed impacts our parenting and our relationship with our kids.

    Yoga, fast or slow, laid back or intense, helps us release all the pent-up stress and feelings inside of us.

    But how can I add one more thing onto my already full plate? Well, when we’re stressed and unable to relax, we create situations that take our time and energy. So, it can be more about shifting how we spend our time rather than finding more time.

    Tip: Take a moment at the family dinner table (or breakfast or in the car) and have everyone take a half dozen deep breaths.

    When Sandy gets stressed, she goes into hyper-focused hyper-drive, pushing to do more, faster and the most direct way possible. This stresses out her family which results in an unhappy and inefficient household.

    What yoga really is: It’s yoking your breath, body, mind and spirit; bringing everything together to make a better you. It comes in hundreds of forms. It’s really about what you need.

    There are many different types of yoga. Some is more focused on the breath, some is more powerful, some has set sequences of poses. You can look at the yoga tree to see the different types and those include bikram yoga (hot yoga where you use a mirror to look yourself in the eye), chair yoga (no need to get down on the floor and it is highly effective), yin yoga (focused on the fascia, releasing and stretching beyond the muscles to ligaments, tendons and joints to create more space), vinyasa (using breath and flowing from movement to movement), restorative yoga (everything is propped so you don’t use any muscles).

    Sandy was amazed at how much mental and emotional baggage she dumped in yin yoga.

    We usually think about holding emotions and stress in our shoulders but we carry a lot in our hips. Opening them up helps us release it.

    Yoga can be a parent/kid time or family time.

    Although our kids may balk or may not have liked one type of yoga, they may enjoy (or be willing to tolerate) another style.

    Judy used yoga to heal herself—calming her nervous system and lowering her blood pressure.

    “When I don’t relax, get quiet and take those moments to let things go, they build up. Then it’s like they become a barrier between me and my family to communicate or to discuss the more difficult things. When I’m doing yoga regularly, I’m a much better mom than I am when I let the busyness of life take over. When I don’t take that time for myself, everything else gets busier.” ~ Judy

    In yoga nidra meditation you don’t move at all. It’s a meditation practice that’s steeped in yoga philosophy.

    Finding a yoga practice that works for you can be like trying on a pair of shoes. Sometimes they’re perfect immediately, sometimes it’s absolutely wrong immediately, and sometimes you have to wander around the store a little while to see if this different feeling is right for you.

    Remember, our kids are watching us. Making time for yoga can model great self-care for our kids.

    Resources:

    We mentioned yoga nidra meditation. We did an entire show on that so listen in to learn what it is and what it can do for you. A Cure For Exhaustion | Karen Brody | Episode 47

    Our Guest:

    Nancy’s parents put her on skis at age 2 and she’s been racing to every finish line since. With a BS in Early Childhood Education specializing in infant and toddler behavior, Nancy started her career teaching young children. In 1995 Nancy became an ACE certified personal trainer.

    In 2005 she needed a diversion from high intensity fitness, both practiced and taught, and was pleasantly surprised by the difference that yoga made in her life. She was hooked. Nancy trained with Lawrence Biscontini and has taught yoga since 2011 but always had it on her bucket list to earn her 200hr RYT. That goal was attained in November 2016 and that original taste of yoga in ’05 turned into life altering learning in ’16. The depth of knowledge gained in yoga theory, history and alignment was only surpassed by self-inquiry, reflection, challenge and confidence. She loves to share her passion on the importance of taking care of our minds and bodies in a variety of ways. Along with being a personal trainer for 22 years, Nancy also teaches sculpt, boot camp, Yin, Vinyasa and Fusion Yoga fusion. Nancy and her husband, Rich, have 2 grown children and 1 grandson.

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