Feeling tired, stressed and burnt out? Yoga and meditation basics could be just what you need. Maddie tells us about her journey from corporate burn out to yoga teacher and freelance marketer. She had to go through the bad stuff to get to the good.
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Maddie spent years working in the corporate world, even though deep down she knew it wasn’t for her. She eventually hit a crisis point after a bad break up and other personal stresses. Anxiety, fibromyalgia and gut issues were just some of the symptoms she spent thousands of dollars trying to fix with GPs and traditional practitioners. With no changes and at a total loss, she decided to go on a yoga retreat to Bali (I’m feeling a hint of Eat Pray Love coming on here!).
The yoga retreat changed her life.
Doing yoga twice a day in Bali and learning all the yoga and meditation basics and beyond, she realised how life changing the practice is. “With anxiety, you can’t control your thoughts and you never get a break. But with yoga, it’s the exact opposite”. Maddie goes on to explain that during yoga your focus is 100% on movement and breath. You release so much energy in the body by doing this, including built up negative emotions. It was this healing journey that led her to book into a Yoga Instructor course as soon as she returned to Brisbane. The course was challenging, but she loved it. She learnt so much and herself and her passion though doing it.
In true Eat Pray Love style, she soon met the man of her dreams, who just happened to live by the beach, an hour south of where she was living in Brisbane. Living by the beach was a long time dream of Maddie’s and she ended up quitting her job and starting her own digital marketing business as well as teaching yoga on the coast. People told her it was too risky, but she made it work. “It’s what happens when you make yourself a priority.”
Maddie’s Precious Tips
- Prioritize time for yourself - even if you have kids or no money. You’ll find a way to do this. Find out what makes you happy so you can do it every day.
- Change your mindset - It’s not selfish making yourself the priority. Fill your own cup so you have more to give to others and you’re not running on empty.
- Be your own counsellor - close your eyes and ask yourself how you feel. That’s self love. Repair the trust you’ve broken with yourself over the past because of regrets, bad mistakes, or negative self talk.
- Mantras - override negative thoughts with something a repeated phrase that means something powerful to you. “I love myself”, “I forgive myself”, “I am safe.”
- Find a studio that resonates with you. Each studio is different and each style of yoga is different. Get the feel for the space and the people and see if they are a match.
- Balance your practice with a mix of both Yin (Feminine) and Yang (masculine) classes. Vinyansa, for example, is very physical (Yang) whereas, restorative and Yin practices are more focussed around stretching, breathing and meditation.
- If you’re at burnout point or feel like you have no energy, Yin and Restorative practices help kick in your parasympathetic nervous system, which will renew your energy and body, just like when you sleep.
The best way to get into meditation is to start with some short, guided meditations. Mix it up; see what you like and what works for you. Maddie likes Insight Timer - an app that has meditations for anything. The great feature of this app is that you can set a timer for if you fall asleep.
Remember not to be hard on yourself. Just start with taking some time out for yourself to breath. Any amount of time is actually training your brain to switch off. You get better and better at it the more you do it!
Don’t be afraid to try different meditations to find one that suits. Think outside the square. Maddie loves a sound healing meditation class that she goes to once a week. It sounds a bit woo woo, but she says even her fella really likes it (and he’s not into meditation at all!)
The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
You’ll soon find that it helps you cope with everyday situations. The lessons you experience in yoga are what you take into your life. You may be feeling uncomfortable in a position that you are holding, for example, this is just like the uncomfortable feeling you face in certain situations in your life. You learn to breathe through it and make choices on how you react. You don’t even have to be aware of it. The changes just happen!
Maddy goes on to explain that the practices encompass the past, present and future. Your asanas (poses) are about the past. Your practice will depend on what you’ve eaten, how much energy you have and how you’ve spent your day.
Breath is about the present - how you’re breathing tells you about how you’re feeling at that point in time.
And finally, mediation is about the future, because when you meditate you take those good feelings and peace with you into your day and that in turn gets passed onto others..
Tune in at the 25-minute mark where Maddie tells us what makes her cry, what gives her a belly laugh and what advice she’d give her teenage self. It seriously brought a tear to my eye.
It was such a pleasure to interview Maddie as our first guest on the WPL podcast. She has an infectious joy and positivity and I look forward to involving her in some of our future content for you. Reach out to her on the below links and tell her how awesome she is!
MyJourneyYoga - Insta https://www.instagram.com/myjourneyyoga/
Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life https://www.amazon.com.au/You-Can-Heal-Your-Life-ebook/dp/B000SEHQ96
Insight Timer - https://insighttimer.com/
First make the Beast Beautiful - Sarah Wilson http://www.sarahwilson.com/2017/01/first-make-beast-beautiful/