Self-Care Tip #1

Take one moment out of your day to relax, meditate, reflect, and recharge.  You’re mind, soul, and spirit will thank you.  

The Business Behind Bending

Behind every flexible & zen yoga instructor there is an employer that does all of the paperwork for them….or there is a busy ass instructor doing paperwork on her off hours of teaching (which she is not getting paid for).  Can you guess which one I am?  Huh?  Have your answer?  I’m about to blow your mind……I am both of these people.  I teach at a total of nine different places, at 2 of those places I am employed and the other 7 I am independently contracted (I run four of them by myself paperwork and all).  I do all the paperwork, emailing clients, updating client information, updating my facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin, online store, and website.  I do this while being a full time massage therapy student, work full time, run a small business, and tries to be a decent human being some of the time.  Which can be incredible hard to manage my time, for example today I have a private client in about an hour.  I should be working on some school/work stuff….but, I am shopping online (using one of my gift-cards I got for Christmas)…..well, I am technically doing working writing this blog post….so I guess not all hope is lost (for my own time management).  For a 24 year old, this is a lot to juggle….but, I enjoy every minute of it….even though dealing have to deal with a lot of bullshit and not being taken seriously by lots of clients (due to my age), and just finding ways to fund my business.  Running a startup business is extremely costly, so you have to find ways to fund-raise and give clients incentives on why they should come to class or buy a certain product from you. So, the real question is who do you go about doing this thing called making/raising money for a start up business?  The first idea is barter.  Barter for everything and anything you can.  Advertise for free as much as you can, for example social media advertising is a glorious thing for a start up business.  Find groups on Facebook that allow businesses to advertise on them, especially ones that will reach your targeted client base.  Maybe, start a blog? I think it’s pretty fun to track my ups and downs in the journey of being a business owner.  Maybe start a a campaign with Teesprings….go check out my new shirt by CLICKING HERE….and reverse your shirt today.  See what I did there? I advertised!  Another way to gain funds for your business is become a representative for a company or two.  For example you can become a rep for PuraVida and get a percentage of commission for every person that uses your specific link….so the next time you want to place an order with PuraVida use LEAHRICHARDS20 to receive 20% off your order!  Not a bracelet person? No problem!  Get in touch with the amazing benefits of essential oils by CLICKING HERE, it will change you life and make you smell amazing!!!  There are a bunch of ways to advertise and fund-raise for your small business, you just have to think outside of the box.  Starting/running a small business is a lot of trial and error and frustration times ten, but I quite enjoying being the boss and calling the shots.  I have high hopes for my yoga business, but even if I don’t reach the hopes I have, at least I know I love what I do and I do what I love. Until nest time, Namaste.

See you on your mat!!!

The Curvy Yogini

Holiday Season Of Love

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!  I hope every that celebrates Christmas had a wonderful Christmas!!!  For those who celebrate other holidays, I hope your holidays were just as wonderful!!!  

Lots of things have happened the past month…..things that I never thought I could do, but somehow managed to do it.  I feel that I am able to look at things in a different light after the last few months.  I successfully completed and passed my first semester of massage therapy classes.  If I continue how I want to continue I will be a licensed therapist by the summer, which feels super surreal and very nerve wracking…because I just barely passed the first semester…..Multiple choice scan-tron tests are my downfall.  So, I guess I will be hitting the tutoring center at the college I am taking classes through.  I also created (with the help of my wonderful mother) two different plans to help with my stress level and to promote success in the program.  Stress affects me in the worst way possible.  When I get stressed out any symptoms that I have from my medical conditions increase and become more prominent.  So the goal going into this next semester is to stay as stress free as possible and keep my eye on the prize!!!  I feel excited for classes and look forward to learning everything and anything I can.  How was everyone’s Christmas (if you celebrate Christmas)? I had a lovely Christmas, I celebrated it with my wonderful Mother (I live with her).  We had a wonderful Christmas Eve with just the two of us at home and than Christmas Day we had some family over.  It was very bitter sweet feeling to not get a phone call from my brother.  I miss him a lot, but I know that he was around in spirit.  It you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful time during the holiday of your choice.  Switching to the topic of New Years, does anyone have any New Years resolutions?  My resolution is to delve deeper into my yoga practice and start a meditation practice too.  I feel that I have started neglecting my own personal practice, which is bad for my physical and mental health.  I need to practice what I preach and right now I am not doing that as much as I should.  I need to be able to take care of myself before I try to take care of other people.

Sending all of you light and love as we enter the new year!!!

Namaste,

The Curvy Yogini

*I do not own the images used on this page unless it is stated. The images used on this page are not used to sell products or used as a logo for 360 Yoga. They are used to make people smile. If you have any questions on the use of images, contact Leah Richards*

Where’s My Mat? I Need To Relax!

While this holiday season keeps creeping up my thoughts tend to go wild and this year is not any different. This has been the first holiday season without my brother being alive/around/here (well however you want to say it) and honestly it sucks… Even though we lived 1000 miles away from each other, I would still call him when I would shop for our parent. I would either Skype him or facetime him and show him everything that I was going to buy our parents and he would either go in on it with me or say, “Nah, Sissy thanks for the offer, but I have what I want to give mom/dad picked out.” Let’s just say he was the best brother and my best friend, I was a lucky person to have him in my life. The funniest thing about my brother was he didn’t like yoga, but he would meditate every morning on the beach near the Atlantic Ocean….he was/is a special cupcake. But….speaking of yoga…..I’m in some desperate need for all the yoga right now. From finishing up my first semester of Massage Therapy School, working my booty off, and finding time to nap. Prioritizing things, my life, and everything else is the most difficult adult thing I have to do…..well that and pay bills. So, during this holiday season I will be yogaing my ass off and trying to find some peace and quiet in a sea of chaos. This is my challenge to myself and I will achieve this (hopefully)!!! As my brother’s favorite band sings, “The music will never stop,” and for me it won’t, I will just keep singing and vibing through life. While I am chilling through life I wanted some awesome Grateful Dead pins, which Jeff at Swabby Jaw hooked me up with. So if you are interested in some awesome merchandise check him out on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SwabbyJaw/?fref=ts (copy and paste into your search bar). Great product and Jeff is an awesome guy and a personal friend of mine.
You guys rock and I will see you on your mat,

The Curvy Yogini

There’s No Rest For The Wicked

Life tends to get in the way of life….Sounds silly, but it’s true!!!  From being in school to going to the BeHealthful Retreat to working to than sleeping.  This has pretty much been my life for the past month.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for all of the great opportunities, but it can be a bit tiring running around all the time.  But, hey isn’t that how life works? We get throw challenges and then learn from them.  Granted I feel like this year I have learned enough lessons for a lifetime…..but, oh well, life can throw whatever it wants at me I am game and ready for the challenge.

The first challenge of life = school

I started massage therapy school in August!!!  I have been wanting to do massage therapy for years and years, so after 8 years of wanting to I signed up for classes.  I was not expecting the amount of studying and money I would have to put into the program.  But, the knowledge is so useful for my yoga instructing that I just go with it and appreciate every moment of the program.

The second challenge of life = work

I am still teaching at 8 places and enjoying every minute of it!!!  Yes, it is time consuming, busy, and I will never become a multimillionaire….but it is so rewarding that I am able to help people.  I couldn’t imagine not having yoga in my life.  I have met some incredible people through yoga, have gained a sense of worth and calming, and it has helped me stay toned (I do have muscle underneath the fluff!!!).  Yes, I work crazy hours and I drive everywhere…but, I feel so accomplished after teaching three classes in a row.  I know that I have helped people and to me that is the most amazing feeling in the world.

The third challenge of life = medical conditions

I struggle with my various diseases and lack of organ on a daily basis.  It has been a struggle to keep everything in control, but I try my best to do it and not complain.  Recently, I found out that some of my levels were not at goal and I have been feeling sick and sluggish.  Thankfully I have excellent doctors that are confident that my levels will be back at a normal state soon.  I try not to let it get me down in the dumps, but this week it really has been difficult to deal with.  But, I just take one step at a time and deal with each day as it comes.  I remember what my late brother would always say to me, “Keep on keeping on sissy, I love you.”  And with those worlds in my head I do.

The fourth challenge in life = relationships

With my busy non traditional schedule I do not have a ton of time to go out and see my friends.  I am lucky enough to have super understanding friends that don’t hold it against me that I am always busy.  My friends think its cool that I don’t work a 9-5 job….granted I am one of the only ones out of the group of my friends that doesn’t sit at a desk all day…so maybe they are just trying to make me feel included (hopefully not).  But, regardless I have the best friends that any person could have.  I am extremely lucky to have all of them in my life.  I also have been with the same wonderful man for over two years.  Unfortunately because of scheduling we do the long distance relationship life that involves lots of texting, phone calls, and skype dates…..but, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He’s amazing and I am so lucky to have him in my life.  I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

My number one cheerleader in my life = My Mother

My mother is the most fantastic person on the planet.  She is kind, giving, patience, helpful, supporting, loving, a hard worker, and THE BEST MOM IN THE UNIVERSE.  Through breakups with boys, colleges, and doctors appointments my mom has been there every step of the way.  If I can be half the woman she is I would be the happiest person on the planet.  I love her with all of my heart and am so lucky to call her my mom,

My guiding light in life = My Older Brother

My brother was my best friend and just an overall amazing human being.  When he passed away eight months ago my world shattered.  He was the most important man in my life, we had a wonderful relationship, and I miss him every single day of my life.  He will forever and always be my guiding light.  When I feel like I’m lost I know he will be there in spirit to show me the way.  When I am lonely I know he will be there to comfort me with a hug.  I know he’s proud of me and I hope to continue to make him proud.

I am extremely lucky to live the life I live!!!  Is it perfect? No, absolutely not!!  But, it’s perfect for me, myself and I.  I have a support system of people that are in my corner every second of the day.  I love my job and love what I am going to school for.  I am lucky enough to be able to go back to school for Massage Therapy (which is totally opposite to what my Political Science BA).  And I am just happy being Leah….would I change things yes…but, am I happy with where my life is going? Absolutely!!!  I encourage all of you that read this post to observe your life and if there is something you don’t like in it, modify it until you are happy with it.  Everyone should lead a happy life, not just some weird yoga instructor that has a blog.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and week.

Until next time

Leah (aka The Curvy Yogini)