A letter to our Mindbody community
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As I reach my thirty-somethings, it seems natural to reevaluate where I am—and where I want to be. From mini freak-outs about my “not so robust” 401K, to fertility conversations with my best friends, to finding what truly gives me fulfillment (guess what, it’s ok to be selfish sometimes), I am learning this thing called life looks different for every one of us. But no matter my age, my mood, or my daily highs and lows, there is one thing (well, seven, actually) that remains constant: the seven dimensions of wellness.
I used to believe “wellness” was working out, eating right, monthly massages, and diffusing essential oils. But the seven dimensions of wellness are so much more than the material things. They incorporate the growth and pursuit of balance in every part of our being. Hell ya! Wellness isn’t cookie-cutter; it’s multidimensional—changing and evolving just like us and the world we live in.
So, as I take a step back to reevaluate and self-reflect on my seven dimensions of wellness, especially during this time of uncertainty, I am rediscovering what these dimensions mean to me, my relationships, and my overall well-being.
THE PHYSICAL DIMENSION
Badass and body positive.
Real talk: confidence isn’t my forte. The struggle has always been real when it comes to accepting my body, especially when I’ve been called “big-boned” for most of my life. This isn’t a pity party; I’m just tapping into my emotional dimension right now. I read a blog before turning 30 that talked about when you turn this age, “something” happens to your perspective—and it has to do with inherently becoming more confident. You know your style, you know your friends, you know what you want (career, love life, etc.) and, drumroll, please, you know your body. Oh, and you know crop tops only go with high waisted pants.
I’ve always tried to take care of myself, but now, a few years later, post-blog, I am rediscovering that my body is capable of amazing things. Self-doubt is a worthless side piece, and self-esteem can (and will) be my new best friend. I am rediscovering that yes, my body is a temple, I’ve got only one, and I deserve to love every inch of my being—and take care of it. From being proud I made it through that mega-hot barre class to trying to eat cleaner with every meal, realizing I need to prioritize what feels right for my body is a win-win. My well-being (and optimal physical wellness) is going to be number one.
THE EMOTIONAL DIMENSION
All. The. Feels.
I am a glass half full type of gal, the person who always has a smile on her face, even when things suck. Bad day at work? Trust me; I will find a workout to de-stress. There are pros to always being positive, but there are also cons, because I tend to mask how I feel deep inside. I need to be a “strong” friend/sister/daughter/wife. I can’t let them see me mad or sad. The fact of the matter is, feeling is part of being human, and how we choose to express ourselves is a lesson we (or at least I) am continuing to understand.
Whether it’s a belly laugh or a bowl full of tears, I am discovering new ways to take an emotional timeout—and find time for myself. Understanding how to decompress, disconnect, and get in-touch with my emotions is a personal choice, and a heavy one at that. I am facing my feeling fears, and I need to be honest about that with those who are closest to me. By acknowledging the way I feel, I am creating a safe space in my mind, body, and soul for my emotions and rediscovering who I am at my very core. Our emotions are a rollercoaster—when we learn where to put our hands up and scream in happiness or hold onto the handlebar tightly in fear, we genuinely enjoy the ride.
THE INTELLECTUAL DIMENSION
Putting the 'mind' in mindful.
We’ve all heard the saying, “when you stop learning, you stop growing,” right? To me, something feels stagnant when my intellectual side (yea, she compliments my social side) isn’t absorbing new stuff. Recently, I have felt uninspired to expanding my mindset, and I’ve let my ambitions get pushed to the side. This has become even more apparent as I work from my couch, multi-tasking with the dog. It’s easy to become lazy with learnings, no matter where you are in your life. For me, when I let my curiosity spark get snuffed out, then I invite self-doubt and boredom in. Come on; I am a fire sign—I can’t let that happen!
It’s time to turn off the Netflix and tune into my creative side. From learning a new skillset (like coding) to discovering a new podcast, it feels like there are a million different ways to expand my intellectual dimension. Thank you, technology. So, what am I waiting for? I am ready to rediscover what powers my mental passions, even if it’s making greeting cards, baking a cake, or burying myself under the covers with a new book. What expands our minds supports our worth and purpose. We all know life can throw us some curveballs (that’s why I was never a catcher in softball), so why not focus on what makes us excel?
THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION
Give me a higher love.
The word “spiritual” has a million different meanings to billions of people—and that, my friend, is the beauty of this fourth dimension. Spiritual wellness is what works for your belief system. The human quest for spiritual fulfillment is one that can last a lifetime, and believe me, my views on spirituality have pivoted a plethora of times. I tend to gravitate to my spiritual side when things get profoundly emotional, and I am feeling lost (or just experienced a loss). With an open mind and open heart, I often find myself reaching for a deeper meaning, a higher purpose. But often, I ask myself, why is it only in the bad times I feel the need to tap into this dimension? It’s because I need to better understand who I am.
By rediscovering my connection to my spiritual side, I am rediscovering an element of self-love, self-worth, and self-acknowledgment. Whether I am stargazing for guidance (dear galaxy, you’re gorgeous), praying to a higher being, gravitating to tarot cards, or finding peace in meditation, I am learning that it is ok to find our connection to ourselves (and something bigger) through practicing what feels right at the right moment. Spiritual wellness is a deeply personal experience, but with an open mind (and heart), I am welcoming a new element that embodies a continual ebb and flow into my well-being.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL DIMENSION
Channeling a green goddess.
Climate change, plant-based protein shakes, everything organic—our world is continually evolving. And how we treat Mother Earth can define our generation. This dimension is just what it sounds like, bettering the impact we have on our planet. But what does environmental wellness look like to you? Maybe it’s using reusable bags, buying an electric car, vowing to eat vegan. The best part about this type of wellness, is that every little (or big) thing we do with the earth in mind can positively impact the greater good. Loving Mother Earth looks different for every family, every person.
How I give back to our globe is everchanging, just like how I am reinventing ways to take care of our natural resources. My well-being is impacted by the state of our farms, oceans, planet, and I must make small changes to my routine to take care of our natural resources. I am making environmental wellness part of a continual conversation among friends, and by bringing this topic to the top of our gossip chain, I am rediscovering ways (and supporting brands) to make a difference—one straw, one bike ride, one all-natural yoga mat at a time. Rediscovering my impact is changing the way I take care of our only home.
THE SOCIAL DIMENSION
The human connection is the foundation of our existence. From dating apps, to meeting new friends through co-workers, to partying with strangers at Coachella (sorry, mom!), how we engage with others more fully defines what social wellness means to every one of us. While I’m a social butterfly, my best friend is an introvert. But guess what? It just works. It could be the opposites attract phenomenon, or it could be that we are just yin and yang and balance each other out. Cosmic powers or authentic connections, there’s a world of reasons of why we are drawn to or dissuaded by certain people and personas. But when does our social dimension impede on our individual wellness?
To be honest, my social wellness has always been a double-edged sword. I have a large friend group, and I am a people pleaser, but in turn, I often unknowingly push those closest to me away. As I rediscover this dimension, I need to reevaluate my relationships and my ability to set boundaries. I need to learn to be ok with (politely) saying “no”—and I need to acknowledge it’s ok to put me first sometimes. We blossom when we surround ourselves with healthy relationships, and we wilt when we bend too far for those who drain us. This flower needs to bloom big, baby! By eliminating negative social forces, I can find what makes me genuinely happy—and that might not be Sunday brunch, but rather journaling in bed.
THE OCCUPATIONAL DIMENSION
I’m the boss, not bossy.
Work from home. Work from office. Work from Zoom meeting. Whatever your workplace culture, our society values success based on occupational performance. Early mornings, late nights, and deadlines don’t define this final dimension of wellness, but rather your ability to strike that oh-so-delicate balance between work life and personal life. It’s a thin tightrope to walk, trust me. The ability to step away from work is not my strong suit, though the benefits of disconnecting greatly outweigh answering emails from the couch at 10 pm. That’s when burnout happens. It doesn’t pave a gold road to success—it’s detrimental to the six other dimensions of wellness.
My success at work is one of my greatest achievements, but as I take a more in-depth look at this dimension, I realize that this doesn’t just define who I am. It is a piece of me. I am rediscovering that I need to allow myself permission to turn the open sign off and that my hours outside of work should be spent disconnected and reconnecting with myself. I need to allow myself the ability to press the reset button, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a mid-day Pilates class. My work will benefit more from a fresh mind and a fresh perspective.
As I revaluate my seven dimensions of wellness, I am learning to connect with my well-being on a deeper level—and I invite you to do the same with Mindbody. While I may never achieve perfect harmony in every dimension (social, you’re always going to be a struggle), working on myself makes me realize, yes I am human, and, in my opinion, becoming better is pretty positively powerful.
It’s safe to say, the way we conquer our daily routines has changed drastically over the last few months. The way we perform our jobs, how we socialize—even the way we workout—have flipped from in-person, group settings to virtual platforms to keep us safe and healthy. There's no denying that navigating this new normal has certainly come with its ups and downs, to say the least. In fact, a recent survey revealed one-third of Americans said this pandemic has caused more stress and anxiety in their lives, which isn’t surprising given the circumstances.
With anxiety levels at a high, people need relaxation, self-care, and movement more than ever. Enter yoga.
Yoga has long been touted for its amazing ability to calm the mind and help folks stay in-tune with their body—which is probably why more and more people are embracing an at-home practice.
Whether you’re looking for a powerful Vinyasa class to help kickstart your morning or yearning for a gentle, evening flow to wind down after a busy workday, taking a yoga class is now more accessible than ever. With 91% of group fitness studios offering or planning to offer live stream and/or on-demand classes, those who are ready to get their asana on have plenty of yoga classes to try all over the country.
While there’s no place like om, most of us could go for a little virtual vacation right now. I know I could! Ready to get a taste of what yoga classes are like all over the country? Here are the U.S. cities with the most virtual yoga classes available.
It seems poetic that Chicago hits our number one spot on this list because it was the first city in America that was introduced to yoga back in 1893. Swami Vivekananda presented yoga at the World Parliament of Religions and made a speech on the concept of body, spirit, and mind. It seems the presentation made a lasting impression on the city.
Try getting your Zen on with one of these studios:
• The Lab Yoga
• Bottom Line Yoga
• Bare Feet Power Yoga
Everyone knows that Washington DC is where you can visit some of the world’s most famous monuments, memorials, and museums. But you may be surprised to learn that it also offers one of the most robust libraries of virtual classes to help yogis sample some classes at the nation’s capital.
Houston is one of the most culturally diverse cities in America—in fact, you can folks speaking 145 different languages and thousands of restaurants serving up food from more than 70 countries. If those facts have you working up quite an appetite, feel free to indulge. They also have plenty of virtual yoga classes available to help you torch some calories.
Did you know one of the first businesses to open in the City of Brotherly Love was a brewery in 1683? If you’re familiar with the ever-evolving trends of yoga, then you have most likely heard of or participated in beer yoga sesh. Get ready to try yoga the Philly way by cracking a cold one and doing some downward dogs in the comfort of your own home at the end of the day.
New York City is home to 8.4 million people, making it the most densely populated city in the entire nation. With that many people, you know there must be a ton of yogis looking to relax from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Start spreading the news and flowing with some of the most dedicated yogis in the U.S.—there are a ton of virtual yoga classes to choose from in the Big Apple.
Get ready to make some virtual yoga neighbors. Did you know that Columbus, Ohio is considered the heart of the country? The reason for that is because nearly half of the America’s residents live within a 600-mile radius of the city. Ready to put your heart and soul into your at-home yoga practice? Then check out what this city has to offer virtually.
San Diego is known as one of the happiest cities in America—mainly because of the beautiful weather, picturesque beaches, and the abundance of yoga classes available. While a vacation to this area may not be in the books for this year, you can certainly flow with the best of them by booking a virtual class at a San Diego studio.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the yoga studios offering virtual classes to help you stay fit, healthy, and calm during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope these offerings inspire you to either start a new at-home practice or are helping you seasoned yogis continue your path to wellness. Interested in seeing what other cities are hosting a bevy of online yoga classes? The options on Mindbody are endless—literally!