Employee Amenity

Consuming Too Much Sugar is Worse For You Than You Think, According to a New Study

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We’ve known for years that consuming too much sugar is a bad thing, but a new study reveals just how bad sugary treats, even those with artificial sweeteners, are for your body.

A 34-year study of more than 118,000 men and women across the US published in the Circulation journal suggests that people who drink more sugar-sweetened beverages are more likely to die from heart problems and cancers, and that diet soda and sugar substitutes may not be much better when consumed in large doses. The association was particularly driven by breast and colon cancer. Read more on the study in Business Insider.

The authors of this study found that drinking four or more artificially sweetened beverages a day also significantly upped the risk of death for women, though they couldn’t say the same for men. The researchers think the link between diet drinks and an increased risk of death may be because people who are already overweight drink more of them.
— Business Insider

Your diet is an essential part of your full-body health, and this study proves it. At Chasing Nirvana Yoga, we make it our mission to embrace health and wellness and offer services wherever we can. You may know we provide on-site yoga classes, but did you know we also offer health coaching services?

Every individual is different, and our health coaches work with each person to find out what works best for their body, current medical condition, lifestyle, and wellness goals. This allows us to create a custom wellness and nutrition plan which is easy to apply and stick to. When working with us on a corporate level, we provide the same level of detail and attention to each employee that participates. One-hour individual health coaching sessions can be offered in-person or virtually.

For employees, we also offer hour-long lunch and learn sessions on specific topics that can be chosen by you and tailored to your employee base. We also offer one -on-one mini sessions. The coach will come to your office for a full day and take 30-minute sessions with employees that book a time slot. They will discuss where the employee is now, what their goals are, and some steps they can take to reach those goals. This is a great way to kickstart a 6-week group health coaching session but can also be held on its own.

In the meantime, keep your sugar intake in mind when making healthy eating choices! If you have any specific questions, we’re always happy to help. To learn more about our health coaching services, please visit our website!

Meet Sarah Helt, Our First West Coast Yoga Instructor

instagram.com/sarahehelt

instagram.com/sarahehelt

Sarah Helt has helped us introduce Chasing Nirvana Yoga on-site yoga classes to the west coast with her recent class in Los Angeles. The Iowa native has lived everywhere from Chicago to New York City to Australia, but she’s currently enjoying the L.A. chapter of her life. These days, she leads teacher training programs all over the country, as well as yoga retreats.

As an avid traveler, she makes sure to embark on a mindfulness-related pilgrimage each year to deepen her practice and understanding of the world. Last year was Nepal, this year is Peru. That’s just one small aspect of Sarah Helt’s yoga journey that will leave you feeling inspired to try one of her yoga classes!

How did you get into yoga?

I tried yoga for the first time when I was 19. When I moved to New York for college from Iowa, I was looking for something to supplement my workouts that could help me with stress and the culture shock of the city. As a performer, I’m naturally inclined to some of the movement and flexibility, but the patience and silence and strength in holding still was very hard for me at first. My first class was rigorous, but it was transformative.

Did anyone guide your yoga career?

I took an advanced studies clowning class -- I had to audition for it -- and I really bonded with the instructor over yoga. He studied clowning in France and had many adventures throughout his life, all in the pursuit of movement and entertainment and self-expression. He took me under his wing in a collegiate yoga class and eventually asked me to be a TA before he retired.

You’re so self-serving and self-centered in college that I wouldn’t have contemplated sharing this love of yoga if he didn’t encourage me to be his teaching assistant. He was planting the seed [of my career] at that time.

I knew I wouldn’t have a 9-5 thing like my parents, so I just let the universe speak to me and through me.

How did your career evolve from there?

I applied for yoga jobs and worked side jobs until I had enough yoga work to quit waiting tables. I knew I wouldn’t have a 9-5 thing like my parents, so I just let the universe speak to me and through me. When I was teaching yoga for marathon runners and other athletes in Chicago, I was approached about training paralympians through the Dare2Tri Paratriathlon Club.

I transitioned to a small-group and individual client base and began a disability-focused practice. I have clients with very specific needs who allow me to be creative with how yoga looks and sounds, so I have the opportunity to totally diversify my classes. I think yoga, at its heart, is a form of service. I have found a way to financially support myself while still being able to give back. I’ve also become the director of communication at a nonprofit called Accessible Yoga.

instagram.com/sarahehelt

instagram.com/sarahehelt

What are your yoga-related passions?

I’m passionate about creating safe spaces in the yoga industry for women. The stage is set for us to take on more. Our roles in society were introduced by the patriarchy. I feel like men are afraid that we’re going to take something from them, but all we’re asking is that they share the load. I lead yoga retreats, including ladies-only yoga retreats. This September, I’ll be bringing a group of women to Mexico for a yoga retreat.

What has life as a full-time yoga instructor taught you?

It’s a lonely profession that requires you to hustle and seek out opportunities on your own. And the once you’re hired, you’re hired just based on you and your skills. Having people who are pushing you and encouraging you and seeing little lights and sparks inside of you, those are the most important relationships to cultivate. This sense of community is important for me as a yoga teacher.

It’s so easy to be extroverted and not self reflect, which is a skill I’ve worked on. The more you invest time and energy into things that aren’t real -- like TV and social media -- the more you’re wasting time that could be spent looking inside yourself.

Stay tuned for more Chasing Nirvana Yoga classes in L.A. with Sarah Helt!

Being Mindful is an Essential Managerial Skill – Here’s Why

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Being a leader comes with stress. It’s part of the job. But it’s how you handle that stress that dictates your effectiveness with your team and company. Practicing mindfulness is one way to drive positive results, according to a study from Harvard.

The study revealed that when leaders are stressed, their anxiety can be felt across the entire organization. This often becomes detrimental to employees and lowers productivity, even resulting in early departure from the company. Visibly stressed leaders lose credibility with their team, too. Only 7 percent of employees surveyed believed their stressed leaders effectively lead their teams, and only 11 percent with stressed leaders felt they were highly engaged at work.

When leaders fail to manage their stress in a constructive way, more than 50 percent of their employees perceive their leader as harmful or ineffective. Further, when leaders are unable to manage stress, employees lose their drive to advance within the company.
— Inc.

Over the past decade, mindfulness has become more and more popular in the workplace, especially with effective managers. Leaders who engage in mindfulness were found to increase hope, optimism, self-efficacy, and resilience in their teams, according to the Harvard study. They were also able to reduce their own stress, increasing their overall health.

But how does one become a mindful leader? The first step is to develop self-awareness. Pay attention to how you are showing up with people and within situations in the office. Do you show signs of visible stress? Are you able to effectively process the steps you need to take to complete a project? Does your team come to you to help solve problems, or do they avoid you out of fear or frustration? Become aware of how you are reacting and engaging and make a plan to improve where necessary. If all else fails, don’t forget to breathe! Even taking five minutes a day to be with your breath will help you embrace the present moment and think with clarity. 

For more tactics on becoming a mindful leader, read this great article from Inc. As a leader, you have the power to make or break your team and contribute to your company’s overall success, so be sure you’re channeling mindfulness to help you succeed your goals!

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga and wellness classes to offices, tenant buildings, events, and more. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please visit www.chasingnirvanayoga.com.