Community Amenities

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!

Crystal Carden Brings Essential Oils to CNY

crystal carden

Have you heard the news? Chasing Nirvana Yoga is adding an essential oils expert to our yoga teacher lineup, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Crystal Carden to the team!

Crystal, a Massachusetts native, dove headfirst into her yoga practice and essential oil studies about a year ago. Her journey began when her family started a keto diet variation that helped her lose over 60 pounds. She was inspired to continue finding new ways to be the happiest and healthiest version of herself. After trying just one yoga class, she was hooked!

Crystal started her teacher training around the same time she began learning about essential oils as natural solutions for health issues and substitutes for chemical-laden products. Once her family was paying more attention to the food they put in their bodies, she wanted to take the effort one step further and cut out unnecessary chemicals. Crystal was able to replace a lot of her family’s everyday items and medications with essential oil rollers. From headaches and muscle pains to anxiety and fatigue, the ailments that can be treated by essential oils are endless.

“When you find something you love, you want to share with people. I believe in this too much to fail. And I give the oils to my kids, so you know I truly believe in them.”

Because essential oils only take about 20 seconds to enter the bloodstream, they’re perfect for fast relief and benefits. She says anything you would ingest as a plant can be ingested as an oil. Plus, her oils are certified as non-GMO, so you can trust that none of the crops were treated with chemicals when they were being grown.

essential oils

Something Crystal loves about her work with essential oils is tailoring the concoctions to individual people; it makes her feel like a Harry Potter of holistic wellness. For example, she recently created an essential oil solution for a woman who wanted relief from asthma and allergies. Even her husband, who was skeptical of Crystal’s oil voodoo at first, finds himself asking for the “magic potion” for his neck. Meanwhile, citrus blends work nicely for her 12-year-old son, Brennan, who tells me that lime is his absolute favorite oil.

“When you start to see what you do benefit other people, that’s the cool piece. You become an inspiring person for people, who then want to make healthy changes for themselves. That’s the neatest part for me.”

Could bringing essential oil rollers into the office help employees focus, feel more energetic and avoid aches and pains? Absolutely! Contact Chasing Nirvana Yoga to learn about the different essential oil solutions and rollers that Crystal can make for you. Feel free to check out Crystal’s business, Branches & Co., for more information about essential oils.

Property Managers, Now is the Time for Built-In Community Spaces

CRE Property Managers 2

According to an article from Allwork, 83% of employees using co-working and other forms of flexible space claim to have benefited from these new work environments over the last 5-10 years. The same article shared that by 2020, 50% of large companies will have some form of shared office space. Dedicating areas for community space in the office is a trend we’ve all been watching as employers realize their success. Preconceived community spaces in commercial real estate buildings that are already built in and ready to go, however, are just beginning to take off as property managers catch on.

Property management has grown tremendously over the past decade. As tenants look toward a more concierge-style experience, serving clients and their exceeding expectations is paramount. Property managers need to create an environment for the human experience to thrive.
— Bisnow

Hospitality considerations for tenants are becoming a necessity for retention. Now that on-the-go, collaborative millennials are moving in, user experience is the key to promoting creativity. Megan Matthews, Mid-Atlantic managing director at commercial real estate advisor JLL, says ten years ago, wellness initiatives like yoga classes, for example, were the sole purview of employers but would have been unheard of in commercial real estate. But as the workplace continues to adapt to the demands of a more experience-seeking generation, property managers will follow suit. CRE property managers, now is the time to focus on using space as a service and building these amenities into the floor plan!

Read more in this excellent Bisnow article. If you are a property manager in search of where to start, reach out to us at Chasing Nirvana Yoga. We offer on-site yoga and wellness classes ideal for any community-serving property.