Tenant 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!

How to Practice Being Present When Your Stress Levels Seem Impossible to Manage

Being Present

There is a quote that says, “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” This mantra is the perfect reflection of mindfulness, the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the present moment. Mindfulness and being present have many benefits, including stress reduction, positivity, increased focus, and improved memory.

Being present isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. The ability to completely be yourself and to be fully here without distraction is a powerful way to reshape your mind in a more positive direction. If you’ve ever felt stressed at work or about your future, read on! 

Once you become aware of the thoughts, feelings, or moods you are having, or where your attention is, and the content of those thoughts or feelings or moods or where your attention is fixated, you will notice which level of existence, state, condition or mood you are in at any given time. You will begin to also notice how often you are in the past, present or future.
— Knowledgism

Here's a situation we can all relate to. Say you work in an office and you know there is a job opening in the pipeline, one that would be your dream to land. You would have more creative freedom, more managerial responsibilities, and more money in your paycheck, which you may desperately need. You know that you’ll need to put in the work to stand out, and the uncertainty causes you great stress. You may ask yourself, “What if I don’t get the job?” or “If I don’t get the job, how will I manage my current financial situation?” Perhaps you even begin comparing yourself to other candidates, thinking, “Susan has worked hard this year and our manager seems to like her better. How do I stand a chance?”

“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” Reflect on this quote again for a moment. If you spend your day worrying about this potential promotion, you may not be spending as much time getting your work done to the best of your ability. You may bring your stress home to your family. You may even take on a palpable negative attitude in the office. However, if you bring yourself back to the present, you can learn to focus on exactly what is in your control at any given moment. You can observe yourself and improve yourself in tangible ways. You can clear your mind, reduce your stress, and adopt a more positive energy to carry you through. Ever heard of the Law of Attraction? This is the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person's life. Always be sure you’re putting out positive vibes, and good things will come!

Here are three ways to stay present:

1. Breathe.

Try the 5x5 Breathing Exercise. Sit with your back straight and your hands in your lap. Breathe in for five seconds, hold for five seconds, and breathe out for five seconds. Repeat this flow until you feel more calm, clear-headed, and aware. This will steady your heart rate and give you something else to focus on other than your stressors.

2.  Focus on your surroundings.

Here’s another counting exercise that many people suffering from anxiety disorders use to bring themselves back to the present. If you feel your stress mounting, take a deep breath and look around at your surroundings. Find five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This works in a similar way to the 5x5 Breathing Exercise but also brings you back in touch with the body’s senses, allowing you to appreciate your being and how it supports you every day. 

3. Let go.

Stay in the present moment by letting go of tomorrow’s worries. There is another saying I like to abide by: “If it won’t matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes dwelling on it.” Similarly, if your problem isn’t something that can be fixed in five minutes, don’t allow it to cause you prolonged stress. Search for the steps you can take right now and check off those boxes. This will help you feel accomplished and will keep you moving in the right direction in a way you can manage. If your stress is caused by a person, practice forgiveness (this includes forgiving yourself!). And above all, if you’re trying your best, cut yourself some slack. Be kind to yourself and that energy will flow through to all aspects of your life.

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga and wellness classes to decrease stress in community spaces and bring individuals back to the present moment. If you’re interested in learning more, or if you would like to speak with one of our experts for a personalized consultation, please visit us online at www.chasingnirvanayoga.com.

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.