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S. I. P.

Service Industry Practice

Yoga is a process of transformation every time you step onto your mat. Regardless of how you feel that day, what happened the night before, or what your schedule may be for the night ahead, the yoga mat is a place to reconnect with the body and mind.

Vinyasa yoga, also referred to as Flow yoga, is a type of yoga practice, where movement is linked to breath. Balanced Tray Yoga classes are fast-paced and full of movement. The intention behind this movement is to let the mind be free of thoughts and distractions. This type of activity during a yoga practice, is excellent for those who tend to be active thinkers, multi-taskers, and those with short attention spans. These qualities are often found in personalities of those in the service industry.

Why Yoga? My Story . . .

In my many years of working in the service industry, I have had many up and downs both physically and mentally; times of overindulgence of toxins, sleeping in until 3pm on some days. There have also been times of great health, using my free daytime hours to run, bike, practice yoga, make art and crafts, tapping into my inner vitality. As a yoga instructor, it is my goal to help other service industry professionals find a balance between the hectic daily and nightly grind, of fast-pasted, often stressful work, followed by cocktails (or more), and the serenity of having free time when everyone else is sitting in an office, the joy of not taking your work home with you and bringing light and joy into your creative pursuits. Were not going to do this forever, are we?!

Most days I think why not? Restaurant work is a great way to make a living, it is social and most of the time enjoyable. But we all need more, whether it is volunteer work, a side-project, school, art, or in my case sharing yoga. Bringing something new and positive into your live as a service industry professional is the first step to a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Physically, restaurant work can be very hard on the body. I have, over the years, compacted my entire left side of my torso, from carrying trays and plates, meanwhile over-extending the right side of my torso and my right knee from reaching across tables. I have developed carpal tunnel in my right wrist and tendinitis in my right forearm, from pressing a soda gun (bartenders!!) and pouring heavy pitchers of water. The beautiful thing, is yoga asana (poses) can help. It is a slow transition, as I continue to realign my body, though the immediate satisfaction of bringing awareness into these internal issues appears every time I practice yoga. In Balanced Tray Yoga classes, I incorporate specific asana which target these areas, into the classes to help students begin to heal their bodies.

Mentally, the night life can take a toll on all of us. In most restaurants, everything happens at once, therefore, you as a server, bartender, chef or host, has to be everywhere at once. Your brain is thinking three or four steps ahead, and your body is moving on autopilot through the motions. No wonder most of us feel like we need a beer, or several, to wind down at the end of the night. I have struggled with drug and alcohol use, and I have watched many a friend lose themselves to drugs and alcohol. As a former “party-girl,” yoga has helped me turn my priorities around full-circle; I want to be a healthy person, I want to wake up before 2pm, I want to do things that are good for myself and others. Yoga brings awareness into the body and into your own mind, thus allowing practitioners to hone in on why they might feel the need to over-consume toxins. When your body feels good, it is harder to continue to damage it. Awareness of your body and mind, can be the first step to healing your entire being. I still enjoy a cold beverage, even a whiskey shot, but I keep my health and vitality as my number one priority. (Please note: yoga is a great way to begin the process for increased mental  and physical health, but if you are struggling with an addiction, it is best to find a professional trained in this field that can help you. When you are ready, discuss the possibility of beginning a yoga practice with that professional).

SIP in some deep breaths of balance today!!