Finding balance on and off the mat

Guest Author
Guest Author
February 5, 2019

I’ve worked in very high-pressure jobs, in fast-paced environments, for a number of years and I know only too well how challenging it is to switch off. We talk a lot about work/life balance but actually achieving it, or anything close, can be very difficult but it’s not impossible.

If I can do it, trust me you can do it too!

Exercise has always been a great way for me to relieve stress and clear my head but what really helped me achieve balance was my yoga practice. I started doing yoga 8 years ago and at the very start, it was very much about the physical aspect of the practice. I was not interested in the mind or breathing aspects.

For the first few years, I loved my yoga purely for the way it made my body look and feel. However, over time as my life seemed to get more hectic I slowly allowed myself to explore the more spiritual side of the practice.

I started listening and trying out the different breathing techniques that the teacher suggested. It wasn’t an instantaneous thing but I did start to notice after trying it, I was calmer. I started using the techniques off the mat too when I found myself getting stressed or feeling overwhelmed, I came back to the breath.

Ella Belle Yoga on beach
Ella Belle Yoga

It sounds so simple, we all do it about 30,000 times a day but somewhere along the road from when we were babies we forgot how to breathe properly. If you look at a new born baby breathing, their tummy, ribs and chest all inflate and deflate with each breath, for most adults our breath stays in the chest.

Try it out the next time you feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed just breathe. 10 proper breaths that hit your tummy, ribs, and chest and see how you feel after. 

Yoga is now a huge part of my life, apart from being a yoga teacher I also practice every day, even if I only have 15minutes. I always incorporate time to breathe and a few moments of silence to recharge and to find that balance.

Or as the Bhagavad Gita put it a little more eloquently “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self”.


Julie Burke, Yoga Teacher, Ella Belle Yoga
Julie Burke, Yoga Teacher

Julie Burke, Yoga Teacher,

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