Dealing with illness or injury

Sometimes the universe does give you what you need, even if you don't want it. 

I am currently dealing with some medical issues that have zapped my energy and won't allow me to bend at the waist. It seems silly but when you really think about a yoga practice we bend at the waist A LOT.  I spent the last week to ill to practice, but this week I am trying to fight through and slowly make my way back. But I still feel so limited with the inability to bend forward.

I am an intermediate/advanced practitioner and I practice approximately5x a week (4 home practice, 1 studio) so even one week off was hard.   This past year I've been strengthening my home practice thanks to the guidance of one of my teachers and it has been very enlightening to learn how not to move to keep up with class but rather move for what my body, brain and breath needed for that day, what my body needs to maintain my physical and mental health. 

I reminded myself of that yesterday when I started back and I managed to find a 10 minute practice that allowed my body to move and breathe in a way that felt supportive and healing. Today I was able to do a 15 minute practice and I hope to add a few minutes a day till I can be up to a 30-45 minute practice that feeds my healing.  I don't know how long I will have these limitations, but I was moved to tears today as I laid in Savanna and realized that these short practices of just a few basic poses are the most challenging and rewarding practices I have experienced thus far in my journey. So today, I am grateful for the lesson



Such Great Heights

Such Great Heights

What happens when you have to concede that the journey actually is the destination? I don't generally go in for those kind of platitudes, but after spending Sunday climbing with Shannon at First Ascent, I realized that focusing on the how of getting to the top of the wall, rather than the end game, can be so much more fulfilling.

If you've never been to a climbing gym, the hand and foot holds on the walls are color coded so you can figure out the difficulty and paths of the various routes to the top. I found myself so laser-focused on how to get to the final step that I was completely missing how many options I had to make that happen. When I slowed down, I got so much more satisfaction from the tiny movements - a foot swap here, a weight shift there - than I did from making larger vertical moves (even if that meant using a foot or hand hold from a differently colored path). Don't get me wrong, reaching the top of the wall makes you feel like a total bad ass and even though I only made it to the top about 30% of the time, I still felt like Queen of the Mountain (okay, okay, not a mountain but you get it) every time. And though it was harder to take a beat to think through the journey and will my muscles not to give out while I planned my next step, it was almost a form of meditation to focus on my breath, relax into the discomfort (heights! shaking biceps! eek!), and trust that my body was going to do everything it could to keep me from falling without my needing to tell it to. The human body is an amazingly self-sufficient piece of machinery and I think we get into trouble only when we get in its way and stop it from taking care of itself in the way it was built to. 

How often in my day to day life can I slow down, take a breath, and trust my body to handle its business? When can I let my brain take a nap and just relax into the moment? Strength doesn't only come from muscles (though I certainly rediscovered some long-forgotten sore back muscles when I woke up this morning), but from knowing when to take a break, or when to engage, or when to step back down until you can find a different foot hold. 

Let's take the time to applaud ourselves for the small steps up; those quiet moments when we manage the sometimes difficult task of moving infinitesimally forward. Because even if we don't reach the top every time, the view from up there is worth it.



Happy 2017!

Happy 2017!

Hello all, and Happy New Year! 2016 was full of big and exciting things for us here at CW. We are headed into 2017 with new plans, new ideas, and new tips and techniques for creating and sticking to positive, fun, and meaningful wellness habits. We can't wait to share what we've been working on with you.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see all our posts on Wellness Wednesdays, along with the fun and impactful things we each are doing in our own lives to stay mindful and present.

Some pretty big updates on our end:
Erika got engaged!
Shannon got married!
Michelle saw President Obama speak at his Farewell Address in Chicago!
Alison is in a reading for a world premiere play being done across the country (with the only company in Chicago performing it) on Inauguration Day!
Liz is slaying her yoga teacher training!

Don't forget to stretch and breathe today.

(& Erika, Shannon, Alison, and Liz)

Recap: Creative Wellness at LakeFX Chicago

Recap: Creative Wellness at LakeFX Chicago

Greetings, all!

Creative Wellness was stoked to be a part of the second annual LakeFX Chicago 2016 Summit + Expo, the region's largest FREE conference for artists and creative entrepreneurs. If you had a chance to stop by, you probably saw our faces at our very own table at the Expo! We also were thrilled to present a Physical Storytelling workshop on Saturday afternoon (5/14) as part of the IN MOTION series.

We met so many amazing artists, learned about some incredible resources for artists and creative small businesses in Chicago, and got to share our skills with an eager and new group of faces.

Until next year!