Be Kind to Yourself!

For this weeks blog, I really wanted to talk to you all about different ways you can be kinder to yourself. This is something I know we all have struggled with, I know for me personally, self love has been one of my largest difficulties for my entire life.

Throughout my life, I was constantly picked on. While I had a great family, and a small, but solid close group of friends, I still found myself being identified as an outcast, mostly for the way that I looked or because of the things I was interested in. When you are made to feel like you don’t fit in for being yourself, it becomes so difficult to be comfortable within your own skin.

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However, as I’ve grown up, I am honestly proud to say that self love is something I’ve come to incorporate within my everyday life. When you learn to not care what others think of you, life becomes a lot more pleasant. Something I constantly remind myself is to remember who’s in your corner. The people who love you for who you are the ones that you need to keep around. These are the people that encourage you to succeed, and hold you to a higher standard. You will not need to try to be a certain someone with these people, and can be your complete self.

Another thing that I like to incorporate within my day is to make sure and give at least 3 compliments a day. It’s been said by many that when you give love, you receive love. Personally, I feel more happier when I am making others happy, because it gives me more of a purpose. It almost is like when you give someone a gift on Christmas and you can’t wait for them to open it because of how excited you are for them.

The final thing that I think is great for self love is to be your own personal hype man/ hype woman! Work on giving yourself compliments, whether you’re writing it down or saying it out loud in the mirror! Something my younger sister and I do is write sticky notes and put them on our bedroom mirrors so we can read them when we get ready for the day or for bed. The point is, when you speak it into existence, you really start to believe it. It is so important to remember that you are wonderful and unique in this world, because there really is no one like you!

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I really truly hope this helps you all in some way, whether it’s being kinder to yourself or the others around you, because you never know who really needs just a little extra love. It can go such a long way!

Feeling Overwhelmed? Try This!

I don’t know about all of you, but as a college student, once the holiday’s start rolling around I feel like I can’t enjoy them. For me it just feels like schoolwork is piled on, and final projects and exams come out of nowhere. On top of that I’m trying to find a way to afford Christmas presents, working, enjoying what I can of the holiday season. Let’s face it…it gets SO OVERWHELMING.

Something that I have talked about before that really helps me is meditation. Now, personally, I find meditating works best for me when I am laying on my back in a dark room, and can really just focus on where my head is at, and get it to a place where I am restful. Once the mind is relaxed, your body will follow.

It honestly all starts with your breathing. I find it best to slowly breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth (simple but impactful). This is the first step to quieting any chatter that is still going on in your mind and brings you to a more logical state, simply because you are only focused on your breath.

When first starting, your mind still tend to wander, but do not worry because it’s normal! If this does happen, just try and focus your mind back and begin again.

Honestly, you don’t even need to worry about meditating for too long either. Something I have learned within my past year of practicing is that most times, only 10-15 minutes is needed! You will still be able to ease your mind and set good habits for yourself.

I have talked about the app Headspace before in previous blogs, and seriously cannot recommend this app enough. It really helps guide you on the right path, and it has become an honest everyday necessity for me. Below I’ve linked a quick video that features Headspace’s founder, Andy Puddicombe, who discusses the benefits of 10 minute mediations. Invest that time in self care and be sure to check it out. Happy meditating!

Visualization: It Actually Works!

Hello again everyone! This week I want to talk to you a little bit about visualization. I want to break down what it is, why I do it, and why you should too!

I have always been open about my struggle with anxiety because I feel like it is something someone should not feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk about. Personally, being open about it makes me feel a little better because you never know who it may help. A friend of mine a long time ago realized my struggle, and actually had reached out to me with this technique, that I have applied in both my meditation practices, or whenever I feel overwhelmed with stress and anxiety.

While visualization is not an anxiety cure, it is a very healthy and simple relaxation strategy that does help with periods you experience high stress and any anxiety symptoms you may have. The way visualization works is by imagining you are in a different scenery or place of mind, in order to calm your negative feelings.

Some tips for this are:

  • Find a quiet and relaxing place where you feel comfortable.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Relax your body.
  • Begin to imagine your place.
  • Practice-it does take some getting used to!

I hope that this helps you to find some peace within your busy schedules or any anxiety you may be suffering from! Click here for some super helpful beginner visualization scripts! Have a great rest of your week and happy meditating!

Guiding Your Own Meditation

Hello everyone! This week I am going to talk to you a little bit about how to lead your own guided meditation! It can take as long as needed, but I know with being college students, our time for relaxation and self care can be extremely limited. Therefore, I am going to break down what helps me meditate and relax, and will drop a quick little 10 minute meditation video below to help you get started! This is super easy and can really help with overthinking and releasing everyday stress.

First, what I do is take a moment to get comfortable and lie flat on my back. Even if you don’t usually sleep on your back, this makes it a lot easier to relax your body and muscles. Let go of any conversations or tensions you may have had throughout the day and take big, deep breaths, in through the nose and out through your mouth. Sometimes it can be comforting to place your hand on your stomach as well to feel your breath moving in and out.

Another very important part of meditating is really observing how your body feels. Does it feel heavy or light? Restless or still? Ready for sleep? This is important before moving the body towards sleep. It also helps to run through each part of your day from beginning to end. I typically pick out 25-30 moments of the day before moving onto a wind down.

A wind down helps relieve that tension that is in the body after a full day. This is where little by little, you relax each part of your body, beginning with the feet and ending with your face.

This is just a small start to many different ways you can meditate. I highly recommend the app called HeadSpace, which has a large variety of sleep casts, guided meditations, and morning meditations as well. It really helped get me started and I now am able to do it without using the app! I also have linked below a guided meditation that is sitting and is a great way to begin the day. Happy meditating everyone and have a great weekend!

The Yamas and Niyamas

Hi everyone! I really want to take the opportunity this week to just chat a little bit about a book that was recommended from my own yoga instructor. It has genuinely helped me through practicing yoga, and improving my mindset as a whole. The book is titled, “The Yamas and Niyamas”, written by Deborah Adele.

The overall book discusses ways to explore the ethical practice of yoga. Why is this important you may ask? Well correct me if I’m wrong, but we all want to live a well led life. It is important to look back and really reflect on how well we are participating in our own lives. It’s no secret that being a human being is really hard sometimes (a lot of the times even). Life is messy and confusing, and through all of this we really need to remember to try and focus on our own personal needs.

It is important to know that yoga is not just postures; but literally a way of living and learning to be self aware with your thoughts and your mind. This is where the Yamas and Niyamas come in. They are defined by Adele as, “A detailed map, telling you where you where you are and how to look for the next landmark. They facilitate taking ownership of your life and directing it towards the fulfillment you seek”.

The Yamas, are the first five and include:

  • Nonviolence
  • Truthfulness
  • Nonstealing
  • Nonexcess
  • Nonpossessiveness

Niyamas, the last five, include:

  • Purity
  • Contentment
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-Study
  • Surrender

Deborah Adele really does a great job at mapping these out throughout her book, and shows us how we can develop more of a commitment to bettering ourselves. Personally I rely on this book for so many things. I have read and highlighted it so many times because I feel like I take away something new and reflect differently every time. What I have taken away from this book is that these are huge components that give us power as our own individual to live a confident and joyful life.

I hope this encourages you to look into the Yamas and Niyamas, or at least is a start for you to practice being kinder to yourself! Don’t forget you are wonderful as you are!

Yoga Practice For Energy

Hi everyone and happy Friday! This week we are going to talk about getting back that energy the work week seems to take out of us. Being a college student, I find myself always up late doing homework or working, followed by an early morning which makes it difficult to get through my really busy days. It got to the point where I felt like I could barely pay attention in class, and found myself napping every chance I could get, and would then be up late all over again. It was a vicious cycle, and not only did my grades begin to suffer, but so did my body, which is why I did some research.

I found a yoga practice on Youtube called “Movement Medicine – Energy Practice – Yoga With Adriene” and it honestly worked wonders for me. I try to watch this video every morning to jump start my day and wake me up. You do not need to rush through the poses, and can go as slow as you’d like. It is all about relaxation and preparing yourself for the day. Not only does it open you up physically, but mentally as well. It helped me create a more positive mindset.

My favorite component from this video was the way Adriene coaches you through the practice not only physically, but with your mind as well. It is so important to be in a peaceful and open mental state, especially when you are first starting out your day. Something that she says during the practice is to “be present with what is”. The way that I think about this is to be present in the current moment, and to not worry about outside issues or worries, but to just let go and let a new day begin.

I highly encourage you to take 17 minutes out of your morning and check out this video to conquer your day, you definitely won’t regret it!

Yoga practice for stress relief

Happy Friday everybody! Congratulations on making it to the end of another successful week. For some, this week may have been a breeze, but for others, I’m sure it has been a bit of a struggle, and that’s okay! We are all trying to adjust to a new normal which can cause us to feel a little unbalanced or overwhelmed. I’m in that boat of uncertainty and emotions this week, which is why I have decided to share with you a few yoga poses I have taught myself in order to manage my anxiety and destress.

The first pose that I really enjoy practicing is Bitilasana, also known as the cow pose, mixed with Marjaryasana, the cat pose. I personally have a really bad back, so by being able to warm up my back with this pose, it really opens me up for the rest of the practice. In order to complete this pose, follow these instructions:

  • Begin on all fours, and inhale slowly, allowing your stomach to fall towards the mat.
  • Gaze upwards by slightly lifting your chin.
  • Broaden your shoulders towards your ears, and then draw them away from your ears to create an opposite back arch, pulling your stomach into you, rounding your back.

Another pose that really helps me is one you probably have heard of, and is known as the Child’s Pose. This is my probably one of my favorite resting poses, and really helps me visualize what I want my day to look like, and to reflect towards the end of my practice. In order to complete this pose, follow these instructions:

  • Kneel with your legs together, and sit back onto your heels.
  • Move your body forward until your chest is resting on your thighs and forehead is resting on your mat or yoga block.
  • Let your hands rest upward and really focusing on your breathing here.

The final pose that I am going to break down for you is the Supported Bridge pose. This pose is my absolute FAVORITE and has down wonders in regards to relieving my stress. Before practicing this, I really didn’t realize how much tension is stored in my back. To complete this pose, follow these instructions below:

  • Begin on your back with arms extended and palms facing the mat.
  • Plant your feet about a hips distant apart and bend those knees!
  • Press your hands into the mat and lift your hips up towards the ceiling.
  • Take a yoga block and place it under your lower back at whatever level you choose, then rest your weight on it.

These are just a couple basic and quick beginner poses that are super easy to learn and have really worked wonders to helping me relax, and I hope they are able to do the same for all of you. For more poses on stress relief, visit

Have an amazing week!

Balancing your chakras

For those of you who are new to practicing yoga, you may not be totally familiar with what the 7 chakras are, and hey, that is totally OKAY! But before you learn how to properly balance them, it is important to have a general understanding of what they actually are…so here goes!

Chakras refer to certain centralized locations where subtle energy occurs. There are 7 of these that run down the entire length of your spine, from the top of your head to your pelvic floor. Learning how to balance these energies are an extremely important part of not only practicing yoga, but staying in touch with yourself on a more personal level.

Each chakra also has it’s own positive affirmation, which is important to keep noted during your yoga practice. Noted below are these affirmations:

  1. Muladhara: “I am connected to the earth. I am strong and stable”.
  2. Svadhisthana: “I am a creative being with unlimited potential”.
  3. Manipura: “I am confident, powerful, and I can handle anything”.
  4. Anahata: “Give love to receive love, and be love”.
  5. Vishudda: “I speak my truth, I live my truth”.
  6. Ajna: “I am open, intuitive, and self-assured”.
  7. Sahasrara: “I surrender to the wisdom of pure consciousness”.

When it comes to balancing your chakras, there are a few important things to remember. It can be hard to do on your own as a beginner, and is a little different than what some may be used to. When I was a beginner I really relied on the help of videos from Earth Mama Medicine. With that being said, these are the 8 balancing tools she gives us to try and use:

  1. Food
  2. Clothes
  3. Surroundings
  4. Affirmations
  5. Meditation
  6. Visualization
  7. Crystals
  8. Essential Oils

My personal advice when it comes to balancing your chakras is to focus on each one independently, and not all at once. Each one reflects a different part of you and is to be treated differently in order to bring yourself to a more balanced state. It is also so important to learn those 8 affirmations and say them to yourself regularly. A positive mindset really does work wonders! Check out this video below by Earth Mama Medicine for more on balancing chakras for beginners!

Welcome to Balancing Act!

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be posting my first blog, Balancing Act, because well, life is all about balance and it isn’t always easy! My name is Gabriella and I am currently a senior studying advertising and public relations at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

You may be wondering why an advertising major is launching a blog about yoga, and that’s because I actually have been practicing yoga for a little over a year now! I have fallen completely in love with the entire lifestyle surrounding it and am so beyond grateful to have found such an amazing way to better myself. 

About two years ago I suffered a very unexpected loss of my grandmother a week before my first semester final exams my sophomore year. I was also dealing with a lot of personal issues amongst my friend group. On top of trying to grieve, attempting to mend friendships, and pass my exams, I began to come very unhappy with myself and with the world in general. Life seemed as if it was traveling at a pace I couldn’t keep up with, and I found myself trapped in my dark bedroom everyday, hating the way I looked and the way I was. My mind went to a very dark place and I barely could even recognize myself. I knew something needed to change and got the help I needed by seeing a counselor and my physician. They recommended I try exercising more, whether it be a full lifting routine, or just walking a few minutes each day. That is where I began doing research. I wanted something that would not only help me physically, but emotionally as well. I craved a more positive lifestyle and a peaceful mind. That is how I found yoga.

I like to share my story because I think people need to know yoga is so much more than how flexible you are or how long you can hold a pose. You don’t need to be advanced in order to enjoy yoga. I have been practicing for over a year now and I still would consider myself a beginner in certain aspects, and hey that’s perfectly okay! I hope each week you find these posts not just helpful, but inspiring! Don’t be afraid to give it a try and step out of your comfort zone, this is something that can stay with you forever!