Yoga as a form of physical exercise has been part of Louise’s life for over a decade. However, a recurring struggle with glandular fever left her physically exhausted and emotionally drained. For such an active, busy individual this was a huge blow.
“Just before starting my one year, 360 hour yoga teacher training course, I met Bex. With our shared passion for an outdoors lifestyle it was no surprise that we immediately connected. As I started to study yoga physiology and philosophy, I felt the desire to review my whole lifestyle. With the help and support of Bex, I identified areas to work on, set realistic goals and started to make simple changes.
People had always commented on my busy lifestyle. Jam-packed with commuting, long work hours, exercise and socialising, there was no space for relaxation or cooking. Gradually I made a conscious effort to pull back, turning down some social invitations, slowing down and ultimately, listening to my body and mind.
My weekdays involved early rises so I could push through high impact, cardio classes, long hours in the office, followed by strong yoga classes in a heated room in the evening. Although I was physically fit, I was also lacking in energy. Following Bex’s suggestion, I moved my heated yoga practice to early mornings and lunchtimes which freed up my evenings. I am now able to go to bed earlier, my body has time to replenish its energy levels overnight and I awake feeling refreshed.
“I suffer from food sensitivities so I avoid gluten and dairy, but Bex pointed out that my lack of energy was due to the lack of protein and nutrients in my low-fat, gluten-free, dairy free, semi vegetarian diet which was full of complex carbs.”
Having de-cluttered my schedule, I found I had more time for food shopping and cooking – which was useful as my new diet did require more forward thought and preparation. With Bex’s assistance though, I got into the swing of it and nowadays it’s just part of my normal routine. I’ve learnt a few tricks along the way; tins of tuna are perfect for leaving in your office drawer and combining with any salad ingredients you happen to have in the work fridge. Salt, pepper and lemon juice are the best salad dressing combo – no need for processed dressings. Almonds are your friend! I snack on them at my desk or on the go. Bananas are nature’s pre-exercise pick me up and so portable – great for eating in the car. Sunday nights are my favourite time of the week for prepping food. I often make egg muffins by lining a silicone muffin baking tray with ham or bacon, combine eggs, herbs, seasoning, capsicum, cherry tomatoes (or any veg you have on hand), and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Hey presto, breakfast sorted for the entire working week.
As chance would have it, shortly after making changes to my schedule and diet, I got approached about a new corporate role that offered career progression and new challenges, along with more balanced work hours. I not only finish work at a decent hour, but even have time to teach yoga one or two evenings a week. I love equipping my students with the tools I’ve learnt to help them find more balance in their lives and to inspire others around them to do the same.”
Deepening her awareness of nutrition, natural therapies, relaxation, meditation and the interconnectedness of body and mind had a profound effect: increased space, freedom and vitality, both mentally and physically. Now back to her habitually active self, Louise has realised her optimal balance of work and play and enjoys a healthier and happier life.
Louise’s lightness of spirit is infectious. Instinctively focusing on the happier things in life, she radiates playfulness and positivity. This attitude is the cornerstone of her work as a yoga teacher. Based on Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches, Surfside Yoga strives to motivate you to take time out to move, stretch, strengthen and relax both body and mind. Teaching a dynamic style of yoga, Louise’s positive energy and genuine smile are infectious.
Connect with her at www.facebook.com/SurfsideYogaSydney
If you are in Sydney, get to one of Louise’s yoga classes at Narrabeen Surf Club: Thursday 7pm – 8.15pm and Saturday 8am – 9am. Yoga with an ocean view!
From Glandular Fever to Yoga Teacher: Louise’s Story – November 2013