Two River Times September 2014 - Health & Wellness Columnist

Business colleagues in the corporate leadership and wellness space concur that engagement is the blockbuster drug of this century. Seek, connect and converse to unearth insightful solutions. So why is it that so many people still miss the mark when trying to deliver on their wellness goals? My experience listening for clues this summer points largely to the importance of engagement and dialoging during discovery.

Summer is often the perfect season to enlarge our experiential travel lives. Whether you stay near or go far, it’s often the time for scads of roaming revelers to try new vacation ideas. Getting started is sometimes the toughest part of the new adventure. Here’s a perfect example. I’ve had the great pleasure of teaching yoga around the Caribbean for the past decade and this summer was no exception. While sharing the gift of yoga as the visiting resort pro, curious travelers frequently ask for advice on how to get started in the right class, at the right level, with the right people at the best time. I invariably suggest that they ask engaging questions to dial up the dialogue on point.

Millenium Park with Zen Plensa sculpture, ChicagoMillenium Park with Zen Plensa sculpture, Chicago

As we converse about what might be best for them at their current level of fitness and interest, I ask them three simple questions. First, do you prefer an intense workout? If so, I might suggest a moderate to advanced vinyasa flow or ashtanga class which marry a series of poses connected to the breath. If the student prefers a stress busting modality or gentle introduction to yoga, I’d be more likely to suggest a restorative or yin class for the practicioner that’s curious about the healing benefits of yoga. If the wellness seeker wants more information, we’d then discuss his/her preference for heat. Some like it hot and most that do find great value in variations of hot yoga like Bikram, and warm flow classes that lean on the thermostat to turn up the heat in their workouts. Thirdly, I query the student on their preference for form and routine. Some yogis love the creative, unrehearsed process that some yoga guides provide for their visitors because no class is ever the same.  Others like to know exactly what they’re getting, so they prefer the structured variation of set processes and attention to detailed alignment in classes like Iyengar which emphasize form with prop use. Systematic asana rounds in the heat would also be found in most hot yoga classes. As far as best time of day to practice yoga, most would say anytime possible! Pay attention to your circadian rhythm. If you’re are early bird, frame your day with a morning asana adventure to focus on wellness all day long. Otherwise, close out a productive day or dump off some stress with a good stretch and strength forming session to keep you forever young..

Bottomline, ask for referrals, get feedback from trusted sources and find a class that offers modifications to ensure your safety and comfort as you travel well in the world. Wishing you blockbuster success as you settle down summer and segway into fall!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an intergrated business/wellness national keynoter, leadership trainer, local entrepreneur and yoga teacher. Seasonal outdoor yoga @YogaOnTheLakeSummerSeries  and next Power Panelist Event Oct 25 at The Red Bank Woman’s Club  combine business with wellness to empower others. Learn more at