We all have that one person in our lives that somehow manages to do it all, spinning more plates than seems humanly possible! Yoga instructor & Neat pal Eliza is exactly that person, balancing a full-time job and teaching yoga with daily workouts & family time. Keep reading to find out how she fuels her hectic lifestyle, the benefits she gains from a dedicated yoga practice and what exciting plans she has in the pipeline this year…
First of all, tell us a little bit about you?
First of all, I am an accountant, which means I'm best friends with Excel, and work for a firm that helps companies get financially organized & make sure they accurately report their numbers to the government. And I love it. I love it even more as recently, I moved to this new company that allows me to work remotely from home, which has been a long-term goal of mine. So now I get to work closely with my fiancé, who I recently got engaged to, and my two babies, I mean fur babies! One boxer mix and one basset hound mix.
I also teach at BIG Power Yoga in Houston, at both of their studios, and recently completed my 300 HR certification through BIG. I spend every spring and fall assisting the 200HR teacher trainings because of how transformative the trainings have been in my life, and I want to give that back to others.
What does an average day in the life look like for you?
I wake up around 4am - 4:30am each day. I either go straight to the studio to teach, or if I’m not teaching that day, I get started working on the computer. The morning time is for me -- I make myself a cup of coffee, journal a little bit, and drink a glass of water. Each day is different. As I mentioned above, I work from home, so my schedule is pretty flexible and a lot of the time my work out schedule is determined last minute, based on if I have a deadline or a meeting that day. Every day I do get in a sweat, though, whether it be a hot yoga class, a spin class, or going for a long walk with my fiancé and our pups.
What are the biggest benefits you find with doing yoga regularly?
Yoga has allowed me to love my body again. It’s taught me that even though things may get challenging in life, my circumstances don’t mean anything about who I am at my centre – whole and perfect. It has taught me that my thoughts will come and go and that I don’t have to attach myself or associate who I am with those thoughts because nothing is permanent.
I think there’s a chemical aspect that is occurring as well. The endorphins that are released when we sweat and move our bodies affects the chemical make up in our mind, therefore benefiting our mental health. But I think really the most effective tool is mindfulness – being able to distinguish the difference between our thoughts/what our mind is telling us versus what our body knows to be true. By distinguishing these two things, I am able to live based on what my body needs in the moment (eating, moving, sleeping, etc.), rather than be the victim to the thoughts in my head.
What are your top tips for any beginners looking to try yoga for the first time?
TRY IT ALL! Seriously, the only way I found yoga and the studio that I love so much was because I took a chance, got curious, and went to a lot of different studios around town, tried different yoga tutorial videos online, and experimented with various classes so I could find instructors I trusted and a community that I felt a part of.
Also, get rid of the “all or nothing” mentality. Do a 20-minute Youtube video in the comfort of your own home -- that’s yoga. Take a 90-minute hot yoga class at a studio -- that’s yoga. One is not better than the other, and as a beginner, I think often time students get discouraged or overwhelmed by the idea of doing everything they see on Instagram. Just do it -- any amount, for any length of time. Slowly your practice will get stronger and you’ll learn what is best for your body.
You’ve got lots going on, how do you keep your body fuelled?
I love foods/snacks that don’t have to be refrigerated or need to be heated up, because when I’m out all day, I never know when I’ll be hungry or when I will want to eat or if I’ll even have time. When I think about fuelling up during the day I focus on convenience & efficiency. My favorite fuel is a smoothie that has some ice in it so it will stay cold until I’m ready to drink it later. I use Neat Nutrition vanilla protein mixed with greens, a banana, any other fruit that I have in, and some water. It fills me up, is easy to make, and tastes super yummy.
What’s in the pipeline for you this year?
I am about to embark on a 9-month leadership training at my studio, that will push me out of my comfort zone and help me to become a better yoga teacher. Once this is complete, I will hopefully be closer to being able to lead group meetings at my studio and play a bigger role in the yoga teacher training programs at my studio that I already assist in. Also -- I am getting married in November!