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How yogis stay calm—even in stressful situations

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In this week’s Surfside Series, we’re chatting with the yogis at Love Yoga to find out how they remain calm even when things are chaotic.

Have you noticed how, no matter how frazzled you are, the moment you walk into your go-to yoga studio you instantly feel calm?  It’s not just savasana that’s getting you to mellow out; often, it’s the instructor who’s helping you turn off your stress switch.

Which is quite the accomplishment, considering that even yogis deal with messy breakups, bad bosses, loud neighbors, and other major stressors. What do they know about keeping calm that you don’t?

To find out, I tapped the instructors from Love Yoga, the surf-inspired studio (with locations in Montauk and Los Angeles) that brings yoga back to its breath-based roots, for some wisdom on how they get through frustrating, anxiety-producing moments. Keep them in mind the next time your parents start to get on your nerves—or you get annoyed when you can’t balance in crow pose.

Read on for the five ways Love Yoga instructors stay calm, no matter how stressed they get.

And if you’re in the Montauk area on Saturday, August 20, come take a Love Yoga class—Well+Good is hosting! Class is at 9:45 a.m. and we’ll be giving out free beach bags. Click here to sign up—each class is $22.

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sian gordon love yoga
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1. Get perspective

“I try to look at myself from outside of myself, if that makes any sense. I take in my surroundings as if I were watching myself in a movie. The enlarged perspective gets me out of my head and reminds me how incredibly lucky I am to have everything that I have. You can do this kind of meditation from wherever you are—you don’t have to be sitting on a mat.” —Sian Gordon, Love Yoga founder.


Leah schlackman love yoga
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2. Look to your friends and family

“In times when I feel most overwhelmed, I reach out to someone I love for their support and perspective. Sometimes it’s hard to see through the narrow lens of day-to-day minutia and stress; my friends and family help me refocus on the bigger picture. In sharing my thoughts with them I’m reminded of how fortunate I am to know such smart, compassionate people. No one can do it all on their own.” —Leah Schlackman, Love Yoga instructor


chelsea levy love yoga
Photo: Instagram/chelsjlevy

3. Find a mantra

“In the moments when I feel myself getting tangled up in the stress of the day, I’m drawn back to the mantra: slowly, wisely. With a conscious breath in I silently repeat ‘slowly,’ and with a full breath out, ‘wisely.’ It grounds me into full engagement with whatever is in front of me, and reminds me to tackle each task individually, leaving space to let the wisest decision surface.” —Chelsea Levy, Love Yoga instructor


jana roemer love yoga
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4. Check in with your breath

“When my mind starts racing and clarity is compromised, I pause to check in with my breath. Each breath cycle carries so much information. Once you watch for it, you can easily relate to your breath as your spirit. When stressed, my breath gathers right underneath my collar bones, leaving the lower lobes of my lungs stagnant. A few conscious, deep breaths into the hidden pockets of my lungs brings presence, illuminates perspective, and clarity resurfaces.” —Jana Roemer, Love Yoga instructor


sheri uslander love yoga
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5. Use aromatherapy

“If I get stuck in a really bad moment, I sniff olbas oil (a mixture of clove oil, eucalyptus, juniper berry, and cajuput) or any soothing scent I can get my hands that helps me remember that whatever it is, it will pass.” —Sheri Uslander, Love Yoga instructor

You can also try to change your mindset and use stress to your advantage—here’s how. Otherwise, stress can get to your skin. Yes, that’s a thing.