Are you a planner? I am!

Do you thrive on that little thrill you get from crossing something off your to-do list? I do!

Be honest, do you add things to the list so that you can cross them off? GUILTY!!!

Do lists like that cause you to stress out? Sometimes.

Do you recognize the way planning for the future takes you out of the present moment? Absolutely.

We have entered a new year. Brand-spanking new, 2020 is here and we have the entire twelve months, 365 days to make something happen. Our entrance into uncharted territory can give us inspiration, depending on if we view it as a new opportunity – or it can create stress if we are intimidated by a long list of things “TO-DO”.

On a recent long car ride, my husband and I talked about this conundrum and may have arrived at an approach that can shift the way we view our to-do lists. 

Basically, you change the name of your list from a “to-do” to a “to-done”. Bear with me on the grammatical incorrectness of that title, because I’m going somewhere with this.

Recall the feeling that creating a to-do list gives you. I tend to make them most often before hosting a big event at my house or preparing for a long trip. (These examples are where I’m most guilty of padding the list, just so I can cross stuff off) There are times when the to-do list allows me to calm down and see all my tasks clearly so I can begin to manage them and finish them. Other times, the overwhelming nature of the list causes anxiety.

But where does that anxiety begin? I believe it begins in the act of leaving the present moment. We don’t know what the future will bring, so planning, while a necessary part of day-to-day life, keeps us from being fully present. 

One of my favorite yoga teachers used to begin her classes by calling awareness to our seated posture. A slight shift forward in the torso often represented anticipation of what the class would bring. She encouraged us to sit straight up, centering and being in the moment both in mind and body.  This can also happen in a warrior two pose, an asana in which the position of the body is a representation of all three phases of time. 

The past, is where your back arm and leg are. The present, is where your head, torso and hips are. Your future, is where your front leg, arm and gaze go. Standing in warrior two, we are symbolically connected to our past, rooted in it with our back limbs – we hold our hearts and minds in the present moment and gaze and reach forward to the future.

Recognizing this in seated and standing postures helped then and helps me now. 

Regarding your lists, here’s what I propose.

Write out your list as you would normally do. Then write one stating each task as if you already completed it. Instead of saying that I have to do so and so (pick up ice for the party) write, I have done so and so (picked up ice for the party). By shifting it all into an already accomplished thing – you are sending a message – Law of Attraction-style to tell the universe you have received the future thing and are grateful for it.

All the best in the new year and in managing your “to-done” list!

Theresa Conlon

Theresa is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor (200-hour RYT) who has been teaching since 2013. She is skilled in various yoga styles including Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, and Meditation. Theresa also brings an extensive dance background to her yoga practice, which includes teaching both modern dance and ballet. She has over 40 years of dance/theater performing experience and currently showcases her choreography as part of Bergen Dance Makers, a dance collective in northern New Jersey. Theresa’s yoga classes offer a calming mix of traditional asana postures and creative movement flows, supported by energy-moving breath. Students of all skill levels are invited to find ease and peace in their bodies/minds/spirits through the joyful bliss of yoga movement.

Carrie Parker Gastelu

Carrie Parker Gastelu, E-500 RYT, has been teaching yoga since 1993. Carrie began her journey when Yogi Raj Mani Finger initiated Carrie into the ISHTA Yoga lineage after training with Mani’s son, Yogi Raj Alan Finger. In addition, she has studied many other yoga traditions as well as anatomy, physiology, movement, and awareness practices to create an eclectic style all her own. She is known for her honest, non-dogmatic yet passionate approach.

Carrie is a regular speaker and contributor at conferences, websites, and print publications and has been featured in Fit Magazine, the Yoga Zone Book, and in the Yoga Zone Video, “Flexibility and Stress Release.”

Lisa Podesta-Coombs

When Lisa found yoga in 2008, she started to find herself again and it set her on a path of health and healing. She received her 200HR RYT certification from Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis, and her 30HR Chakra Yoga Teacher Training certificate with Anodea Judith and holds a Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) certification. She is also a Holistic Health Coach (certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition). Lisa believes we’re all on a journey of learning how to trust ourselves; she helps her clients build that trust by supporting them in creating better habits for a better life through various functional movement modalities like yoga, barre, Pilates & strength training, mindset, and whole food nutrition.

Forever a student with a passion for people, holistic health, and self-actualization, Lisa is always embracing opportunities to advance her education to better serve; Ayurveda workshops & immersions have been of particular interest as she continues to deepen her knowledge of and experience with food as medicine and she recently completed Unleash Her Power Within, a transformational program of rediscovering our truest selves, powered by Tony Robbins.  

As she continues to give herself space and grace to nourish her natural self and actualize her potential, Lisa continues to share the gift of movement as medicine to inspire authenticity & health in body, mind, and spirit. You can expect mindful, accessible, dynamic, playful, and uplifting classes from Lisa.

Tanisha Sutton

Tanisha’s yoga journey began when she was an undergraduate student studying at university. Changes in her health coupled with anxiety over grades, relationships, and life in general, forced her to search for healthy lifestyle choices she could implement to help manage the stress that she was experiencing as a new adult. A friend of hers suggested that she attend some community yoga classes to help with the anxiety and increase her daily physical activity. Initially, she was reluctant and filled with all these false ideas about yoga and the people who practiced yoga. Like many others, she was concerned that her body type and lack of flexibility automatically excluded her from being a student. Curiously yet hesitantly, she journeyed on to her first class and began laying the foundation for a home and public practice that has supported her over the years.

On this journey, she has discovered that yoga has nothing to do with appearances nor is there anything, but an open mind needed to begin. She intends to provide you with a gentle yoga session that is safe, inclusive, and accessible. Her classes are an expression of self-love and are a deliberate choice to tend to ALL the parts of our being that are neglected, ignored, or disregarded during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Through meditation, deep breathing, and gentle movement we will collectively share space to observe, rest and re-set. Tanisha is honored to share her practice with you and looks forward to seeing you on the mat!