Here at Vibrant Health, we believe health is an inside job, unique to you. After all, you’re one-of-a-kind and your needs are complex – that’s why your supplements should be too.
To celebrate all of the beautiful complexities of our lives, each month we’ve been highlighting individuals in our community – taking a peek into the behind-the-scenes of their work life, wellness rituals and all the wonderful things that make them who they are.
In this month’s Vibrant Health series, we got to catch up with Spiritual Teacher Sarah Joy Gaines. Between hosting a body image healing group and her virtual wellness community joyspace, Sarah is a big advocate for self-love(which couldn’t be more fitting with Valentine’s Day coming up).
In this inspiring interview, we got to chat with Sarah about running a heart-centered business from home, her signature joyflow classes and simple ways you can focus on loving yourselfmore this season. We hope you enjoy our series…and remember, keep being you!
Name & occupation:
Sarah Joy Gaines, Spiritual Teacher
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Intuitive, Silly and Loving
What does a typical day in the life running your own business look like for you?
I wake up sometime between 7-8am (I set no alarm) and take my morning for me. I typically don’t schedule anything before 11am, so I take that time to move into my day – writing, meditating, moving my body (which might be a workout, a walk in the woods, yoga or dancing, depending on how my body is feeling).
From there, I move into one-on-one calls with my mentees and/or group sessions. These sessions are typically meditation with my virtual community, joyspace, or conversation and group work with my body image healing group.
Some days are fuller than others but either way, it’s a lot of time on Zoom! Just like a lot of us these days, I try to intentionally take breaks – sometimes 10 minutes or sometimes long breaks closer to an hour. I might go for a quick walk outside in between calls, otherwise it starts to feel like my eyeballs are going to fall out.
My nights look a little different depending on the day! I’ve tried to get very intentional with my evenings because early on in quarantine, I was finding myself mindlessly scrolling or mindlessly eating. Sometimes I’m attending a workshop or class, other times I’m hanging out with my best friend Jacque (he’s the greatest cook and we laugh a lot together…truly the greatest medicine), or doing something or another at home. Before bed, I like to journal.
Tell us more about your Joyflow classes!
Ah, these are such a gift to guide! I like to call joyflow, “yoga for you.” We start with a slow and gentle vinyasa and build up to intuitive movement and ecstatic dance, closing with a deep meditation. The purpose of joyflow is to allow your body to move in a way that feels good. What I love about this practice is that we can start to pay attention to what thoughts or feelings arise when we do so – often times it’s judgment, self doubt, insecurity, etc.
So when we practice joyflow, we can start to move through that. To shake it out. To release it. And then we have the space to move freely – how we truly are at the deepest level! When we practice this in a joyflow class, we can start to practice it outside of the class and in everyday life.
You help people live in “joyflow” and build a life they crave. What’s your number one tip for someone who’s looking to add more joy into their life this year?
Dance! The ecstatic dance portion is essential in the joyflow class, as explained above. Maybe you don’t do a full joyflow class every day, but you can dance around for at least 30 seconds every day. Dance when you’re happy, dance when you’re angry, dance when you’re uncertain; just dance, dance dance. This is a practice that has been practiced for thousands of year. Dance is medicine. It’s an expansion of self, an expression of joy!
Self-love is an important part of the work you do. As we head into Valentine’s Day season, what are some ways our readers can focus on loving themselves more?
I love this question because I have a low-key obsession with looking at the correlation between self-love and romantic love. A few ways to practice self-love:
1) Place your hand on your heart, and ask your heart “How are you? What do you need?” Ask these questions three times or more, and just notice. Don’t expect and answer; simply ask. Then say “thank you” three times.
2) Write yourself a love letter! Get mushy gushy with it. Tell yourself how beautiful you are and what a gift to this world you are. It might feel cheesy, but embrace it.
3) Start tuning in to how things are making you feel: the food you eat, the media you consume, the people you engage with, the work you do, the way you spend your time, etc. Saying no to the things that no longer feel good, deep in your heart, is the greatest act of self-care.
What are you favorite rituals for wellness and self-care?
Meditation, writing, dancing, nature, and community.
What’s your go-to healthy meal or snack to fuel your body & energize your workday?
I’ve been really into breakfast salads these days: A bunch of greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, beets, or any other fresh veggies I have mixed with egg whites for protein, some seeds, nutritional yeast, and avocado. Throw in some grapes or berries, and toss with lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Thank me later! It’s so fresh and filling.
What does wellness look like for you?
To me, wellness is paying attention to what I’m doing and why. It’s surrounding myself with people who are encouraging and curious, who provide a space for me to be me. Wellness is allowing myself to follow what feels right in my heart, trusting and honoring my own power, beauty, and wisdom along the way.
Thank you for being a part of our community! Want to be featured on our Vibrant Health blog? Send an email to Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org