I’m so excited about today’s post! A few months ago, I had the privilege of speaking to today’s guest blogger and was beyond inspired and impressed. Devon Blackburn is the founder of Divine Divas & Dudes. Her mission, passion and life purpose is to help men and women build the physical, mental and emotional strength they need for long-term health and happiness. Devon uses her education, skills, and passion as a registered kinesiologist, personal trainer and yoga instructor, to help clients experience transformational health & wellness.
When I spoke to her about doing this post and being a part of the stress management feature, I didn’t want our conversation to end. Just listening to her speak put my entire mind and body and ease, so just imagine working with her.
In today’s post, Devon is going to speak to us about yoga and how it can help you manage stress and help you tune in to your body, so you can hear the gentle whispers and messages.
Sit back, relax and let our Q&A session inspire you the way it has inspired me.
Q: How does yoga help relieve and manage stress in someone’s life?
A: Cortisol and adrenaline are hormones released in the body as a direct result of stress (the prolonged activation of the sympathetic nervous system). By performing yoga postures, as well as yogic breathing, we can begin to deactivate the sympathetic nervous system and stimulate the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (which is responsible for our ability to rest, digest and relax). In turn our levels of cortisol and adrenaline decrease dramatically and our body, mind, and spirit return to healthy function.
Q: How does yoga help someone feel centered and balanced?
A: When we refer to ourselves as being balanced, what we mean is that all aspects of our health are in complete harmony with one another – our physical health, our energetic (or spiritual) health and our mental health. These three components of health are directly affected by one another and therefore completely interdependent. When these three components are working in harmony, we experience the feeling of being centered or balanced. Yoga has the divine ability to effect all three of these components simultaneously, providing immediate feelings of balance as well as lasting feelings of balance when practiced regularly.
Q: How has yoga helped you personally stay balanced and manage stress?
A: I attended my first yoga class when I was in my third year of university. At the time, it was interesting to say the most. I enjoyed the physical benefits of getting a good workout in, but beyond that I didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties when I came face to face with a life-altering situation that I began to understand the full benefits of yoga. I was going through a true transformational experience at that time – I ended my engagement to my partner of almost 5 years as well as my business I had worked hard to develop. I experienced feelings that I had never before experienced in my life; feelings of failure, loss, insecurity and uncertainty – and this was just the beginning. My mind, body, and spiritual health went into shock. I had low energy, constant aches and pains, and was unhappy. It was at this time that I decided to return to yoga and explore all of its benefits. The results were instantaneous. I began to experience relief from my physical aches and pains, low energy and unhappiness. The more I practiced yoga the longer the benefits would last. Fast forward to today – I practice yoga on a regular basis.
Sometimes I have the freedom to practice for 60 minutes and other times I have only a few moments. No matter the amount of time I have, the benefits I have experienced from performing yoga are tremendous!
Q: What can someone expect when they come to see you?
A: “Health”, “wellness” and “balance” are terms used to describe a state of being; one that is free from dis-ease – mentally, physically and energetically. As a Registered Kinesiologist, Personal Trainer, Yoga Teacher and Transformational Health & Wellness Consultant, I help clients transcend their health through the use of movement; reducing pain, increasing health and wellness, restoring balance and transforming lives.
Q: What are other benefits that someone can experience when working with you?
A: The amount of health and wellness information out there can be overwhelming and a “one-size-fits-all” approach no longer works. Yoga is only one tool I use to address a client’s overall health and wellness. As a Registered Kinesiologist, I specialize in injury rehabilitation, health and wellness enhancement, and prevention of chronic disease. My knowledge in the fields of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology and neuroscience allow me to assess a client thoroughly and locate the root cause(s) to his/her malfunctioning health and wellness. I work with clients on injury rehabilitation, pain & chronic disease management as well as ergonomics. When a client works with me they can expect to experience lasting changes to their health and wellness – in mind, body, and spirit.
Q: If you could share one success story on how working with you has benefited one of your clients, which would it be?
A: Emily – my favourite success story. When I began working with Emily she was a mother of two young girls. Having just given birth two her second daughter 10 months earlier, Emily was finding it difficult to lose the baby weight. As a self-proclaimed “exerciser”, Emily was performing similar exercises that she had performed after the birth of her first daughter but her body was not producing the results she had anticipated and experienced the first time round.
Emily and I began by first evaluating how her body functioned. I watched Emily perform specific movements that assisted in identifying any imbalances and compensations in her body. We then explored the causes to these compensations and imbalances. Because physical imbalances and compensations can be created through physical, mental, and/or spiritual trauma it is important to point out that Emily is affected by at least two of these factors. Emily was in a serious work related accident 8 years prior to us working together. This accident caused Emily to lose her sight completely. In turn, she experienced both physical trauma and emotional trauma. When we explored these two factors it became evident that Emily was experiencing mild aches and pain in her body due to not only the birth of her two children, but also the mental and emotional trauma of her accident. Emily was experiencing a lack of results with her fitness and weight loss goals due directly to the misalignment and dysfunction of her body. By addressing the misalignments and dysfunctions Emily experienced a greater level of health and wellness as well as transformed the shape and condition of her body. Today, Emily has achieved a pain free state of health, increased her fitness levels, and achieved her ideal weight loss goal.
Q: What is your number one desire for women?
A: As women, we are powerful beings! My number one desire for women is to have them discover their full potential; to master their minds, bodies, and spirits. To move through life with ease; free from worry, free from pain and free from dis-ease and illness. I fully believe that when we master ourselves – mind, body and spirit, we master our own personal worlds and can then uncover our Divine Self.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: I am currently working on a program specifically for women to assist them in mastering their mind, body, and spirit – called Divine Divas. This program is a year round transformational health and wellness program that includes unlimited access to my fitness and yoga classes as well as monthly meetings, guided readings, and a foundational Divine Divas class centred around natural, intuitive movement. I’ve poured everything I know into Divine Divas, drawing on almost two decades of experience in kinesiology, personal training, fitness, athletic training, yoga, meditation and dance, my interests in psychology and philosophy, and my own experiences as a wife and mother. Together we set goals, build strength and increase flexibility, learn from great thinkers, and sort through the media chatter and conflicting advice about everything from food and nutrition to fitness and sensuality. I know how hard it is to stay motivated and on track on your own, which is why I’ve created this program to do that for you. I believe women are stronger than society gives them credit for, and I’m passionate about helping women seize on that strength to transform their lives!
Learn more about the services, programs and workshops that Devon offers at Divine Divas & Dudes
Sending you oodles of positivity, happiness & joy,
Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl