Do you wish you were brave, but instead find yourself afraid? Imagine jumping out of a plane with a 50-pound pack and going on a 20-mile hike.
This was the norm for Kelsie Cabrera, West Point grad turned yoga studio owner. Not everyone has to learn how to survive in sub-zero temperatures, but we all experience storms in life that require us to face our fears and be brave.
Kelsie and her husband are the dynamic duo behind Brave Vira Yoga studio that’s opening soon in the charming downtown of Georgetown, Tx.
In this interview with Kelsie you’ll find out how to turn your passion into a career, how to reduce your stress, and how to be brave when you experience setbacks. Of course, we’ll talk about how to be brave in your financial life too.
How to turn your passion into a career
Kelsie Cabrera was a collegiate softball athlete who did artic training in Alaska and then served in Afghanistan. After her deployment she started looking for a way to stay physically fit that was less strenuous. She found true passion: hot yoga and bikram.
“I got hooked right away and went every day for a year,” said Kelsie.
After three years of doing yoga, Kelsie began taking teacher training classes for her own benefit. She quickly fell in love with the idea of sharing what she learned with other people. First she started substitute teaching classes, then offered private lessons, and the idea to open her own studio was born.
How to reduce your stress
Could yoga be the key to reducing your
stress? There are many unhealthy ways of managing stress:
compulsive spending, overworking, or excessive drinking.
“I think the best way to reduce stress, is being aware of the stress. You could be walking around with your jaws clinched and don’t even know it,” said Kelsie.
Yoga brings awareness that you’re stressed.
She explains that our bodies are built to be in two states. The parasympathetic, or “rest and digest” state, is when your body is calm and relaxed. On the contrary, the sympathetic state is when your body is in survival, or “fight or flight” mode. This is the ‘I’m being chased by a lion and about to get eaten’ mode. During this state your heart and mind are racing.
Now-a-days we don’t get chased by lions, but we deal with stressors like deadlines at work that send us into fight or flight mode. “Yoga helps capture that parasympathetic state. Your brain starts to quiet, your blood flow comes back to normal, and you can think more clearly,” said Kelsie.
How to be brave when you experience setbacks in life
Kelsie describes being brave as when you’re mindfully pushing beyond your comfort zone. She recently experienced a setback: she had a cyst removed on her hand from an injury.
Previously with setbacks she wouldn’t take the time to worry about an injury and how it impacts her life. Now she has the outlook that, “Accomplishing this posture today might not be worth it in 5-10 years. If something doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to do it.”
She bounced back post-surgery by being more kind and understanding to herself. If you’re experiencing a storm in life, Kelsie’s advice is, “It doesn’t have to be perfect. Give yourself the space to decide what you want to do rather than just reacting.”
What being brave isn’t
Being brave doesn’t mean being fearless. “Being brave isn’t just about sucking it up and getting through. It’s about leaning in when you need to,” said Kelsie.
She explains further that you have to understand the difference between strength and self-torture. You don’t have to beat yourself up to be brave. “In my life I’ve put myself in positions that I didn’t necessarily need to. You can’t run away, but you also can’t live in fear all of the time,” said Kelsie.
How to be brave with your finances
Kelsie’s advice with your finances is, “Put yourself in an environment, a group, or community that can help you attack your problem and grow your strength.”
She explains that it’s uncomfortable to tell someone if you need help, but part of bravery is learning the tools that will get you through that challenge.
In summary, whatever you are facing in your life: be brave and live the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Congrats to Kelsie on opening her yoga studio.