Increasing Our Joy

Every morning I listen to a podcast while I make, and eat, breakfast. It’s my way of starting off each day with a clear mind, a positive attitude, and an interest in the world. And, truly, it has changed my productivity, my work flow, the way I am with my family.

One of my favorite podcasts is The Lively Show with Jess Lively. Jess is a coach that helps people build a value-based life through her course Life With Intention Online. Her podcast is an inspiring look at life, at living well, and how to be the best version of yourself. She gets into the depths of who we are and the stories we tell ourselves, and I truly, truly appreciate it.

The podcast I listened to this morning was Increasing Our Joy – an interview with Rachel MacDonald of In Spaces Between. You can listen to the entire episode here.

How do we increase our joy?

Rachel says “joy is the energy of love.” And what resonated most with me about her interview was when she described her approach to life, feeling stuck in a job she didn’t love, with people she didn’t connect with. She felt resentful, overwhelmed, stuck, and fearful. And approaching life, every day, with those attitudes and feelings, that is exactly what life reflected back on her.

The moment of change came when she said “this isn’t how I want to live my life.”

It’s amazing how just shifting your attitude, your perspective and self awareness can change the way you experience the world.

That was the first step. Step two is to move your body. Here’s more from Rachel.

“Movement and exercise are really, really important. It’s one of those things you can here that so many times and brush over it. But it’s so powerful to change your state.

If you’re overcome with emotion or feeling any kind of negative thought pattern, if you get up and go for a walk, or a run, or do some yoga – things shift. They absolutely shift.”

YES, Rachel. YES.

Time and time again I have told myself that I “need” to relax. To rest. To put my feet up and zone out. But resting doesn’t change your state of being. It preserves it. It keeps you stuck.

If you want to change the experience of yourself, your attitude, your experience in your body, you need to move. You need to shift it. You need to physically remove it from your state of being.

That’s what I have learned in my time as a yoga teacher.

Move your body. Change your day.

Move Your Body

When I’m feeling stuck, or crabby, or just .. unmotivated, the story I tell myself is that I “need to rest.” And you know what? When I do that, most of the time, it doesn’t change my attitude. It doesn’t change my physical discomfort.

But when I choose to try something different. When I choose to stand against the wall and stretch out my calves or open up my shoulders, suddenly things shift.

And I want more.

You don’t need a mat. You don’t need blocks or yoga pants. You don’t need equipment. A few minutes of breath and movement can change your state of being tremendously.

You just have to try. Experiment. See what happens.
That’s why I created Yoga for YOUR Life. Because yoga is a great way to change your state of being. It’s a great way to change your attitude, your perspective.

And sometimes that’s exactly what we need to have a good day. It’s not always the big things, but the little changes, the deepened breath, opening up the places where we carry stress and tension and resistance. That’s when we change who we are. That’s when we grow. That’s when we reach a happier state of being.


I hope this message helps you in a time when you need it most. I hope it allows you the opportunity to shift  your perspective and add some positively, and lightness, to your life.






Julie Love Gagen

After unexplained illness, with no diagnosis, forced me to take medical leave of absence in college, I chose yoga as a path towards healing. For me, it was a gentle way for me to get back into my body. And the experience, and practice, gave me the confidence I needed to believe I could heal. It worked. And it’s been magic ever since. In 2012, I chose to do a personal wellness challenge – 30 days of Hot Power Yoga – in celebration of my 30th birthday. The studio I picked was Baptiste Yoga in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The studio which, just a few years later, would be the inspiration and the setting for my RYT 200-hr Yoga Teacher training. The style of yoga I teach is a little different from what you’ve seen before. In my class, we focus on strengthening your core, elongating your spine, and finding the ideal position for each body, regardless of what it looks like.