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Mindfulness Can be Easy (even for a busy working mom!) with Dr. Chantal Hofstee :052

Mindfulness can be achieved even by the busiest of people…

A very busy person herself: a mom, wife, clinical psychologist, author… need I say more? Dr. Chantal shares what mindfulness has brought to her life and how she has been able to apply this practice without having to chime bells every hour or set aside swaths of time – that frankly, few of us have!


Here are some highlights of our discussion:

  • How she was introduced to mindfulness
  • Her initial skepticism of mindfulness
  • Red Brain : Orange Brain : Green Brain States
  • “‘Red Brain’ brings out the worst in us, ‘Green Brain’ brings out the best in us.” – Dr. Chantal Hofstee
  • ‘Orange Brain’ is the to-do list brain.
  • How you can live from the ‘Green Brain’ State
  • What “stay green” means in her office.
  • In the Green Brain State you can be more productive and feel good at the same time.
  • The Productivity Myth
  • An explanation of procrastination
  • Having more consistent output and energy
  • Stress gives us tunnel vision
  • “Green Brain – the absence of stress – makes us flexible, creative, see new ideas and angles and ways to work smarter.” – Dr. Chantal Hofstee
  • Neuroplasticity – you can rewire your brain!
  • With mindfulness you can rewire your brain to handle stress
  • After 6-8 weeks of practicing mindfulness the amygdala (fear center) of the brain literally shrinks!
  • How Dr. Chantal practices what she preaches, her ‘Green Brain Activators’. She gets up early for a short morning run… gratitude practice… setting a daily goal… savoring her morning coffee.
  • How she created a happier, more connected morning routine with her 4 and 1 year old children.
  • Her perspective on the concept of “judgement”
  • You can be angry or sad in ‘Green Brain’ – it’s just different.
  • “Emotion is a signal that something needs to be addressed.”  – Dr. Chantal Hofstee
  • “Emotions are my internal GPS.”  – Dr. Chantal Hofstee
  • What is helpful?…
  • Check out her book “Mindfulness on the Run” and online programs



About Dr. Chantal Hofstee

Based in Auckland, born in the Netherlands, Dr Chantal Hofstee lives and breathes mindfulness. A Clinical Psychologist, Mindfulness trainer and author. She is a strong believer in taking control of your happiness rather than seeking it outside of yourself. Accessible, warm and compassionate and in the first minutes with her you can tell she teaches from both her brain and her heart. Check out her insightful extended bio here as well as her books and resources!

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Spirit of the Lake Yoga – On and Off the Mat :008

Spirit of the Lake Yoga is a lovely studio near Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota.


In this interview, (now) yoga studio owner Nicole Lovald, shares how she came to yoga while her husband was deployed in Iraq, and how yoga helped her to cope with her many thoughts, concerns and challenges as she was faced with raising their 2 year old son alone during that time.


Several years later she and her husband are owners of an award-winning yoga studio, and take the goodness of yoga beyond the mat to their community.


Nicole recounts her first yoga class she went to: that for first time, since her husband had left for Iraq, her mind was silent. She remembers leaving class feeling better. This was enough to convince herself to go to class weekly!





She admits that her friends could tell if she missed a class, because with yoga she was a calmer, happier, easier person to be around.



“When you support your body… you can release… muscles, emotions, tension… Whatever is challenging you at the time.” – Nicole



Not too long after Nicole took a yoga teacher training course, never with the intention to teach (or own a studio for that matter) but to understand better what was going on that caused the great changes she felt in herself.


Some other things we talk about in this episode:

  • How she and her husband came to be owners of Spirit of the Lake
  • How Nicole and her husband have a special desire to work with veterans
  • Is yoga a religion?
  • Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP) yoga
  • Nicole’s passion for working with kids – especially little kids.
  • How they are taking yoga off the mat and support the community


“You don’t have to be flexible in body, but be flexible in mind.” – Nicole


What’s unique about Spirit of the Lake Yoga:


Family friendly programs for all ages!

Online programs:

  • Intro to meditation
  • Soulful self-care
  • Mindful parenting
  • Mindful eating

Spirit of the Midwest Yoga Festival

“We can still focus on the good even when we’re dealing with trauma, even when we’re dealing with sadness. It’s important to let that sadness move through us.” – Nicole

 2 Tips on How to Feel More Balanced in Times of Stress and Despair

  • Let “that” emotion move through you (rather than stuffing it). Which leads to illness and disease. Restorative and Yin yoga for example allow us to be quiet and to release.
  • Breathe – “We take our breath for granted… Our breath is our life-force…. It’s what gives us vitality… It’s what helps us to move those emotions through…”  Learn to breathe into the belly.



How Yoga Helps us With Everyday Things – Like Kids

Nicole is adamant that she shares parenting tips not because she is the perfect parent, but because so many of the mindfulness techniques taught in yoga (and in former training) have helped her to be a better parent. She suggests to bring in mindfulness (bring awareness into the here and now). This helps a parent to take the time to respond to a situation rather than hastily reacting. Kids can eventually learn to model this mindfulness behavior also!



“Try to find moments, where you truly see your children… experience with them.” – Nicole



“I just keep thinking how much my teenage years would have been had I had yoga then… Self-esteem, self-confidence…” – Nicole



Listen to the podcast to hear how Nicole beautifully explains the how-to and the benefits of these tips. 



About Nicole Lovald


Nicole Lovald is a Certified Yoga Instructor and Life/Wellness Coach with a Master’s degree in Counseling. She has spent over 15 years working in higher education, social services, non-profit, and for-profit settings. Her love of yoga began many years ago when her husband was deployed and she was looking for a self-care practice to ease her worried mind and untangle the stress induced knots in her body.
What she found was that yoga provided amazing benefits that not only impacted her body but also relaxed her mind and allowed her to get in touch with her inner spirit. After realizing the wonderful benefits of her practice, she decided to embark on a yoga teacher training program so that she would be able to bring it to others. She has now been teaching yoga for over 4 years and is thrilled to be able to help others live healthier and happier lives.
As the owner of Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center, Nicole is excited to continue to support the Excelsior and surrounding communities. In addition to teaching several classes at Spirit of the Lake she also provides individual wellness and life coaching sessions.