I am so excited to share today’s “Real Women, Real Balance” interview with you today. This one is near and dear to my heart.
I had the pleasure of working with Lindy Royer when I lived in Denver and can’t say enough about her. She is one of the most inspiring and authentic women I’ve ever met.
I remember living in California and researching Pilates studios in Denver and I knew Lindy’s studio was THE studio to work out of. She has taken Pilates, movement, physical therapy, and wellness to a whole new level. And most importantly, she lives what she teaches. Her life and her character is a testimony to the great work she is doing.
I’m excited for you to meet Lindy today!
Hi Lindy! Will you start by telling us what you do for a living?
Some days, I think the question might be, “what don’t I do for a living?”!
As the owner of a Pilates, Physical Therapy and Whole Body Movement studio, my work consists of a wide variety of activities—seeing patients and clients, teaching classes, teaching Pilates teacher trainings and workshops, networking with other health and wellness professionals, marketing, making videos and online programs, and most recently, teaching my own workshops and doing speaking engagements.
As you know very well Robin, owning your own business entails wearing many hats!
What inspired you to start your business?
Sometimes, adversity can be our best teacher!
By the late 1990’s, I’d been practicing as an outpatient Physical Therapist for many years, and had become increasingly disillusioned with my work situation. So disillusioned, in fact, that my health was suffering—not just my physical health, but my emotional and spiritual health as well.
Life seemed very bleak at that time. I was the mother of two young children, and I wasn’t close to being my best self for them. In 2000, I took some time for myself to heal and re-assess my life. With the support of some wonderful practitioners, I not only regained my health, I also got clear about what changes I need to make to lead a fulfilling and inspired life.
It was around this time that my interest in Pilates turned into a full-on love affair, and I started my Pilates instructor training. It took several years of work and planning before I took a leap of faith and opened my studio in 2005.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Although every day is different—which is exactly how I like it!—every day begins the same, with hydration, meditation and gratitude time, exercise and movement of some sort, and planning my priorities for the day.
To assure these essential practices get done no matter what, I’ve recently added a new layer of accountability. One of the groups I belong to has been challenged by our mentor to become part of the “5 am Club”!
Our group members have committed to arise at 5 am each day and spend the hour from 5 am – 6 am on self-care. If we miss getting up, we simply acknowledge we missed, let it go, and get back on track the next day. We’re connected via text message, and it’s pretty cool to get up early and see messages like “Ugh! I’m up and I’m doing it!” Knowing others are in this with me, going through the resistance to make positive change, is inspiring—especially at 5 in the morning!
After “holy hour”, which can be 90 minutes, depending on the day, I start the rest of my day. Some days are spent at the studio seeing patients and teaching classes. Other days I could be writing, shooting videos, meeting with like-minded practitioners or business owners, working on our website, planning a new workshop, or rehearsing a talk.
We host Pilates teacher trainings on weekends, so quite a few of my weekends are spent playing with our wonderful Pilates students, who keep me focused on being a better teacher and communicator.
I love that 5 am idea! I’ve been getting up at that hour to work, but you’ve just inspired me to consider how self-care can fit into that routine as well. 🙂 I’m curious, what do you do when you’re not working?
Well—I love what I do, so work sometimes feels like “not work”, which is an incredible gift.
My two boys no longer live at home, and the time we get to spend together is more precious to me these days. I guess since they’re out of the house, it means they’re not technically “boys” anymore—but they’ll always be “the boys” to me!
We enjoy cooking, so when they’re home, we have a great time concocting meals and even more fun consuming what we’ve created. My husband and I also love spending time in nature hiking or skiing, depending on the season. When I’m not working, I seek places and activities that renew, restore and re-energize me. Sometimes, that means a good nap!
As you know, The Balanced Life is all about empowering women to approach health & fitness with a balanced mindset. How do you handle the pressure as a woman to look or act a certain way?
Our culture can be pretty harsh sometimes—demanding that women look and behave in certain ways to be “good mothers”, “good wives”, or “the ideal woman”.
I imagine I’m older than many of your readers—I’ll be 60 next year. As women age in our culture, there’s tremendous pressure to keep looking younger.
Why is this?
Who am I fooling if I inject, lift, or implant?
I wouldn’t turn back the clock for anything, because with age comes a certain perspective that I didn’t possess at 30, 40, or even 50. If I could go back and talk to my 30-year old self-conscious, worry-about-what-people-think, exercise-obsessed self, I’d tell her to stop paying attention to the unrealistic pictures painted in the media of the ideal mother/wife/woman.
I’d tell her those women don’t exist. I’d tell her to focus more on what the world needs from her as a human being, and less on what she ate for breakfast, or how much cardio she did today!
When we’re living into our unique purpose on earth, the reason we were put here in this time and place, our light shines from within. The people we are meant to inspire and be inspired by will see us as the way we truly are—as fully expressed women. And I believe that’s why each of us is here.
When we do the work required to allow ourselves the freedom to express who we are in our own unique way, we truly love ourselves, and take care of ourselves without effort.
There’s no need to “diet”, because we naturally choose to nourish our body. We don’t’ have to force ourselves to “exercise”, because we are moved to move! We automatically begin to make time to meditate, pray, and feel gratitude, because our spirit speaks to us—and we listen. There’s no guilt because we are taking good care of one of God’s creations.
We can’t be perfect, and as soon as we let go of “trying” to be perfect, and simply embrace who we are, we have deeper meaning and connection in our lives. The focus on our external shell blocks us from that. Nature herself is imperfect, but nature is still beautiful, awe inspiring, and powerful. We can be too.
Oh, Lindy. This is why I love you! You are speaking my language and couldn’t agree more. 🙂 So, what does balance mean to you during your current season of life?
I love this question!
As I look back on my life, every season has been so different, but I wasn’t aware of the transitions until later. Balance for me these days means simply staying present to the moment. Being in Now. There were many times when my kids were younger that I struggled with the demands of doing a job I detested, shopping, cooking, chauffeuring, cleaning, and busying myself with all the things I thought I should be doing…and I missed the gift of the moment.
Balance, growth, and change only happen now, in this moment not the past, or the future.
So whatever I’m doing, I do my best to do it with presence. If it’s taking a nap, I fully relish the nap—it’s such a treat to take a nap! If it’s eating a salad, or a piece of dark chocolate, I savor and take delight in every bite. I don’t always succeed in staying in the moment, and that’s OK. I’m here to learn, grow, and keep evolving into the best me I can be—and I’m finally at a place where it’s all right to not do it right all the time!
Who/what inspires you to keep living well?
Isn’t it wonderful there are so many inspiring people in the world? I’ve had lots of mentors over the years. Some are people I’ve never met, like Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay. Others are motivational teachers like Brendon Burchard.
I’m even more inspired to live well by people like you, Robin. I am constantly in awe of my friends and colleagues who have the courage to stop listening to the voices in their heads and step into living a fully expressed life.
And finally, as a teacher, it’s important I inspire myself — if I can’t do that, how am I going to inspire and support others?
What is your best tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the midst of a busy life?
Join the 5 am Club!
And if you can’t do that, create the time somewhere in your day to take care of yourself—no excuses. I often hear from my patients, clients and students that they “don’t have time” to take care of themselves.
If you don’t – who will?
When I catch myself making an excuse about something [which I’m a master at, by the way!], I find it helpful to put things in a diary. I write down how I’m spending my time, or what I’m eating, or whatever it is I want to pay attention to.
It only takes a few days to discover where I can create time, if that’s my focus. I’ll read over my diary and be surprised to see that in the last few days I spent over an hour on Facebook, 2 hours laying on the couch watching TV, and another hour wandering around the mall! I’ve just found 4 hours to take care of me. It’s amazing how the simple act of honestly documentation is often enough for us to pay attention and magically “create time”.
Thank you Lindy! It’s an honor to have you here on the blog today. Thank you for the work you are doing to inspire others and encourage us all on our journeys toward balance and health.
Question: do you think you could join the 5 am club or is that too early for you?
See you on your mat soon! 🙂