Stephany McMillan has been a friend of Omega Sports for many years now. She is a successful entrepreneur and with her business, Rise & Flow Yoga, Stephany wants to bring mindfulness to people from all backgrounds and experiences. During this interview, we learn a few meditation techniques, what it means to be mindful, how to listen to your body, and the steps one can take to achieve this mindset.

“Together, let’s give rise to mindfulness”

Rise & Flow Yoga

Rise & Flow is a virtual yoga studio whose mission is to teach mindfulness through yoga and meditation. Stephany has created a space that welcomes everyone and provides a place that offers peace and support. As a rising star in Greensboro, Stephany’s initial vision was to open a physical studio. In hindsight, she was limiting herself. When the pandemic hit, Rise & Flow had to close its doors. What felt devastating ended up becoming a blessing in disguise. Luckily, Stephany had already cemented her name in the community with supporters all over the city. Her biggest fear was finding people outside of Greensboro.

Now with the world on lockdown and everyone needing a form of escape from the confines of their homes, Rise & Flow Yoga shifted into a completely online platform. By having the ability to virtually meet people in the comfort of their own homes, Rise & Flow has opened up its doors to a whole world of endless possibilities. During the transition period, Stephany built a team of 4 yoga instructors representing the diversity of Rise & Flow. With the high demand from patrons, an expansion of team members is inevitable.

“Our mission at Rise & Flow is to create a space where you can just be brave and find agency in your practice.”
Getting To A Place Of Mindfulness

What exactly is mindfulness and how can we achieve it? Well, it is pretty simple, mindfulness is just being fully aware and present. By being aware, Stephany means being aware of everything around you. Set yourself in real-time and go through the emotions you are feeling in the present. Rather than focus on what needs to get done tomorrow, find gratitude in the stillness of the moment. Oftentimes, we are subconsciously ignorant. We tend not to notice our body’s subtle queues of stress. For example, the clenching of our jaws, having our tongue sit on the roof of our mouth, and keeping our shoulders tight in a stiff position. Take a step back and ask yourself, how are you doing? How are you feeling? Once you start listening to your body, you begin noticing more about yourself.

Rise & Flow Yoga Classes

Not only does Rise & Flow offer live-stream classes, but also an extensive on-demand library that is accessible at any time. In addition, Rise & Flow works with companies to find ways to bring yoga into the workspace. Something as small as providing tips to integrate into a yoga routine to offering full classes. This approach has proven to be a success for the company.

Rise & Flow Yoga owner, Stephany McMillan

Listener Questions for Rise & Flow Yoga Owner, Stephany

How soon can someone do yoga after an injury?

First and foremost, you want to be cleared by your doctor before going into any strenuous activity. Timeframes for recovery are unpredictable and depend on person to person. Once you are in the clear by your doctor, it is important to be transparent with your yoga instructor. They can create a wholesome practice catered to your specific needs. Be mindful of your body and listen to it.

At what month should a pregnant woman stop or adjust their yoga routine?

One of the many advantages of choosing Rise & Flow is that Stephany is certified in both pre-and-post-natal yoga, but it still comes down to an individual’s needs and prior experience. If you were active before becoming pregnant, it is reasonable to suggest continuing doing yoga while gradually introducing adjustments to techniques along the way up until birth. Again, everyone’s body is different, especially during pregnancy when constant changes are happening.

I’ve tried meditating with apps but never had any success, are there any you recommend?

Stephany gives full transparency in that she has no prior experience meditating using apps. What Stephany suggests is switching the narrative behind meditation before finding an instructor to guide you through. Meditation looks different for everyone; it could be lying on your bed or sitting in your car. It is what you make it. An easy way to get started is by challenges yourself. Start with sitting by yourself for two minutes doing simple breathing exercises to help your body ease into the transition of meditating.

Can weightlifters benefit from yoga, and how so?

Whatever the workout may be, extraneous or not, it never hurts to include yoga into your routine. Yoga can help with flexibility and loosening up those tight muscles which in turn can help with mobility.

Does hot yoga really make a difference?

Hot yoga has benefits. It is an amazing entry point into yoga. In hot yoga, it is significantly easier to get into postures. The heat allows for your muscles to loosen up.

Want to learn more about Stephany? Listen to her interview on the Women’s Only Podcast.