Three Questions: Catherine, Workflow

My love for Flow Yoga Center is no secret. Neither is my dislike of getting work done at the office - picture overhead lighting, no access to fresh air and the worst architectural trends of the 1970s combined. 

So when Catherine Zack, a friend and yoga teacher, announced the launch of a new kind of wellness-based shared working experience at Flow, I wanted to try it out.

Workflow effortlessly blends quiet workspaces, natural light and yoga/meditation breaks into one productive and enjoyable working experience. Doors open at 9:30am - grab some coffee, find a work station that suits your mood (floor seating, standing desks or lounge options) and get to it. The spaces are quiet and uncrowded. I could concentrate. A gentle bell is your reminder that meditation and yoga breaks are about to start. They're optional but many join in. I left at the end of the day feeling satisfied and calm. My work was done, my body was happy, my mind at rest with no lingering to-dos rolling into my evening. 

If you're into it, sign up for Workflow here; your first visit is free. 

Three Qs with Catherine

What does wellness mean to you?

So often our understanding of something comes from experiencing the inverse. When I was a corporate litigator, working around the clock, slamming a diet coke during late nights at the office, feeling stressed, anxious, and depleted, I knew what wellness wasn't! That sense of imbalance and the determination that I needed to recalibrate led to the creation of workFlow, our co-working popup inside a yoga studio, Flow Yoga Center. We call workFlow a "wellness-based co-working space" because we aim to bring to life the research that supports work/life balance: providing opportunities for mini meditation & movement breaks throughout the day and creating a culture around it where it's awesome if you make the decision to step away from your screen to take care of yourself. Today, wellness for me feels like vibrancy, the ability to move from a grounded place, and a sense of being at home in my body. I feel it most when I'm sticking to my meditation & yoga practice, sleeping 8-10 hours a night (I love sleep!), getting fresh air, feeling connected to my husband, my work, my community. We head to Costa Rica next month to lead a yoga retreat - living in the jungle, waking up with the monkeys & the sunrise, getting back into the rhythm of nature - that's optimal wellness. I'll be sure to take some of that back with me to DC! 

What has been an important lesson in your self-care/self-love journey and how does that tie to the creation of Workflow?

The ultimate transformation for me was taking myself off the hamster wheel of my job as a lawyer. I got swept up in the hustle & knew that if I didn't slow down & ground down into some supportive practices, the eventual outcome wasn't going to be pretty. I made a few less-than-successful attempts to bring yoga & meditation into my old law firm, but the culture really didn't support it. workFlow is awesome because we are creating a culture & a community that values taking care of yourself to support the good work you do. Around here being "swamped" isn't a badge of honor. Even though we are busy & our lives are miraculously full, we support each other's commitment to balance & well-being. It's a daily & ever-evolving practice. 

Anything to share with other kickass #girlbosses out there? Or just reminders to your #girlboss self on those not-so-great days? 

You already have everything you need inside of you to create a life you love... which doesn't mean that everything always goes in your favor. "Success" is deeply personal & definitely not linear. Keep going, even when the way isn't totally clear. Don't be afraid to say no & let go of what's not working... it's how you make room for infinite possibilities. Two keys to flipping not-so-great days. First, you have to remember your truest self. It can be as simple & straightforward as putting a hand on your heart, closing your eyes, and taking a few deep breaths. Then from a grounded place you can remember... it's really not about you! Be of service, connect, smile at whoever you see. Do something nice for a stranger, apologize, help a friend, whatever it is. And if that still doesn't do it. Make soup. There's something instantly uplifting & satisfying about chopping vegetables & turning it into something nourishing & delicious. 

Connect via @workflowdc and @cathypants85 (