The Importance of Taking Time Off


Yoga instructor Kathryn McCann rests in a hammock while overlooking Diamond head in Oahu, Hawaii.

The more connected we’ve become through advances in technology and social media, the more difficult it has become for us to disconnect. We interviewed yoga instructor Kathryn McCann on the importance of taking time off and more planned vacations.

Kathryn McCann, a former professional ballet dancer and performer, founded Hang Zen Yogis, to bring yoga and wellness programs to corporate America.  

Her Vinyasa style yoga classes which focus on linking breath to movement, allow employees a break from the monotony of work to breathe, rejuvenate and refresh.

According to Forbes, 75% of Americans don’t take the paid time off they are due each year. In a survey taken by Glassdoor, Harris Interactive, only 25% of paid workers out of the 2,300 surveyed used all their vacation days and 61% who took vacation worked during their time off.  

Yoga instructor Kathryn McCann practices a supported handstand while overlooking Diamond head in Oahu, Hawaii.

YR: What do you see most frequently with students who come to your yoga class?

Kathryn McCann: People don’t give themselves enough permission to enjoy themselves. There’s a tremendous amount of pressure and competition in the workplace so people often feel stressed, unfulfilled and over-worked.

YR: What improvements do you see from students who regularly attend your yoga classes?

Kathryn McCann: I see their stress levels decrease as their mental clarity and energy levels soar. They start to find themselves and are more conscious of their health and well-being.

Yoga instructor Kathryn McCann practices a supported handstand while overlooking Diamond head in Oahu, Hawaii.

YR: What do you recommend for people working in corporate America?

Kathryn McCann: Ask yourself: Are you staying true to your passion, does all your work add up to your enjoyment?

YR: What tips do you have for maintaining a healthy work-life balance?

Kathryn McCann: Americans work the most out anyone and don’t take enough time off of work. Travel to somewhere you’ve never seen before or treat yourself to a staycation in your own city. Give yourself permission to enjoy yourself!

Yoga instructor Kathryn McCann rests against a palm tree overlooking Diamond Head in Oahu, Hawaii.

YR: What do you love most about traveling?

Kathryn McCann: I love learning about other cultures, meeting new people and simultaneously finding myself in the process. I come back with more mental clarity that I ever had before.

There are many health benefits to giving yourself the time off you deserve. Studies have shown that vacations reduce stress levels, promote a healthy heart, improve productivity and sleep. All essential characteristics of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Yoga instructor Kathryn McCann practices a backbend while overlooking Diamond head in Oahu, Hawaii.

So with the New Year in full swing, make it one of your resolutions to take more vacation days in 2017 and…

“Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live.” Rachel Ann Nunes

Photos: Twain Newhart Photography, Oahu Hawaii. Model: Kathryn McCann wears Sunset Sky

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