How yoga helped me succeed in business

Posted on June 7, 2012


how yoga helped me succeed in businessAt first glance yoga and business seem to be exact opposites. To use yoga terms, yin and yang. Yoga is about feeling calm and centered, while business is about being alert and winning.

That may be true, but if you dig deeper, you’ll see it’s much more than that. I’m currently doing an 108 day Ultimate Yogi rotation and am in Day 25. Every day, I’m doing a different yoga and meditation routine. This yoga routine has impacted my life like nothing else.

Here’s how yoga has helped me to succeed in business:

1. Fearless focus.

In yoga, you need to focus on the present moment and the present pose. As I am wobbling about standing on one leg and trying not to fall over, you can bet my mind is focused.

Focus is what you need to succeed in business too.

2. Consistency.

I was afraid that I would get tired of doing yoga every day, but that hasn’t happened. I jump out of bed (at 5:00 am) excited to be doing another yoga practice. I find I’m getting better at the poses since I’m practicing them so much.

It’s important to be consistent in business too, so your customers know what to expect.

3. Persistence.

Sure there are days when I’m tired or out of sorts and I just don’t feel like doing yoga, but I go down to my workout room, press “play” and do the routine. I feel wonderful when it’s done.

Sure you’ll have failures in business, but you pick yourself up and start again. Heck, even Steve Jobs had some early failures and look what happened to him!

4. Calmness in the face of difficulty.

I love yoga, but I’m an intermediate practioner at best. Several poses are hard for me, can you picture standing on one leg, with your hands down in front of you, while your other leg is straight up in the air? Not only is it hard to picture, but it’s hard to do. And you’re supposed to continue deep, fluid breathing at the same time!

Crises happen in business, how do you react to them? Do you panic and run around like a chicken without it’s head? Or, do you pause, take a deep breath and calmly figure out what needs to be done?

5. Not taking yourself too seriously.

It’s hard to maintain a serious face when you’ve just tipped over doing a yoga pose. This is true especially when the rest of the class seems to be doing the pose effortlessly and flawlessly.

Life is too short to be serious all the time, smiling is good for us. Business should be about fun.

6. Increased awareness.

Yoga teaches you to slow down and focus on the present. When you slow your breathing down and do this, you become much more aware of your surroundings and of the people around you.  This can be a good thing so if you fall out of a pose, you don’t topple onto the person next to you.

It’s critical to be aware in business too. You need to be aware of your competitors, aware of your customers’ needs and aware of the general economic climate.

7. Happiness.

I have never felt so calm and centered in my life. If anything, my life is much more stressful than it has ever been. But, I feel strong and ready to take on whatever life throws at me.

The word happiness is not one usually associated with business, but why can’t it be? We spend so much of our waking hours at work, why shouldn’t we be happy there?

What about you? Have you tried yoga? What was the result?

Photo is courtesy of Synergy by Jasmine’s Flickr Photostream, under Creative Commons Licensing.

Posted in: business, life