There are many reasons you practice yoga. Whether you like the spiritual aspect, the hot studio or the workout, you return day after day to your mat, not to escape daily routine, but to help you stay in the present moment. Many practice yoga to help them find their purpose, both on and off their mats.
When I graduated from University and moved out to San Diego, I was in search for a community of like-minded people and a new hobby. As a gymnast my entire life, I missed having something that took up my time and I could work hard at; and that’s when I found yoga. I quickly fell in love with both the intensity and spirituality that it has to offer.
After practicing for a few years, I signed up to get my yoga teacher training in June 2017. I had heard from others that getting your teacher certification was a life changing experience and in a shifting point in my life, that was exactly what I needed.
10 weeks and 200 hours of yoga, meditating, journaling and sharing later, I finished my yoga teacher training a completely different person. Over those 10 weeks we delved deeper into our yoga practice, but most importantly, we worked inward trying to tap into our souls. From that, I was able to narrow in my focus and realize what I really wanted out of life.
Since getting my RYT-200 I have quit my corporate job to start my own business, teach yoga three days a week and have met people that have opened doors for me that I never even thought was possible. I have met encouraging women and been offered support by friends and family I was so nervous I wouldn’t get once quitting my job. The most important lessons I learned after all those hours in the studio, are the ones I use off my mat the most.
There are days I wake up at 6 am and once my feet hit the ground, I am running from one task to another with no stops until 6 pm at night. With invoices, client meetings, phone calls and marketing, working 12 hours a day 24/7 can be very easy to do. On these days when it all seems like too much and i’m starting 10 tasks and not finishing any, I remember to breathe. The breath in yoga is the most important part, “moving meditation” I like to call it. Connecting your breath to movement and consciously feeling each posture is what yoga is all about. I take this consciousness and use it throughout my days. If I feel like i’m getting “Chitta Vritti” (monkey mind), I get up from my desk and take a few moments to walk around and concentrate on my breathing.
Have you had a yoga instructor say to you “Invite any organic movements that might come to” ? The first time I heard it, it really stuck with me. I let whatever movements come to me and was conscious about what my body was doing. In that moment I felt so connected, both mind and body, and since that class, i’ve taken it around with me where I go. If you’re ever being pulled in two different directions, stop and listen to what your body is telling you. Maybe there’s a client that wants to work with you but you’re not sure, or a family-friend wants work for basically free or you’re feeling run down, whatever it is listen to your gut. You started your business to be your own boss and doing exactly what you want to do should be the top priority.
The intention I set for my business is in every single aspect of work that I do. Everything I add to my design studio, the road map to my business and marketing plan, the ideas on what to post on social platforms, all come from the intention I set when first starting my business. At first, I was having trouble writing a mission statement. I understood the importance of having one, but I couldn’t develop one. One day I was in yoga class and the instructor was setting an intention for the practice and that’s when it clicked. It’s basically a mission statement, but for some reason setting the intention really stuck. Now, I have my intention written in my planner and whenever I go to post on social or send something to a client, I make sure my work and intention are in line.
This is the most important lesson yoga has taught me about business. I truly believe that once you take time to dive deeper into understanding yourself, your true passion will come to the surface. Once you have the understanding of what your goals, passions, aspirations are, you can narrow in your focus and make a plan, but it comes with self love first. Do something once a day that has nothing to do with your business. Read a book, go for a run, a hike, a walk, do yoga, take a bath! ANYTHING that brings you peace of mind. By giving yourself those 5 minutes, an hour, whatever the amount of time, do it with consciousness and understanding that you come first. Running a business if you’re overwhelmed and unfocused will only lead to a meltdown eventually.
Yoga has taught me so much about business, but most importantly to listen to yourself. Remember why you started and don’t lose sight of your intention. There’s so much that comes with being an entrepreneur but that’s the fun part, right? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and breath, listen to your gut, stay connected to your intention and love yourself first.
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