Are you an exhausted, overworked, irritated business owner? You’re not alone. Even the most passionate business owners (like myself) experience burn out. You probably know that yoga has changed my life. Now, it’s changing my business and it can change yours too!
The days where you just can’t bring yourself to go to class and get on your mat are surely the days when you need yoga the most. The same thing applies to your business. Whether or not you want to admit it, owning a business is a practice. We never know what the day will bring and there’s only so much you can do to prepare yourself for everything that comes with being an entrepreneur. By utilizing our skills each day and continuing to learn, we improve and get better, but no one on the planet is ever going to be the perfect business owner. You have to show up and practice in order to find progress, even when you don’t feel like it.
Set an intention
What happens when we don’t set an intention for practice? We’re all over the place with wondering minds and unbalanced energy. After learning just how important intention is during yoga teacher training at Yoga Innovations, I decided to start setting intentions for my business and it’s been game changing. Before I put energy into any task, project, or decision, I take a few moments to set my intention. What do I want to accomplish? What do I want the customer or audience to take away from my efforts? Setting intentions before going into a meeting or conference call has been especially helpful for improving my efficiency throughout the week.
Explore your edge
In yoga, we improve our practice by exploring our edge – the point of “okay I can push myself and hold this pose for just a few more breaths” compared to “this is too much and I need to back off”. By tuning into our bodies, we are able to become aware of not only where these boundaries are, but also how they are different. To put this into business context, we have to pay attention to the differences between “this is a difficult challenge, and I will not only make it though, but will learn and improve from it” and “I’m pushing too far for something that isn’t going to benefit my business”. Exploring your limits should be playful, exciting and rewarding. If you’re constantly living on the edge of the maximum you can handle, your levels of stress and exhaustion are only going to result in injuring your business.
Rest in Child’s Pose
On the mat, child’s pose is our safe place. It’s the go-to pose for when we need rest. We get to close off the world and only focus on ourselves internally, absorbing stillness to relocate breath in order to return to our practice. It’s important to determine what child’s pose will be for your business. Where can you go in your daily life to center and ground yourself? Maybe it’s baking a batch of cookies, talking a walk, or even going to a yoga class. Find one thing that you can access at any point in time so that you can bring in your focus, collect your thoughts, and have a few restorative minutes before returning to the hustle of your day.
Shavasana isn’t a nap at the end of your yoga class. During the course of the practice, your body releases lots of beneficial neurotransmitters (like GABA for example, which reduces anxiety) into your blood stream. In order to maximize the benefits, your brain needs time to absorb these chemicals. When you skip out on Shavasana, you’re literally depriving yourself from reaching the full potential of your practice. Similarly, as business owners, we’re stubborn about success. We want success so bad that all day every day we run around doing a million things for our business and clients. In reality, we’re trying every possible angle to succeed all at once, which may sound like a great idea, but it’s not. By randomly distributing energy, focus is compromised and then nothing works. It’s important to put on the breaks frequently to rejuvenate your business and let all of your efforts be absorbed. If you never stop to let your hard work sink in, you’re inhibiting your own accomplishments.