Inspiration can strike at the funniest times and in the most unlikely situations, can’t it – take this article for example – I ‘wrote’ it on my yoga mat of all places! I was lying there, relaxing in Savasana, thinking about how much I have come to LOVE my yoga sessions and how they have become an integral part not just of my exercise regime but of my life. I love yoga in a way I never thought possible when I first started somewhat reluctantly 2 years ago, on the advice of my osteopath. I’d always been much more of an aerobic ‘go for the burn’ type but my body was telling me in no uncertain terms that it was no longer quite so keen!
It’s amazing what comes to mind during my practice – I sometimes think my mat works as a mirror, reflecting back what’s going on ‘inside’. Anyway, there I was thinking about how the enormous number of life lessons yoga has to offer can be applied just as well to business and here’s what I came up with:
- How we feel and what we think have enormous implications for… well, everything really. What goes on inside dictates what we think we can and can’t do. Our mind-set can be our biggest ally or our greatest enemy in business and it’s up to us to decide which it’s to be! We need to check-in, be aware and constantly monitor the endless stream of ’am-I-good-enough’ and ‘who-do-I-think-I-am’ type thoughts which can so easily sabotage our success.
- It’s often the little things which make the biggest difference. Just as breathing is key to yoga, it’s the stuff we do day in, day out and the consistent practice of business fundamentals which can be so effective in bringing about transformation and success.
- Postures which once seemed unattainable, I realise I can now do with grace and ease… (well comparative grace and ease!) and is a testament to the power of regular, gentle stretching. Regular, gentle stretching in business can take us a lot further than we’d ever imagine and enable us to be and do so much more than we may think.
- If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t and I know that pain means things are certainly NOT okay. Being balanced and in alignment makes things seem almost effortless compared to ‘forcing’ the body into postures. Likewise, our business needs to align with who we are and what we want in life and any discomfort is a sign to check out what’s out of alignment, make adjustments and shift, rather than forcing ourselves into situations that we know aren’t right for us.
- A gentle adjustment of my posture from my yoga teacher can make something which felt strange and difficult, immediately feel loose and easy. Similarly in business, a little bit of objective help and support can wonders and make an enormous difference very quickly.
- And of course… the big one – focus! Just as meditation is an essential part of yoga practice, focus is an essential part of our business practice. Focus allows us to detach from overwhelm and distraction and reduce the ‘noise’ within us and around us. Focus gives us energy, clarity, momentum and power.
But perhaps the biggest lesson yoga has taught me about business is this – to simply embrace the process, appreciate the experience and enjoy the challenging, fulfilling journey we’ve embarked on together. Om Shanti.