Entrepreneurship is an interesting ride. One moment you are flying high and doing well the next minute you are hoping to meet your next client or make ends meet. One moment everything is flowing and growing the way you want it to and the next minute you are stuck, unable to reach the next level, and things are not going as planned.
Entrepreneurship is a lot like yoga. One moment you are flying and soaring in your favorite pose, the next minute you might be wobbling and tipping over and unsteady in that same pose. Sometimes you are flowing from pose to pose with ease and other days you are struggling to hold and focus in poses and you lack flow and feel stuck.
The parallels are incredible and practicing yoga regularly gives me the opportunity to explore those parallels. Usually when I am stuck in business or life I find that it shows up during my yoga practice as well. Same holds true in the opposite direction when I am stuck or unsteady on my yoga mat, usually there is something going on in my life or business that I am struggling with or unsure about.
For me personally I am usually stuck when it comes to trusting myself and I find that I have the hardest time with poses that require me to trust my gut and strength. Poses where this shows up are in balancing poses, and poses that require concentration and steadfastness such as the warriors. An example of this for myself is when I practice Warrior II. This strong grounded and focus pose was and still sometimes is challenging for me because I would find myself questioning everything, unable to focus and not feel confident in my ability to hold still. In poses like Warrior III and Eagle Pose where core strength is required sometimes my ability to tap into this strength to engage my core was and sometimes also still is a challenge and I believe a direct correlation between how well I listen to and accept my intuition and gut feelings and my response to them. When I am steadfast and steady, I know that I am in alignment with my intuition and my direction. When I experience wobbliness and instability I know that usually I am struggling with change and decisions. I know that when I am feeling this way, at the end of my practice I consciously take the time to sit quietly and allow myself to gauge how well I think that I can either let go and allow myself to trust that everything will be OK or if I need to question further and investigate more the choices and decisions that I am looking to make. My goal is to make sure that as I grow I stay in alignment with my business while also choosing options that allow me to grow and thrive with in that value.
This is why I am so dedicated to my regular practice. As I have practiced, my ability to listen to my gut and trust my intuition has gotten so much stronger. My ability to trust that I can persevere, and reach my goals is now focused and and grounded and continues to keep getting more focused and grounded as I spend time growing in my yoga practice. This has allowed me to make decisions for my business and life that are positive and allow me to reach my fullest potential and expression in all areas of my business and life.
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can really leave us drained and needing energy. The thought of getting exercise in seems impossible with the endless things we need to get done on a daily basis.
What I love about yoga, is that it leaves you feeling like you can take on the day. Just 3-5 yoga poses can completely shift our thinking from a negative mindset to a positive one.
5 of my favorite poses to help bring me energy and leave me feeling ready to take on the day no matter what time it is are the following.
- Cat and Cow
- Downward Facing Dog
- Warrior II
- Reverse Warrior
- Child’s Pose
What is it about each of these poses that possess the ability to lift our spirits?
Cat and cow helps to liberate the spine. Having flexibility in the spine helps to prevent back pain, it loosens the muscles of the back helping us to feel like we have space to move and feel free.
Downward Facing Dog is a nice way to get blood to the brain in a safe and effective way. Increasing blood flow to the brain increases our energy naturally. This pose also helps to elongate the hamstrings, the muscles in the back of the legs which helps to stave off low back pain and it lengthens the spine to help us feel taller and more confident.
Warrior II: What’s not to love about warrior II? It is expansive, strong and expressive. Warrior II is grounding giving us a sense of stability and it fosters our inner strength.
Reverse Warrior: This pose is awesome for helping you put things into perspective! Sometimes we feel like we are being pulled in a million different directions especially at the holidays. Reverse warrior helps us to come to peace with that feeling because it too pulls you in different directions while maintaining the same position at the same time. Physically you are maintaining most of the Warrior II position but the slight modification with the arm reaching up and over your head lengthening your side body. Energetically however, your are being pulled up and over, forward, back and in. If you can handle doing all of that you can handle anything!!
Child’s Pose: Besides stretching the lower back and hips, Child’s Pose is a very relaxing and self reflective pose. Our lower back and hips hold a lot of stress & tension. That stress and tension build up can cause us to feel chaotic and out of sorts. Child’s pose liberates the hips and lower back helping you feel less tense and stressed. It also is an introspective pose in that it allows you to look inward and close yourself off from things that can cause you to be over stimulated over the holidays.
Give these 5 poses a try and see if when you are done, you feel ready to handle the holiday season with grace and energy.
Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As a fitness enthusiast it is hard for me to understand how someone does not enjoy going for a run or taking a walk on a breezy summer day or squeezing out that last pushup to complete a set. However, as a busy everyday on the go person I can certainly see how someone would be overwhelmed by the idea of trying to get a workout in when the kids have to get on the bus, laundry needs to be done, conference calls need to be made and dinner needs to get set on the table.
From this perspective I have come up with ways to incorporate fitness into your day without setting foot in a gym!
1. While taking the kids to the bus make it a race, who can get to the bus stop first. OR once the kids are on the bus jog back into the house.
2. Walk on the treadmill or go for a walk with taking a conference call.
3. Do walking lunges to and from the table while setting it for dinner.
4. Tricep dips are a great way to work the arms after sending an email. All you need is a chair and body weight!
So why is fitness fabulous…Well, first it is easy to do right from the comfort of your own home. Second, working largest muscle groups with exercises such as in squats and lunges, revs up the areas that utilize the most energy . Third, exercise is a great stress reliever, it releases endorphins and helps to take ones mind off the hassles of the day!
The next time you want to reach for that cup of coffee for a 3pm pick me up try a walk, a lunge or a quick sprint to wake yourself up!
Written By Julie S.