I took my first yoga class over 20 years ago, without a thought that getting flexible, strong, and calm would ever actually turn into a career.
I’m so grateful to have found something I’ve got such a passion for, and am able to share with my community.
It’s been a great journey since launching my Xen Strength brand; filled with much success, but also many bumps in the road.
Luckily, lessons learned from my yoga practice have helped me to move forward in my business, and also balance life as an entrepreneur, wife, and mom.
Whether you’re the CEO of your household or a Fortune 500 company, I know these tips will help you be more productive as well.
Have you ever gotten to a place in your life that you thought you wanted to be, that you worked so hard to get to, but then realized that’s not where you belong? Just because you worked your butt off to get there, made sacrifices, and invested a ton of money in a project or a degree, doesn’t mean you need to stick with it… and it doesn’t mean you’ve failed if you change course along the path.
My daily meditation has helped me get extremely clear about what it is that I want.
My life and my business have gone through some transitions, and it’s all because I was able to be truthful about what I want my actual life to look like. And this has kept me from wasting a ton of time chasing things I’m not aligned with and therefore be more productive.
Get clear on what you want your life to look like, and create a routine, habits and plan to execute on a daily basis to get you there, even if it means that you need to leave projects or even people behind you.
Do you find it hard to focus throughout the day? If you practice yoga, and especially meditation, one thing you’ll start to notice is that you’re able to focus on one task for a longer amount of time, with greater attention to detail. You’ll even learn to jump off the merry go round from Facebook to Gmail, to Facebook to Gmail… I used to love that ride too- but it kills productivity.
Learning to be still and focus off the mat- which wasn’t something I expected when I started meditating, is the most incredible benefit I’ve personally received from my practice.
With that stillness, I’ve found creativity that had been hidden under years of “being busy,” yet not creating anything new.
I’m now able to focus on what it is I want to create- whether a new sequence for my class or a new program for my online tribe; and I bring that focus to creating it step by step without distraction. Okay, well, maybe I do still get distracted, but it happens a hell of a lot less than it used to!
Learn to focus your attention each day on those steps and habits you committed to when getting clear on what you want, and you’ll get that much closer to reaching your goals.
Have you ever held back from being completely honest in a situation because you were afraid of what your boss or co-worker might think? Maybe you lied about why a project was late, or why you had to bail on them for lunch.
Being transparent in business, whether admitting when you don’t know something to your boss or client, or exposing your business in a way that most others in your field aren’t, can open up doors to new opportunities, which might not have been possible if you decided to play it safe.
In my career, the practice of truth, or satya in Sanskrit, has opened me up to a whole new way of connecting with my students along their path. When I first started teaching I never incorporated much of “my story” because I felt it was self-indulgent. However, as students slowly began to know my history and ask questions about what I’ve gone through- and how yoga absolutely was the catalyst for my getting through some tough times, it’s opened a door for them to connect with me on an entirely new level. They can see a situation they’re struggling with through my experience, and it’s helped them realize what a powerful tool yoga can be on and off the mat.
Ditch Your the Comfort Zone
Have you ever gone to a yoga class where a teacher has brought you through a seamless transition of poses, opening your body in just the right way, getting you to that peak pose you never thought you’d reach?
Now can you relate that to an experience you may have had at work- maybe having to present a huge speech to your boss; where at first you felt like you’re going to throw up, but something inside you slashes through your fear, gives you the confidence boost you need at that moment- and you nail it?
That’s how we take our asana practice off the mat.
I find that when I take myself out of my comfort zone- whether in a crazy arm balance or meditating for an extra ten minutes, I’m able to hover to the edge of my comfort zone off the mat and grow in ways I never knew I would. To sell thousands of DVDs, to teach for Yoga Journal in front of 700 people in Bryant Park or train teachers in my method around the world- and most importantly, to balance that with raising a family.
If you’re not doing something every day that makes you uncomfortable, then you’re dreams and goals aren’t big enough, so ditch that comfort zone and do something today in your business that makes you feel uncomfortable.
On a daily basis, when you wake up to life, how do you feel? Energized, excited and motivated… or exhausted, foggy, and sloth-like? If it’s the latter, you may need to up your “wellness ante.”
Over the last 20 years, I’ve experienced that practicing yoga makes me want to eat healthier and move my body more; therefore I’m more energetic and productive, more focused and creative, and more motivated and innovative.
If you aren’t feeling great from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, take a look at the choices you make throughout the day.
How what you eat, what position you stand or sit in all day, and how your mindset going into work, can all affect your overall wellness and level of happiness.
If you don’t feel good on the inside then it’s tough to get into the mindset of slaying the day, week after week.
What one change in your diet or exercise routine can you make today that will bring you more energy and focus to slay your day?
Whether or not you’ve got the productivity part down, you might need a little more schooling on how to take an idea you have or a business you’re already building to the next level.
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