What do yoga practices have to do with small business success?
The business world is fast-paced, always pushing to grow, gain new clients, and increase revenue. Meanwhile, Yoga is slow and mindful. They feel like two opposing worlds with zero overlaps.
If you’re anything like me, the phrase “no pain, no gain” is your motto. If you put in the work, there will be growth. I would run and push myself. If I didn’t push hard enough, I considered the workout to be ineffective. My business was run similarly. Always “running,” pushing to up level, for the next thing.
It was not until I began my yoga journey that I truly saw how much I had to learn. I’m reminded regularly of these three lessons of how yoga practices benefit me as a small business owner (and as a human being).
These three lessons from yoga practice can help you and your small business, too.
The first yoga practice lesson is to sit in stillness.
Each yoga practice is ended with a savasana. In essence, you lay on your back, palms facing upward. Simply laying there.
Confession time. I used to skip this part of the yoga practice. In my Peloton workout, they usually have a 1 minute svasana. I figured, it was one minute of just laying there. What good was it doing me? So I’d roll up my mat and head to start working on checking the next thing off of my to-do list.
What I was missing was huge. The point isn’t simply to lay there, but to feel the effects of your practice. To notice the changes in your body. To notice anything about your body. It is a time of reflection.
This reflection helps you feel gratitude, to notice that you are, in fact making improvements. It can also help you notice that a part of you needs more rest, or more care. It is imperative to your health. A yoga practice skill that can and should be taken beyond the yoga mat.
So what does this yoga practice have to do with you as a small business owner?
Sitting in stillness and reflecting, just as in your yoga practice, is vital for small business health. Simply pushing, and looking to grow without looking how far you have come can be detrimental. You may be feeling defeated that change is not happening because you have not noticed that it is. When you reflect on your business you can notice things that are working, are not working, and that need tweaking. This reflection can help you feel grateful for how far you come and help you as you look to move forward.
The next yoga practice lesson for your small business is to sit in discomfort.
Doing a slow flow yoga practice is not running sprints on the track, but have you held a warrior two pose for any period of time? Sitting in discomfort allows growth to happen. Holding a pose shows you how strong you are, and fires up your muscles, which helps you build more muscle.
As in your yoga practice, the same goes for your small business. If you are feeling stagnant in your business, feeling like growth is not happening, maybe it’s time to sit in the discomfort. That may mean pushing yourself, trying something new (like posting that Reel on IG, or trying Tik Tok). It may mean continuing to show up even if you feel like no one is listening. You must step outside of your comfort zone in order to grow.
It may sound cliche. However, it is said for a reason.
Finally, a lesson from yoga is to learn it is okay (even necessary) to accept help.
Another confession time! When I was early in my yoga practice journey, I did not use props. I would try to force my way into poses, or simply not try them because I couldn’t do them. I saw using props as weak.
But one day, it all clicked. I tried using blocks, and I could do the pose. I could gain that space that I needed to move into a pose. It may sound simple, but using the props allowed my yoga practice to be more intentional. It allowed me to make progress into no longer needing the props for certain poses while using them less for other poses.
Again, how does this yoga practice relate to your small business? You could have numerous reasons for not accepting help in your business. However, it is vital for your business growth. Think of help like yoga props, just helping you do things better.
Help could mean, hiring a mentor to help you see new ways to grow your business. Help could mean outsourcing areas of your business allowing you more free time to focus on needle-moving tasks.
Even if you do not practice yoga, consider these lessons for your small business.
I challenge you to give yoga a try for one month. (I love Peloton* for my yoga practice). See how the change in how you workout, allows for change in your small business.
As you sit in the stillness, feel the discomfort, and accept help from your props, notice where you can apply those yoga practice lessons to your small business.
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*This is an affiliate link. You save $100 when you order from Peloton using my link. I, too benefit (I get $100 credit for Peloton accessories). However, I only recommend products I love and use.