Why every entrepreneur should practice yoga

The first month of the year, so many of us reflect on the past, and look forward to what’s next. I have received my annual influx of new clients looking forward to developing new businesses and getting unstuck, which is energizing and exciting. Working within our health aware community, I am in awe of how those who practice yoga seem already equipped with so many of the “tools” to be entrepreneurial in body, mind and spirit.

The benefits of running your own business and practicing yoga are numerous, and I recommend both highly. Although there are an incredible number of parallels between entrepreneurship and practicing yoga, the mental strength we gain and the speed we lose on our mats is fuel for business success.

Consider the following benefits of yoga, and why it’s a seemingly brilliant way to train yourself to be the best entrepreneur you can be:

1. Walk away from your desk. Doing yoga on your own is wonderful, but sometimes scheduling yourself into a class might be more effective in forcing you to get up from your desk (personal experience).

2. Find your flow. You will come out of each practice feeling refreshed, more grounded and ready to get back to work.

3. Learn to respect your limits. It’s healthy and necessary to push a little more than where you’re comfortable, but a little too much and you can find yourself in a position that really hurts you (and can actually do damage).

4. Learn to breathe. Do not underestimate the power of breath and being connected to it. Pause, and make conscious, deliberate moves.

5. Be kind to yourself. Go slowly. You don’t need to be a pro out of the gate, be good to yourself and set a good pace.

6. Be regular, not rigorous. Build yourself a steady momentum. Consistency almost always wins over frequency.

7. Rest between sessions. Even too much of a good thing can have negative consequences, so make time for adequate sleep and other activities.

8. Fit it into your daily life. Consistent with your own values. Work and yoga should not be something you force yourself to do. It should be a part of what you do.

9. Expect improvement, not miracles. Change happens when you keep practicing. Small improvements add up quickly but mostly when you look back on them- even though you should always look forward.

10. Don’t judge others. You never know of their struggles or gifts, and where they really are in their own practice. Focus on yourself.

11. It’s not about chasing something. It is about being present right where you are to make the most of it all right now.

12. You will get better, but first it will probably piss you off. It’s frustrating when it feels like you’re barely improving, but then all of a sudden… Every failure is your chance to improve.

Wishing you all well as we move through 2014, together.