Most people associate yoga with sweaty spandex-clad people who greet the day in downward dog and spend hours twisting their bodies into pretzels.
But yoga isn’t just a fitness fad; it’s an ancient practice dating back thousands of years that’s known to deliver a host of incredible benefits.
Not only is yoga good for the mind, body, and spirit, but it can also be a valuable tool for enhancing your business. I discovered this almost by accident a few years ago when I began practicing Kundalini yoga. Almost immediately, I saw a return on investment in yoga that was just as direct as investing in research and development, a product, a website, or a great new staff member.
The Benefits Yoga Can Bring to Your Business
1. Improved physical wellness
The entrepreneurial life is physically demanding. Constant traveling, long days and nights, eating out, and being exposed to nasty germs and rapidly changing temperatures during flights can put a tremendous amount of stress on your body.
Yoga provides a foundation of fitness, flexibility, and strength and gives you a major energy boost. There are also poses that are specifically designed to strengthen your immune system, which can allow you to avoid productivity-crippling illnesses. I haven’t been sick once in five years, and I attribute this to my yoga practice.
2. Mental wellness
When running your own business, stress comes with the territory. The meditation portion of yoga is perfect for quieting the mind, allowing your subconscious to solve problems, and creating order out of chaos.
It may seem counterintuitive, but sitting quietly helps me get more things checked off my to-do list than anything else. I experience less distraction, less stress, less anxiety, and less disappointment when things don’t go as planned.
3. Spiritual and karmic benefits
Our thoughts, words, and intentions boomerang back to us as experiences. What you love, you empower; what you fear, you empower; and what you empower, you attract. When we generate personal merit through our work on ourselves, we live in a way that keeps us aligned with the universe, and our decisions and their outcomes amplify our success.
My colleagues and I have seen a direct benefit from yoga in the opportunities that it has created for us through the law of attraction. When you put positive intentions out into the universe through your practice, you’ll start bumping into the people and circumstances that can help your business in the most unexpected places. More and more, we’ve found ourselves saying, “A funny thing happened…” It’s magical, mysterious, powerful, and way easier than striving and grinding all day on our own.
4 Powerful Yoga Principles to Apply to Your Startup
Aside from the benefits, yoga also teaches a number of principles that apply to almost any endeavor in life — especially entrepreneurship.
1. You must persevere when things get difficult
What happens on the yoga mat is a microcosm of what happens in life and business. You have to show up for your practice even when you don’t feel like it.
You have to hold a pose longer than is comfortable to progress and reap the benefits. It’s not about doing as well as others. You have to do your personal best to see results.
2. If you don’t know where to begin, just begin
Master yoga teacher Yogi Bhajan once said two things that still ring true for modern entrepreneurs.
First, “there is a way through every block.” You just need to see it and act, and it will be clear. Second, “When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.”
In business, action delivers every time. If you don’t know what to do with one of your entrepreneurial endeavors, just begin moving forward, and a solution will present itself, or you will learn from the action you took and correct more quickly than you would have by staring at your navel.
3. Don’t let self-doubt get in the way of your success
Another one of my teachers, Ravi Singh, teaches the concept of “right livelihood.” Simply doing something is not enough. You must do it right and with precision.
As entrepreneurs, our worst enemy is our self-doubt. To overcome it, focus on those actions that create the highest value, and know that you are impeccable. Only then will the outcome of your work be equally impeccable. The quality of your business is a direct reflection of the quality of your self-view.
4. Always stay positive
Yoga urges us to be joyful and ecstatic regardless of outcomes. Every entrepreneur experiences failure. I’ve failed many times, but looking back, I can see how each step brought me closer to learning a critical business or personal lesson that helped me grow. Work to discover how everything you experience as an entrepreneur elevates you.
Most entrepreneurs don’t spend enough time investing in themselves. But yoga delivers more than any business conference or seminar ever could. Yoga aligns your energy and consciousness to help you create prosperity, eliminate self-defeating thoughts, enhance your creativity, and attract the investors and team you need in order to be unstoppable.
Yoga has also helped me tap into my internal resources and make my company a reflection of the good I want to do in the world. Making a difference and making money are not mutually exclusive.
When you live a passionate, balanced life full of positivity and good intentions, you’ll create immeasurable wealth for yourself, your employees, your customers, and the world.
Achieving Success Through Meditation & Higher Consciousness – Deepak Chopra
This is a post I am uber excited to share with you.
I was up nice and early at 2am Perth, Western Australia time this morning to chat with the amazing spiritual thought leader and best selling author Dr. Deepak Chopra to find out how Entrepreneurs can take advantage of meditation and tap into a higher consciousness for success.
Deepak shared a lot of step by step advice for entrepreneurs who are ready to start taking action for a more healthier and balanced life to handle each day with energy and high levels of productivity. (more…)
The Questions You Have Always Wanted To Ask A Spiritual Leader
It’s not often we get to sit on the floor, barefoot and in lotus position while interviewing a spiritual author whose journey and teachings have positively influenced the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
8 Athletes & Entrepreneurs That Embrace Yoga as the Edge to Success
Incredibly successful athletes and entrepreneurs continue to embrace yoga as a powerful tool in gaining the mental and physical edge necessary to become a consistent top performer in the field and boardroom.
The improved mental clarity gained from their practice allows them to remain calm in the face of pressure to make the tough plays when the game is on the line, or when game changing strategic decisions need to be made.
The enhanced energy and physical strength from a regular practice provides them the level of vitality necessary to be at the top of their game through an entire season, playoffs and championships, or during the long days of building and running a thriving business. (more…)
10 Tips From a Buddhist Monk on Living a Fulfilled Life
Is there any doubt that people are searching for happiness in the wrong places?
Reaching a fulfilled lifestyle is much more than just a beautiful home or modern car. It’s about connecting with yourself on more than just a conscious level.
Buddhist Monks have obviously figured this out because instead of chasing material value they look within.
The following tips come from Monks who know what a fulfilled life entails.
1. Never stop trying
The worst thing technology has taught us is to be lazy.
According to a Monk it is crucial to try several times before giving up. It is also important to try different approaches. When you have reached the point where nothing works then make peace and move on, but giving up after only trying once usually leads to disappointment.
Creating any practice or new habit requires patience and a “never stop trying” attitude.
2. All the answers come from within
A fundamental principle for Monks is to use intuition.
In order to deal with problems the world throws at you, you need to use your sixth sense. Buddhism students are only given a small amount of information from which they have to solve big problems. This is part of their preparation for facing the world.
In essence the universe will open the door, but you need to walk through it without losing sight or becoming disappointed when the answer isn’t clear from the start is a discipline we must try to master.
All the answers reside within us; we just need to look in the right places and trust ourselves.
3. Failure equals growth
This is a lesson very few people seem to understand. Making a mistake or failing at something tends to make us focus on the worst.
You should keep in mind that there are always two sides to a coin. Failures and mistakes are a learning process and a precious one at that. Someone can teach you a valuable lesson, but unless you actually go through it yourself it won’t hold as much value.
Taking chances are such a critical part of a fulfilled life and yet we are scared to take part in the learning process.
Monks know there are two sides to everything in life: with good must come bad just like with growth must come failure and a lot of this comes down to one’s perspective.
4. Know the power of impermanence
Impermanence is one of the most important buddhist teachings and one that must be fully understood and accepted in order to fully understand life.
NOTHING IS PERMANENT and the sooner you understand what this really means and accept this, you will be able to live a life filled with less expectation from anything and anyone.
The only thing that is constant is change itself and when you can learn to embrace change, beautiful things begin to shift in our lives.
5. Learn the art of patience
For some people patience is the hardest thing to achieve. Notice how these people become angry and agitated quite quickly?
There is a time and place for everything. Time is man-made and should never cause you frustration. Patience is definitely a virtue and the moment you are capable of controlling it, you are well on your way to living a more fulfilled life.
6. Forget about what other people think
Society has a way of programming our egos. We are constantly aware of what other people might be thinking or saying about us.
Feeding the ego is by no means healthy and even though we think it results in happiness, we are greatly mistaken. Keeping your ego happy doesn’t mean that you are happy.
The Monks suggest that you detach from your ego, this is what will allow you to grow spiritually.
You need to focus on what you think and feel instead of those around you and when you are able to do this, you will be more in tune with your true self.
7. Fight the enemy within
Just as the answers reside within ourselves, so does our biggest enemy.
You might think your biggest enemy is your boss or the bully at school, but it’s not. You are the one that gives power to your fears and insecurities.
Before you can accomplish anything you need to tackle the enemy that empowers the elements keeping you from happiness. In other words, overcome your internal fears.
8. Happiness Starts from within
It will be cynical to assume that happiness is only based on the spiritual side of life.
Family and friends, music, books, hobbies, all of these form part of your journey. However, you cannot enjoy anything if you are not happy internally.
Once you reach happiness from within it will manifest outside in the people and things that make life worth living.
This is also why meditation is such a significant practice for Monks because it helps to cultivate peace from the inside out, and when you become more in touch with your true self, the happier you will feel.
9. Be present
We hear this one all of the time but really, stop and think about how present you are right in this moment.
Monks are so aware of being present in this moment as it is the only moment we can be sure of.
If we learn to do our best, act our best, feel our best and just be for this moment ONLY, then we will be able to live a much more fulfilled quality of life as Monks do.
Meditation is invaluable for anyone who is finding it difficult to practice staying present.
10. Know what is more valuable than material possessions
This is a HUGE one that we all know and have heard many times I am sure but living in the 21st century in a world dominated by media influences, it can be difficult to not get drawn in to material things.
Something I like to do is have a mini version of a vision board that keeps me grounded, either on my phone or at home (or both) . So, I guess you could call it a “grounding board” 🙂
You can fill this board with pictures of people less fortunate than yourself, children who have no food or clean water, animals that are being treated poorly, a picture of your grandparents, family, your favourite yoga balance, words that express feelings like love, compassion, family, friends – things that mean a lot to you.
ALL of these things I have listed above keep me grounded in times where I get carried away with material things and looking at a picture of my ‘grounding board’ helps to pull me back to what is really important in life.
It is natural to find happiness and fulfilment in the world outside, but it doesn’t mean you should neglect internal happiness.
Those who find peace inside their mind usually don’t care much for materialistic objects or public opinions. They are happy and fulfilled.
Nevertheless, everyone is different and by following the above-mentioned advice you can dramatically increase the happiness in your life.
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”- Buddha
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