Yoga prepares us for entrepreneurship? You bet!
I started very seriously practicing yoga about 2 years ago, about 6 years into my business. I am usually on my mat 2-4 times a week in between weight training sessions. In the beginning, I was in the group that snickered at yoga!
"I can't sit still long enough to participate in yoga class!"
"Yoga is boring."
"Yoga won't make me any stronger!"
You've heard these before, I'm sure, if you are a yogi. That said, I chose to shift my paradigm.
I started with gentle yoga and realized the mental challenge. I tried vinyasa yoga and discovered quickly (VERY QUICKLY)
that I wasn't nearly as strong as I thought I was. But I kept going! As I built my strength I ventured into power yoga, which is an advanced version combining high level poses and sickening core strengthening moves. Two years later, I have lost almost 60 pounds (258 lbs to 203 lbs), lowered my blood pressure (from 190/90 to 117/72), reduced my resting heart rate (from 80 to 54!), and created about 5 unalterable or tailorable suits!
So, while yoga didn't do it alone, yoga was a huge part!
That said, HOW DOES YOGA PREPARE US FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP? Well, here's how it's helped me with my business.
Yoga forces us to be comfortable with discomfort
One of the cornerstones to a successful yoga practice is breath control. Oftentimes, I find myself in a challenging pose, straining and shaking. I must remain calm even though I am uncomfortable, twisted up, and constricted. How often do we face that in the business world?
Yoga helps us deal with stress gracefully
Stress is normal. How we deal with that stress is the key. I can't tell you how many times while facing a business challenge I have "found my breath" and calmed my mind, only to find the solution to the problem within.
Yoga forces us to face our fears
Here is a picture of a standing half moon. There was a time I would not have even attempted this pose (and believe me, this is NOT the most challenging pose out there). However, as I advanced in my practice and got mentally and physically stronger, I gained more and more confidence to face the fear. Facing our fears of prospecting, speaking in public, and networking
lead to business growth.
Yoga makes us fit and resilient
The fitness I've gained from my practice makes the long hours and ups & downs much more tolerable. I feel prepared to face any challenge any day!
So, give yoga a try. Start small and progress. Challenge yourself. You might soon find yourself enrolled in business school!