Have you ever felt like the day is getting away from you, and you haven’t done enough? Maybe you’ve sat in front of your computer for hours, attempting to crank out a project, only to have trouble focusing.
As a fellow entrepreneur, I think I can speak for all of us when I say YES-these scenarios are all too familiar. Entrepreneurs are usually working on several projects at once, putting out fires, and churning out new ideas-all in a day’s work! This can leave us feeling overwhelmed and wondering how to improve our productivity.
When I start feeling tired at my desk or itching to scroll social media aimlessly, that’s my cue to get up and move. Even better, to do some impromptu yoga. I’ve practiced yoga for years, in classes with instructors, or at home with a YouTube video.
I love that yoga combines both meditative and physical practices. Yoga encourages us to move at our own pace, and listen to our bodies. In a world where we are constantly told to move faster, do more, and be more, practicing yoga gives us a chance to slow down.
Here are a few ways that practicing yoga can make us better entrepreneurs:
Develop a Practice of Mindfulness
The word mindfulness seems to be popping up everywhere! This buzzword simply means to pay attention to and live in the present moment. It sounds easy, but how often are your thoughts focused on how you feel right now? You may be thinking about a looming deadline, how to acquire an investor, or what will happen if you don’t make your sales goals.
Practicing yoga takes you out of fixating on the future and the what ifs, and puts you into the present. During a yoga practice, you are encouraged to align your breath with your movement. This becomes a meditation, giving your mind a place to settle and fixate on how your body feels. Practicing mindfulness in yoga will help you to sustain this mindset in other parts of your life. Taking a moment to practice mindfulness whenever you feel out of focus or overwhelmed will help put you back on track.
Improve Focus & Attention
According to Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki, exercise is the most transformative thing you can do for your brain today. Exercise gives you a better mood, memory, and increased energy. Suzuki’s research proves that a single workout can improve your ability to focus your attention. Dr. John Ratey has proven that exercise increases our creativity in problem-solving. Next time you find yourself uninspired or sleepy in the afternoon, remember that a 20-30 minute yoga session could help you think of a great new solution for your clients, and leave you feeling refreshed.
Gain A Sense of Accomplishment
Working on a long project can leave you with little instant gratification or sense that you’ve really moved the needle towards reaching your final product. After a yoga session, you will feel that you have done something great for your body, mind, and spirit. You’ll feel refreshed, energized, and accomplished. This attitude will give you the stamina you need to reach the finish line!
Find Physical Relief
Sitting in front of a laptop for long hours can weaken your glutes, core, and lower body. If you feel soreness or like you need a good stretch, I suggest trying this free yoga workout: Yoga For Hips And Lower Back Release. This is my go-to practice when I have been typing the day away.
The Yoga With Adrienne YouTube channel is a great free resource for yoga practices for all fitness levels. She has quality practices for pain relief on specific body parts, or to soothe stress and anxiety.
Next time you feel a slump in energy and focus, remember that you’ve got a tool that you can use any time and any place. There are even some yoga moves you can do at your desk!
This International Yoga Day, enjoy strengthening your mind and body, and observe how yoga improves your business, your mindset, and radiates into every part of your day.
Sara Kemp is the founder of Gemstone Gymnastics, a kids’ gymnastics studio in Allied Gardens, San Diego. Gemstone Gymnastics offers classes in tumbling, ninja, and gymnastics for ages 0-17, with a focus on building self-confidence and a growth mindset. Sara has worked in the gymnastics industry for 14 years as a coach, gym manager, and meet judge. She is a graduate from the University of California, Davis, and enjoys exploring new cities with her husband Chris, and catering to their two senior dogs, Rey & Miley.
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