Yoga and the art of getting shit done

Everything I know about getting shit done, I learned from yoga.

You can ask my family - I used to suck at getting things done.  I didn't finish much, or if I did, it was painful, and I whined the whole way.  Then I started practicing yoga in college and that pattern began to change.

I started with yoga to be less anxious and bitchy, but I got much more. 

I got a practice that taught me about alignment - not only of my body, but also the alignment of my intentions with energy and actions. That alignment (especially with the actions part) is the key to achievement.

Which is also known as getting shit done, yogini-style.

Yoginis are peaceful, but they are also bad asses.  Here are some of the strong yet flexible, get-shit-done principles that yoga has taught me.  This is the most important stuff that you can you learn to make your vision a reality and get paid well to do it.

Show Up

The first rule of yoga is you have to show up consistently.  There is no benefit if we don't make it to class or roll out our mats regularly.  This can be tough.  But it's a universal rule - showing up and doing the work, over and over again, is what makes us kick-ass yoginis.

This is equally true in business.  Showing up, every day, to work on your business creates results - otherwise known as clarity, clients and cash flow.

I'm all for vacations, rest, play, and downtime, but if you want to build a business and experience success, it's important to show up consistently.

Take Action at your Edge

Once you show up in class or you roll out your mat at home, the goal isn't to stay completely within your comfort zone, it's to stretch your limits.  Not to a place of pain, but to the place where you are working with YOUR edge, challenging your body in ways that will create a new experience of yourself and your body and what you are capable of on a whole lot of levels.

Again, it's the same in your business. If you don't have a background in business, you are going to experience taking action in ways that feel really uncomfortable. Actually, even if you DO have a background in business, there are going to be ample opportunities to take action at the limit of your comfort zone.

Being in business for yourself provides almost limitless opportunity to learn how to stay with the intensity of sensation that is brought on by taking action at your edge - whether you are doing a handstand for the first time since childhood, or you are pitching to a group of women you've just met.

Keep Breathing and Relax

In yoga, we focus on conscious breathing as an important way to relax into the intensity at our edge. When we are taking action at our limit, in yoga or in business, the breath is a great indicator. If we have gone way beyond our edge, we won't be able to stay with the intensity.  Our breath will be ragged - or we will barely be breathing.  We aren't staying with intensity at that point, we simply aren't present.

If we aren't present, then we are likely in fight or flight and that isn't going to produce the kick-ass results that we are seeking, on the mat or in our business.  On the mat, we may injure ourselves from not being present to our bodies.  In our business, we might freeze up at the critical moment or push into a place that we aren't really ready to be.

Staying with the breath helps us maintain relaxed focus, even in the face of intense sensations.  It helps us stay grounded. And staying grounded helps us take the right action at the right time - with a lot of ease.

Notice what is going on in the present, adjust accordingly

One of the most important things that this former (sometimes current) perfectionist has learned from yoga: sometimes the action we take just doesn't work out - it might even look like failure.  And that's okay.  It all happens for us, not to us.  And seriously, it's just information.  Just an opportunity to get curious and notice what is happening and make adjustments to our intentions, our energy, or our actions.

In a yoga posture that requires balance, sometimes one side is easier than the other. Some days it's a wonder I can stand on two feet. But it doesn't MEAN anything about me and my worth as a yogini.  It might indicate I'm distracted or I'm tired and that is good to know.  Maybe I will call a friend to talk about what's going on in my head or take a nap - that is excellent listening and adjusting.

In business, when we show up and take consistent action at our edge - staying relaxed in the face of the intensity - it's MUCH easier to notice what happens when we give the pitch.  Do eyes glaze over? It isn't personal - just notice and adjust.  Are these women ideal clients?  Is the pitch clear?

Good to know. Notice, adjust, repeat.

Say Thank You

No matter what happens, we end classes with the salutation Namasté.  Recognizing the perfection and divinity of each person, each experience, and each moment  - this tradition is like a formal "Thank You" that we extend to everything around us.

When you can find a heartfelt well of gratitude for the motivation and ability to show up, the courage to act at your edge, the wisdom to stay present and relaxed, and the insight to listen up and adjust as needed, results happen.  Step by step, stretch by stretch, your intentions will be made manifest through the beautiful, consistent practice of aligning energy and action.

Success, yogini-style.

Namasté to you, business yoginis!

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Posted on December 11, 2011 and filed under Getting sh!t done, Must-Read, On being a business yogini.