For entrepreneurs and anyone working towards success, the busy life of anyone in business leaves little time for other necessary activities like taking care of yourself and exercising. Many define success as simply happiness and good health, which, when you get past everything monetary, is so true. That’s why yoga is perfect for forward thinking business types.
Yoga combines many of the best reasons to frequent the gym with the mindfulness and meditation that helps us stay in control. Yoga is a workout that is both physical and philosophical, training muscles and the mind in the most efficient way possible while also promoting core values that are useful in the world of entrepreneurs and business.
Here are the 10 reasons why every entrepreneur should do yoga,
1. Yoga helps you shake off judgment
As entrepreneurs we incessantly look to improve our products, systems and outcomes. This drive brings success, but it also drains us mentally and physically. Let yoga be a place where you merely acknowledge where you are in your current physical and mental state, without judgment — and accept it. The practice of yoga is the goal of yoga: It is not a means to an end but rather an end in itself.
2. Yoga brings patience
In yoga, as in business, progress is made slowly. It is humbling to realize that you can’t do everything and that growth takes time. Businesses don’t find immediate success and entrepreneurs must be patient. Yoga teaches us to step back and appreciate this without criticising ourselves for our pace.
3. Yoga helps you check out
Yoga is a reminder that you don’t have to remain connected to your business 24 hours a day. It can be a short escape. Once you’ve built it into your routine, people will understand that you can’t be reached during your yoga practice.
4. Yoga de-stresses you
Whether it’s the calming stretches or the fact that you are off your devices for an hour a day, practicing yoga is proven to lower stress levels. According to a 2010 Boston University study, a few months of yoga increases gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels in the brain which are crucial to preventing depression and anxiety. If other startups are getting bought up for billions of dollars all around you, just do some yoga.
5. Yoga makes your body and mind more flexible
Bikram Yoga, the form of yoga you practice in a 105°F room for 90 minutes, promotes flexibility all over the body. A recent Colorado State University study found that Bikram yoga increases flexibility in the shoulders, lower back, and hamstrings as well as increases deadlift strength when tested against the control group. Because of the calming and introspective teachings of yoga, responding to changing markets and challenging situations in business may become easier as you grow more mentally flexible than life’s variables.
6. Yoga makes you smarter
Practicing yoga for only 20 minutes a day can improve cognitive function, working memory, and focus. A University of Illinois study found that participants performed significantly better on brain function tests after a 20 minute yoga session than after 20 minutes of a vigorous aerobic exercise. This makes yoga a perfect morning exercise to get you going early.
7. Learn to find balance in everything
A key point in yoga is finding balance, physically but also within ourselves. In yoga, you work towards achieving stillness by balancing a stable pose in the easiest way possible. In business, we seek the balance between growth and profit in the most efficient or cost effective way possible. In practicing yoga, we can learn to be sensitive to all opposing forces in any scenario through practice and testing. Over time, you become open minded to finding the easiest or newest ways to solve problems and find real balance.
8. Yoga keeps you chill
While yoga itself helps to get rid of stress, the breathing exercises can help you find relaxation throughout the day and beyond the studio. Scott Rodwin, founder of Radiance Yoga, explained to Men’s Fitness that breathing exercises, called pranayama, have been developed over thousands of years to help calm and focus the mind through each yoga pose. Finding that happy place during long days in the office cooped up at a desk might save your life one day.
9. Yoga teaches you discipline
In the same way that a business shark sets their eyes on a goal and never looks away from it, yoga teaches the same discipline and concentration. Stanton Kawer told Forbes, “It requires self-discipline and focus. We are surrounded by other sweaty, heavy-breathing and sometimes falling students. Yet we cannot lose our drishti, our gazing point, because yoga, like business, will render us unstable if we are distracted.” Yoga teaches that working towards real success takes real discipline.