Do you want to be a better marketer? Are you ready to up your game and take your career to the next level? What’s the secret? YOGA! Now hear me out before you start saying typical West Coast solution. True, there is a lot of yoga here—companies, studios, clothing—but if you don’t practice yoga (if you practice yoga you already know the benefits) aren’t you just a little bit curious as to how it could make you a better marketer (besides the obvious physical benefits of yoga)?
The practice of yoga is mental, spiritual, and physical. I can’t say I feel the same way about the “practice” of marketing. I can, however, say with full confidence that practicing yoga can help you with your marketing practice. I have highlighted five important aspects of yoga and how this ancient Indian practice can be beneficial to your modern day marketing career.
I promise there will be no chanting, but did you know incorporating the chant of Om at the beginning and end of your practice can help diminish the stress that takes up residency in everyone’s body and mind. “OMMM” (say it with me)—if nothing else it will make you roll your eyes and chuckle but at best it will help you calm your mind and who doesn’t want a calm mind? If you like chaos and a continuous running monologue in your head, then you’re reading the wrong post.
Yoga focuses on breathing to help slow your mind down, center it, and be in the moment. Yoga helps your mind and body to be present by focusing on poses while trying to maintain a continuous smooth breath, which is why yoga is also referred to as active meditation. When a pose is more challenging, your breathe becomes more shallow and you may want to come out of the pose, that’s natural to want to move away from discomfort. However, yoga says breathe and embrace the discomfort—go to your edge. Practice being in the uncomfortable because what happens on your mat translates to work.
Think about this—when you are in a stressful situation at work, perhaps dealing with an unhappy client, are you relaxed in your response or do you react and regret? Warrior pose can help with that.
Whether you have clients that induce chronic headaches, or you love bending over-backwards for them (yoga improves flexibility too)—some downward dog can help with both.
Who has not heard that word I the past 18 months! We must be fluid, flexible, and agile. That won’t ever end because change is constant. The only thing we know about the future is that it will change from today so we must be able to adapt with it. Bridge pose can help with that.
Each yoga pose, asana, is unique, requiring you to move your body while maintaining an active steady breathe. Every pose is different, and your breathing may change, so adjustments need to be made to the pose to maintain a smooth breath. Moreover, every time on your mat is different. Some days you’re more fluid and poses come easily to you. While other days you may find the poses very challenging. Then there are the days that just getting to your mat was an effort. But you do, you show up. If you show up on your mat, then you are showing up for yourself. If you are showing up for yourself then you are better prepared to show up for work, your coworkers, and your clients. One of my favourite yoga instructors, says “the hardest days on your mat are some of your best days and how you show up for yourself on your mat is a reflection of how you show up in life.”
Failure is word that business tends to shy away from but really it shouldn’t. Yoga says embrace failure, let it motivate you, challenge you and guide you into a stronger yoga practice. So embrace failure —practice it on the mat and implement it at the office. In the world of marketing, there are endless KPIs we can look to measure against – those KPIs can sometimes disappoint, but there is always a lesson to be learned.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Yogis know you don’t “do” yoga, you practice yoga (with patience). Just like anything in life, if you want to be good at something—practice, practice, practice. Being a good marketer takes practice. Most of us are not brilliant the minute we graduate, and we continue learning throughout our careers, we are always still practicing and growing just like our yoga practice.
Full disclosure, I don’t work for a local yoga company or studio. I happen to be a marketer who loves yoga and practices it every day; when studios are open I practice at Yyoga, and yes I’m frequently wearing Lululemon.
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Written by Brooke Allen