Take It Off the Mat: Yoga Philosophies in Life and Business

By Gary Loper

Are you feeling more and more stress lately?

It seems that you cannot go anywhere without people talking about their stresses, or telling you how stressful “these times” are. It is as if we are becoming programmed to believe that life is stressful.

What if there was a way to alleviate the on-going stress, would you be interested?

First, let’s take a look at our outside world. Our daily events are coupled with financial pressures, relationship tensions, job changes, various relocations, and chronic illness, what appears to be an overbearing escalation of negative thoughts, emotions, and feelings. It is no wonder many of us are stressed to the max.

One of the first steps is to embrace a healthy way of viewing these challenges—one of acceptance, opportunities for growth, change, and freedom. History has shown repeatedly that change and innovation only happens in the midst of chaos and dark times. Is it dark enough for you yet?

How do we migrate through these adversities? How do we discover the positive lessons of these occurrences? There are specific ways of dealing with stress. Rather than resorting to negative internalization and counterproductive responses and actions, such as binge eating, drugs, alcohol, excessive television, or working exorbitant overtime, there is a way to manage the stress. It does not come in a bottle or a pill, and it is not pitched on an infomercial, but has been available for thousands of years and has been shared with us through nature.

The answer is yoga. Customizable to fit into your lifestyle, yoga is the best solution I have found to alleviate on-going stress.

I have been practicing yoga since 1996 and have benefited in many ways—calmness, breath control, strength, connection of the body and mind, a moving meditation, body awareness, and toning. When I have slipped away from my daily practice, I feel my moods shift to places I would prefer they did not go.

At the beginning of 2010, I resolved to practice yoga daily and can very proudly say that I have practiced every day. The biggest benefit has been in stress relief.

In building a new business and taming gremlins, I was feeling very stressed. I truly believe that my yoga practice has helped me keep a reign on my emotions and restored calmness in our home.

The most important aspect of yoga is breathing, keeping control of your breath while your body is in a difficult position. When we notice the breath has become short or nonexistent, we honor the body and move to a place where we maintain breath control and still push the body.

Taking that philosophy off the mat and applying it to our everyday life has incredible benefits. When we get upset, we tend to hold our breath and, while still talking or perhaps yelling, we cut off the air supply to all of our organs and blood. Breath is one of the essential fuels for our bodies to function. Without breath, it is like driving on two flat tires. The vehicle may be drivable for a while, but at what cost?

Starting your own yoga practice is very simple and cost effective. The equipment needed is minimal, and yoga can be practiced anywhere. Although there are a number of incredible videos to practice on your own, I would strongly suggest finding a gifted yoga instructor and taking classes with that individual. The energy of the group class is wonderful, and your instructor will assist you in understanding what you are doing in the best way, to benefit you and your intention.

There are no perfect poses in yoga. Your teacher will show you the direction to go, and it is up to you to honor your body and ignore your ego. Accept the limits of your body. We are all different and have unique experiences that have led us to where we are now. Trying to do what another is doing while your body is telling you “no” will not help, but probably will hurt. You will feel great and alive, and wanting to come back for more, and perhaps in time your body will feel the need to be adjusted all of the time.

Yoga has been derived from observing nature. Watch the animals in or around your home. They are stretching themselves many times a day. How often are you following their lead?

For over 5,000 years, yoga has been the best way to bridge the gap between the body, mind, spirit, and emotions to create balance and embrace acceptance. Yoga can assist you to achieve this acceptance through an overall sense of well-being.

Yoga is more than what it appears to be. Some view it in simplicity, seeing it as another form of exercise. Yoga is far-reaching, the incorporation of breath work, expansion and retraction of the lungs, stretching, and elongating the muscles; it nourishes your entire being. The yoga techniques of breath work and meditation alleviate stress, allowing one to feel a sense of wholeness, well-being, and centering within the experience—one of acceptance no matter where you are in your life. Yoga teaches you to control your mind and body, and restrain the conscious state.

The benefits are immense. It is proven that yoga decreases stress, increases your stamina, improves muscle tone, impedes the aging process, and elevates a creative energy flow. Yoga is enlivening to your entire being! It is a way of life. So, when are you going to get started?

Gary Loper is a recognized Twitter expert, mindset/life/business coach, motivational speaker/trainer, former talk radio host, and respected entrepreneur “Helping People Master the Business of Life.” He teaches strategies on how to become successful, to produce and maintain positive solutions, stay in a positive mindset, attract and manifest true wealth. Connect with Gary on Twitter @GaryLoper. Are you stressed about Twitter?  Receive your FREE Twitter Review: http://bit.ly/ReviewTwitter.

This article is a chapter from the book Transform Your Life! written by 60 real-life heroes and experts and available at Amazon.com, BN.com, www.Transformation-Publishing.com and all ebook formats.


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