What They Don’t Teach You in Business School: Yoga Principles for Navigating the Corporate World

What They Don’t Teach You in Business School: Yoga Principles for Navigating the Corporate World

By Lori Lowell

Mindfulness, meditation, ‘need yoga in your life’, mental work, getting on your mat – these are all the trigger words happening now in the corporate world. When someone in your office states that they meditated for 30 minutes this morning or that they took a yoga class before/after work, you probably start to wonder: “What am I missing?” All of a sudden, it becomes apparent that those who meditate and do yoga are somehow “better in their bodies, brain, work ethic, and style”. Well, that is true. Yoga has been around for 2,000 years and it’s not going anywhere; it’s not a fad. It’s the real deal. Yoga is not only a full-on body workout but a mental massage that brings health, clarity, creative ideas, and vision to life. The corporate world needs more yoga.

Along the way in life, your school, or job, or HR department forgot to tell you how important it is to do yoga. So, maybe now you are a little behind in the scene. Maybe you, like most people, are afraid to try. You’re too stiff, your back hurts, you can’t do the moves, and all that stuff but, it’s just a story that you’ve created and that little message in your brain is telling you to do this. So let’s get started. Here are some tips:

Ok, meditating may seem weird. Grab your morning coffee or tea, sit comfortably on the couch for 15 minutes and allow the thoughts to come and go. Sit comfortably with your thoughts – that’s meditation. No big deal. Just do it. Once you get used to this maybe you can move to a comfortable, crossed leg floor position without your cup and just light a candle. Take the personal time and be alone without your phone or computer next to you. Feel.

Breathe. It’s so funny that we go to HIIT classes, cycle classes and all the other crazy exercises we do to release our endorphins and feel great which is amazing if you are currently doing it. Take notice that yoga is the only exercise we do where we focus on flexibility, strength, cardio, mind work and, most of all, breath all at the same time. Yoga is the only platform that constantly reminds of us our breath. Remember – life and death, both begin and end with breath. Use your breath to go deeper into everything you do. Breathe in through the nose and out through the nose creating a beautiful filtration in your body. I own eight fitness facilities and it is amazing how many people say, “I don’t have time to do yoga, I need to get my workout in”. I have changed my entire life, corporate thinking, and body through yoga so please, think again. One 60-minute power or milder vinyasa flow yoga class will change your life forever. I don’t only hear it every day, I see it. I have changed a big culture of my fitness community by driving members to yoga – no one regrets it.

All of your great work and ideas will unfold in front of you through yoga exercise and living a yogic lifestyle. Thinking about right food choices and portions, feeling a sun salutation each day, and flowing movement creates flowing thoughts.

Multi-tasking is impossible. Avoid doing it. One thing at a time. One cannot focus on more than one thing at a time to do it right – this is where mistakes happen. If you can shift to that thought process, there will be so much more clarity and light in everything you do. It will matter more. Yoga will help you with this.Vinyasa Flow means “to place something in a specific way”. Bring this into your corporate world. Be graceful in your stride, your space, your communication and your commitment. Listen to your language and lead with a kind heart. Listen and then really listen to your co-workers. Take in your surroundings and make them better, more seamless and more approachable. Love your space and your work. Through breath and being on your mat, this will unfold.

There are a million very inexpensive online apps for yoga, breathing, and meditation. Go buy a mat and just try an app or join a studio. It will change the way you navigate your daily life in the corporate world and put you on top of your game.

Lori Lowell has been serving the fitness and yoga industry for over 25 years. A programming expert, 500-hour ERYT and club owner, Lori understands how to get a member and keep them. Focusing on Drishti Beats, her down tempo electronic chill live band yoga classes, and a myriad of teacher trainings, classes and offerings, Lori is a visionary of creative practice and brand development. Email her at lori@drishtibeats.com


IT’S THE SMALL THINGS THAT MAKE A STUDIO SUCCESSFUL

It’s The Small Things That Make a Studio Successful

There are two words that’s meanings are the core essence of a mindful studio. I love these two words, and they are:

  • Inspire 
    • Verb
    • To breathe life into.
  • Support
    • Verb
    • To keep from falling or failing.

I spend much of my time visualizing what a studio should feel like upon enteringand what the experience should be. Yoga is so popular right now and everyone is saying, “I need more yoga in my life.” The question is: How do you capture people to want more of your yoga, and your yoga studio, in their lives?

I visit a lot of yoga studios in addition to having my own within my fitness facilities and the experience from the minute you walk into the door is critical. How do we create the euphoric experience that keeps people coming back for more?

It always begins with the first impression. What does the handle on the entrance door feel like? What is the statement on the door prior to walking in? What does the environment smell like? Does your space transport your visitors to a destination of bliss from the minute they walk in? It is as simple as the music that is playing, the type of pens you use for people to fill out their information, and the small things that bring people to a place they want to be and want to stay.

How easy is the process for the visitor upon entering the studio? Do visitors feel a sense of belonging and that they will be taken care of? All these tiny things are so easy, but can be completely forgotten about when we are in the world of business and making money.

The aforementioned is how you keep your doors open and how you make money, so let’s take a quick look at these simple things.

Ask yourself these questions concerning each “small thing:”

The pen. What does the pen feel like?

The front desk area, where students fill out important paperwork. What does that look like? What does the paper of the forms look like, feel like and what is the color? Are your questions interesting and stated beautifully? Are your clipboards unique?

Seating. Do you have comfortable seats or cushions where people can congregate or fill out information?

Staff. Do you have the appropriate staff? One who is always attentive and another who is managing phones and payments? In other words, are you sure you have the right staff and enough support to manage the classes and be proactive in driving traffic to the space? A mindful studio avoids having people waiting in line, but rather feeling they have a place to go to for class prep, not to mentioned being recognized and attended to immediately.

Accessories. Is there an abundance of clean straps and blocks?

Mats. Is the room set up for ease of placing one’s own mat? Are clean, beautiful mats available for those who don’t have their own? Why not let people use complimentary mats, and then encourage purchasing their own at your studio? Maybe state that 10 percent of money collected for the mat goes to a charity or a good cause and put that in place.

Lighting. Is your lighting set for a perfect experience that is mindful and comfortable?

Language. Do you have a language style that is inclusive and mindful and perhaps a studio style of communication that differentiates you from other studios? How do you answer the phone? Is your phone greeting warm and consistent?

Music. Is the music the perfect volume? And if your studio is large, do you have a headset microphone so instructors don’t have to yell? A headset mic enables instructors to use flexion in their voice and still be heard. A whisper in coaching and leading goes a long way. You can’t whisper if you can’t be heard. Think about this. This is important and not a studio’s focus, which takes away from the class experience.

Goodbyes. Upon departure of the first-time guest do you give them a beautiful card stating “next class is on us?” This campaign goes a long way and they will be back as long as the experience is amazing.

We are in the business of mindful blissful experiences. We are in the business of creating “fear of missing out” experiences, where one will do just about anything to avoid missing class, and if they do miss class, we will write to them, hold them accountable and give them encouraging words about attending the next class. If you care and make them feel they belong, they will be back. Everyone wants to feel like they belong to something. Does your vibe present that?

Finally, do you love your instructors? Are they fantastic? Do they believe in and follow your mission and vision?

Be the best studio you can be and pay attention to the small things. Your visitors and members may not remember what you said, but they will always remember the way you made them feel.

We are here as yoga instructors to serve. We are here to inspire and support. We breathe life into our participants and keep them from failing or falling. They need you.  Be there for them.

Namaste.

Lori Lowell is the co-founder of Drishti Beats. Drishti Beats is a downtempo elctronic chill live band who teach yoga all together, combining one beautiful yoga class experience. Have a listen to our latest music track “Paradise High.” Available for download on iTunes and Spotify. Perfect for any yoga playlist or chill listening: https://soundcloud.com/drishti_beats/paradise-high. For more information visit www.drishtibeats.com.