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Creating a Healthy Relationship With Money

 

Money bag iconMoney is a difficult topic for a lot of people, and for a variety of reasons. It can either have positive or negative associations depending on the mindset that we cultivate around money. And where does this mindset about money come from? Generally it’s something that we’ve carried with us throughout our entire lives. Our initial impressions about money started when we were kids – our family either had money or they didn’t. Our relationship with money was formed during these impressionable years.

 

Some people associate money with a sense of lack. In these instances, money was hard to come by in their lives, and seemed to be the cause of unhappiness. If there wasn’t enough money to pay the rent or put food on the table, of course there could be a connection to sacrifice, debt, shame and fear. But even people WITH money can have negative attachments to it. For some, it’s associated with greediness, excess and jealousy. They need to buy things to be happy, or feel the need to have more than their peers. Other people are stingy with their money, constantly trying to hoard it and being terrified of losing it. After witnessing these examples, it’s no wonder that some people can begin to shun money and consider it the root of evil. And there are certainly plenty of examples of corporate greed and money hungry people with power to perpetuate these notions. So what’s the alternative?

 

1100ff82-f3d2-46b8-8802-c7f766cd9c8dOn the flip side, money can be connected with a sense of freedom, empowerment and opportunity. In these cases, people see money as a tool for achieving their life’s dreams and goals. Making money isn’t the goal, but rather the means to creating a life of abundance. These people generally have an abundance mindset, where they are constantly grateful for everything that they have (big and small) and tend to also be generous. These people have positive associations with money and never worry about it, regardless of how much of it they have. It’s all in their mindset.

 

So one really simple way to start creating a healthier attitude about money is to detach from the notion that it’s connected to happiness. You certainly don’t need money to be happy. Take a look at your life and take stock in all the blessings that surround you. Be grateful for what you have, even if it doesn’t seem like much. Instead of thinking of money as your enemy, start thinking of money as your sidekick that follows you around in life. We all need money to purchase things – food, clothes, shelter, etc. Accept that it’s part of life and choose to embrace it instead of fighting against it.

 

Attitude is Everything on Green Highway Signpost.One thing that is really important is to discover what our personal story is about money. Do you feel like you never have enough? Is your sense of worth attached to the number in your bank account? Do you feel dread or worry every month when your bills come due? If so, it’s time to let that go… these negative thought patterns about money only perpetuate more of the same coming into your life. If you want to get a different result, then it’s time to change your attitude about money.

 

Start by feeling grateful for all your bills… I know that sounds crazy, but they represent the conveniences that you HAVE in life. Your rent/mortgage gives you a roof over your head – amazing! Your car payment represents that you have a way of getting from point A to point B – wonderful! When your credit card comes due, look at all the charges separately… be grateful for that delicious lunch you had at the restaurant… be grateful for that yoga class you went to… be grateful for your phone bill that allows you to connect with the world. These are all incredible things that we have, so say THANK YOU! The more you can practice gratitude for the things that money provides, the healthier your relationship with money becomes.

 

Another valuable practice is to get really clear on what your current financial situation is. Ignoring it certainly doesn’t make it go away. The way to create a positive shift in your financial situation is to embrace whatever it is. Start by figuring out how much your current lifestyle costs.

 

Make payments for household expensesOver the course of a month, write down all of your expenses and put them into categories. This will help you figure out a budget and how much your lifestyle costs. Then you can compare that to the amount of income you bring in. If there’s excess money, that can go into savings. If there’s a gap, don’t worry! Figuring out how much of a gap there is will allow you to set some goals about how much more money you need to make. This gives you something to work towards, which is really valuable. And remember, you can earn between $600-$800 per month for each new corporate yoga client you bring on board. That can start adding up fast and help you close that gap.

 

What it really comes down to is recognizing that money is simply a way to support yourself doing the things that you enjoy in life. Decide what kind of lifestyle you want to have and how much it will cost. Figure out some goals, and take a lot of pride in your decision to embrace your current situation while also working toward something new. Set the intention of where you want to be, and then detach yourself from the results. Do the work, and the rest will fall into place.


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Teaching Yoga in an Office

Introducing yoga to stressed out, busy professionals is incredibly meaningful work. With corporate wellness on the rise and the popularity of yoga increasing every year, there has never been a better time to connect with corporations about bringing yoga onsite to their office.  But one thing that yoga instructors need to understand is that teaching yoga in a corporate environment is very different than teaching in a yoga studio or gym. There are certain expectations that must be taken into consideration in order to create a successful partnership.

 

ClocksWhenever a yoga instructor teaches in a corporate office they must respect the culture, values and practices of that business. It is imperative that you arrive 15 minutes early to set up the room and greet students as they enter. Tardiness and no-shows are unacceptable in a corporate environment and you can literally lose your client over this if someone complains. If you must miss a class, always provide a professional substitute teacher. Your clients will really appreciate this.

 

Understand that most classes will be held in a conference room, which is a location that employees have different associations with since meetings are often held in there. It is your job as a yoga teacher to transform the space and create a safe and healing environment. Relaxing music is always a great way to do this, and playing with the lights. Get creative and use your imagination! Just keep in mind that you can’t burn any incense or candles as most corporate offices do not allow open flames.

 

In terms of attire, you have to look professional. Of course this is yoga, so wear yoga clothes. But it is extremely important that you cover up any tattoos, especially in the hallways and lobby of the office. Be modest in your appearance… it doesn’t matter if you are rocking 6-pack abs, it’s not appropriate to show your abs in a corporate environment. There is also a professional level of grooming that is required – this means clean feet, shaved legs/pits (for ladies), tidy or shaved facial hair (for men), tidy hair, no strong smells, etc.

 

And of course there is the issue of spirituality. Businesses have a responsibility not to impose any perceived beliefs on their staff based on religion, sex, gender or age. Remember, this is about perception. It is definitely safest to leave out the Om’s, chanting, chakras, Sanskrit, etc. Save that for your studio classes.

 

I know it may seem like this is a lot, but I just want to set you up for success. The most meaningful aspect to teaching corporate yoga is that you are introducing this amazing healing practice to entire groups of people who otherwise wouldn’t go. It’s helping them to create more balance and have a better quality of life, which is what yoga is all about.

 


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Mixing Business With Yoga

Mixing business with yoga is a concept that many yoga teachers struggle with. I’ve spoken with countless yoga teachers who feel uncomfortable talking about money, and even asking their clients to pay them for the services that they provide. Somehow there is a sense in the yoga community that mixing business with yoga is… well, unyogic. Yoga should be available to all people, not just to the select few that can afford to pay $90 for each pair of yoga pants, right? This doesn’t mean, however, that yoga teachers can’t authentically build up a business for themselves to earn a good living doing what they love.

 

Yoga BusinesswomanSo why is it that some yoga instructors struggle with mixing business and yoga? Is it because of this purist notion that yoga should be free for everyone? Do they disagree with the commercialization of yoga in the west? Is it because they have a negative sense of business and marketing in general? Or is it that most yoga teacher training programs don’t show new teachers HOW to create a thriving teaching practice? My guess is the latter, although I’d like to address all these concerns and hopefully put them to rest so that yoga teachers can embrace the business side of yoga once and for all.

 

A recent article in the Huffington Post lists yoga is a $27 billion industry in the USA. A Yoga in America study shows that it’s the fastest growing exercise activity in the country with over 20 million people currently practicing. The truly remarkable statistic is that an additional 40%, or 85 million people, say that they are interested in trying yoga in the near future. That’s a massive market with unlimited potential for growing a yoga business!

 

One issue that many yogis dislike about the commercialization of yoga is that the original essence of yoga has been lost. There is a lack of understanding about yoga philosophy and how to use yoga as a way of experiencing the world. I personally agree with that, especially since I practice bhakti yoga, the yoga of love and devotion. Yoga has almost become a fad… hip hop yoga, circus yoga, what’s next? There are many people out there who have clearly capitalized on the recent popularity of yoga to reinvent the practice into something different, and I can understand why many yoga teachers disagree with what they are seeing. But this does not mean that yoga teachers can’t also take advantage of this booming industry to create a profitable teaching practice for themselves that’s rooted in their core values.

 

The reality is that most yoga instructors do not come from the business world, and that’s perfectly fine. It does sometimes leave them with a sense that marketing and sales is slimy and not something they feel comfortable with. The truth is, there are many ways of doing business. And yes, there are some slimy people out there trying to take advantage of the system to make a buck in any way they can. But there are also beautiful ways of using practical sales and marketing elements to create a successful, heartfelt yoga business. The problem is that most yoga teacher training schools don’t include this knowledge in their training programs, leaving new yoga teachers feeling ill-equipped to support themselves as full time yoga instructors. This is where the business side of yoga must be embraced.

 

businessmanThere is an amazing opportunity to become a yoga business owner rather than just a yoga teacher. The difference is subtle, but the outcomes are worlds apart. Once a person decides to make their living as a yoga teacher, they have essentially started up their own business, whether they realize it or not. They can either rely solely on finding existing studio or gym classes to fill their schedules, which often leaves them financially strapped, or they can also use sales and marketing skills to diversify their teaching career to create their own, higher-paying teaching opportunities. Why struggle when there are so many other avenues to tap into the booming yoga industry and make a good living? It’s all about changing their mindset to embrace business concepts and apply them to their yoga teaching career in a smart and authentic way.

 

Using business development and sales strategies to create their own teaching opportunities in the corporate market or with private groups (think mom’s groups, senior living centers, etc.) is a great way to get high-paying teaching gigs that people are happy to pay for. Implementing some marketing strategies to attract more students to their existing studio classes is another great way of making more money as a teacher, since most studios offer a financial incentive based on headcount. Finding private clients, and creating special workshops and yoga retreats is another way to bring in a new stream of income while sharing their gifts. Yoga teachers simply need to learn the skills to make this happen, and it starts with a desire to expand their education and a commitment to play a bigger game. With countless free resources and a variety of paid business courses available online, the road map to success is just around the corner.


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Create Your Own Yoga Brand

With so many yoga teachers in the market, how do you stand out and create a name for yourself? Hundreds of yoga teachers graduate from teacher training programs every month and are generally competing for the same studio classes. Many teachers, new and veteran alike, are starting to feel like their markets are oversaturated with yoga teachers and not enough yoga teaching opportunities. Sound familiar?

 

One of the most valuable assets that a yoga teacher has is the growing popularity of yoga as a whole. Everyone is hearing about yoga these days, and it appears to be everywhere. So the question becomes, how can you, as a yoga teacher, tap into this growing yoga movement and create new teaching opportunities for yourself? The answer is finding your own niche and creating your own yoga brand.

 

BrandingConsider what you love about yoga. What groups of people do you want to serve? Almost anyone can benefit from yoga, and there are millions of people that have yet to be introduced to it. Instead of competing for the same studio classes as other teachers, find your own niche and create your own teaching jobs. Do you love teaching children? New moms? Seniors? Veterans? Busy professionals? Pick a focus group and brand yourself as a teacher that specializes in that group. There are many ways to do that.

 

First, you’ll want to create an actual yoga business for yourself. Find a name that you like and create a website that speaks to that audience. Start up some social media pages for your new business, and post pictures of you teaching classes to that audience. What are those people interested in? Write some blogs or articles they’d like to read. Start spreading the word and ask your friends and family to share your posts.

 

When you’re ready to get out there and create some classes, consider where your target audience congregates. If you’re into teaching seniors, reach out to some senior living cooperatives or organizations. If you’re into teaching veterans, connect with some veterans organizations in your area and see if they are interested in an introductory yoga class at an upcoming event. If you want to break into the corporate yoga market, start connecting with business owners and decision makers to discuss the benefits of onsite yoga and offer a free class. The point is to position yourself as an expert in a certain area and create your own yoga teaching opportunities. It’s easier than you think!


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Corporate Yoga Increases Productivity

Bringing yoga into the workplace provides a myriad of benefits to any business. Perhaps that’s why corporate yoga is becoming such a popular offering at forward thinking companies that are trying to attract top talent. Yoga provides excellent stress release for busy professionals that work long hours in environments with high expectations. It’s a way for employees to improve their fitness and cardiovascular functioning while also clearing their minds and enhancing their focus. Many studies have been conducted showing the benefits of corporate yoga.

 

Corporate Yoga Saves MoneyAetna, Inc., one of the largest health insurance companies in the world, partnered with Duke University to conduct a 12-week yoga and mindfulness study to see how these practices could reduce stress, lower healthcare costs and increase productivity*. The results they found were staggering! Aetna discovered that employees with the highest stress cost their business $2,000/year more in healthcare expenses than employees with the lowest stress. They realized that reducing stress levels would have a big impact on their bottom line. The participants of the yoga program had a 33% reduction in stress levels after just 12 weeks! Ultimately, Aetna saved $3,000/year PER employee based on reduced healthcare expenses and increased productivity. They showed an 11-to-1 return on investment for their onsite yoga classes.

 

I have experienced similar results for my clients while running a successful corporate yoga & wellness company. The participants of our onsite yoga programs report that they get TWICE as much work done after yoga because of their improved concentration and focus. We determined that participants of the yoga program got 4 hours worth of work completed in the 2 hours preceding yoga. After calculating the average salary per hour for one of my largest clients, we showed a 5-to-1 return on investment for productivity alone! This did not even include potential cost savings for healthcare reductions.

 

So the bottom line is that corporate yoga increases profitability based on healthcare savings and increased productivity. It’s an extremely low cost solution that also has the added benefit of boosting morale and attracting top talent. Simple solutions for savvy business owners.

 

*Journal of Occupational Health Psychology – Feb 2012 “Mind-Body Stress Reduction in the Workplace”


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Staying Healthy at the Office

Staying healthy at the office can be extremely challenging for people working in the corporate world. Most jobs require long hours of sitting at a desk in front of a computer, and that’s after a long commute of sitting in the car. Our necks and shoulders get tight, we have low back pain, and often carpel tunnel issues as well. There are several recent studies that are calling “Sitting the New Smoking”. Long periods of sitting (4 hours or more without getting up) have been linked to significant increases in heart disease and type II diabetes. But what can you do to avoid this when you have a desk job?

There are some simple ways to improve your health at the office, and it starts with movement. It’s important to take micro breaks during the day, at least once an hour, where you get up from your desk and move your body. Try standing up for your next phone call, or walking over to talk to a colleague rather than sending an instant message or email. Instead of sitting down in the conference room for a one-on-one meeting, put on your walking shoes and take your meeting outside for a walk around the block.

Standing deskAnother great way to get some movement into the day is to do a chair yoga pose every hour, or try some squats against the wall. Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Ask your management team about getting a standing desk. Take the initiative to start up a walking challenge with your colleagues where you track your steps on a Fitbit. Talk to your HR team about starting up some onsite fitness classes at the office. All these little things add up in a big way and can start to create a healthier balance in your life.

 


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Benefits of Corporate Yoga

Have you ever experienced the stress reducing benefits of yoga? Discovering this amazing practice not only transformed my life, but also kept me sane during the most stressful time in my life. Yoga found me about 13 years ago and almost immediately I was drawn in to the calming yet energizing effect it had on my mind and body. After a long hard day in the office, going to my yoga class gave me the space to let go of all the tension I carried around in my body and brain throughout the day.

Deep BreathingThe most beneficial aspect of yoga is the deep breathing. We rarely think about our breath as it’s just an automatic process for most of us. But when you focus on taking a full deep breath in every yoga pose and filling your lungs completely with air, you are actually bringing a lot more oxygen into your body. This allows your blood to circulate faster, and means that your heart doesn’t have to pump as hard. So deep breathing automatically slows down your heart rate and starts to lower your blood pressure… naturally. It also activates our central nervous system, instantly calming the mind and taking us out of the “fight or flight” stress response. Lowering blood pressure and reducing stress are two extremely valuable benefits to a business.

The expectations for performance are very high in Corporate America. Employees are constantly taking on more responsibility and working incredibly long hours with all the pressure and stress that comes with it. We have all heard that stress is a killer, but most of us don’t even realize that we are already suffering from the effects of stress. Migraine headaches, digestive issues, insomnia, anxiety, weight gain, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders… sound familiar? All of these health problems are caused by stress and they create expensive healthcare claims for employers to pay.

MeditationBringing yoga classes onsite to the office has a multitude of benefits for a business. First of all, it immediately boosts morale, as it’s a great employee benefit that also attracts and retains top talent. Teamwork improves when employees are happy and more satisfied with their jobs. Reducing stress and increasing fitness creates a healthier environment at the office where employees can thrive and perform to their greatest potential. Clearing their minds in yoga improves concentration and productivity, while allowing for better decision making. It also connects employees to greater inspiration and more innovative ideas. When you couple all of those benefits with a reduction in healthcare expenses, bringing yoga onsite to the office becomes a win-win-win situation for any business.

 


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Boost Your Yoga Business!

Welcome to the Boost Your Yoga Business blog! I’m so glad that you’re here. Creating this site and my accompanying programs has been a labor of love. You see, one of my biggest passions is to inspire people to make healthy changes in their lives. Sometimes that means introducing them to transformational practices like yoga, deep breathing, meditation and nutrition. Other times that means masterminding ideas to grow their businesses so they can share their passions with the world in a bigger way. I’m excited to use this platform to focus on both of those gifts of mine.

So what can you expect to find here? I’m making a commitment to share my knowledge and passion with you… my goal is to inspire you to think bigger, to imagine a different kind of life for yourself where you are achieving all of your dreams and feeling both rewarded and fulfilled in the process. I am going to share my business expertise, along with my knowledge for creating a healthy and balanced life with you.

This weekly blog will contain valuable insights about starting and growing a successful business. You’ll get the chance to learn my best practices from over a decade of successful corporate sales and business development. Boost Your Yoga Business is the second company that I have started, so I’ve been through the trenches and I know what it takes for a small business to succeed. Additionally, I will also be sharing insights about corporate yoga and wellness, and discussing the amazing opportunities that exist within that industry to really make a difference in people’s lives. So come along for the journey and prepare yourself to be inspired!

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