Yoga has changed my life — as an individual and business leader. The energy that I get from breathwork, meditation and challenging my body is something I can’t imagine my life without. Its impact has transcended the mat and allowed me to be present, open-minded, patient and more even-keeled. It can be part of any business professional’s life, too.
These simple yoga tactics can be done anywhere, anytime — even from an office chair.
The breath moves, calms and focuses the mind and body — all critical ingredients to being the best you can in life and at work. It seems simple, and it is. But a few intentional actions can maximize the benefit.
1. Place your hands on your belly and slowly inhale. Did you feel your belly expand and rise? Now, exhale and feel it fall.
2. Next, place your hands on your ribs, inhale and feel your ribs expand. Exhale and feel them contract.
3. Now, place your hands on your upper chest and feel your chest rise. When you exhale, you should feel your upper chest fall.
Put all three together and feel your upper chest, rib cage and belly rise as you inhale. Now, exhale and feel them fall. You’ve mastered the three-part breath.
Meditation creates an opportunity to step away and spend a moment not thinking about the hustle and bustle of being a business professional. A few minutes in the morning and again in the evening are all that’s necessary to glean benefits.
1. Sit up tall, with your eyes closed or gazing ahead.
2. Bring your focus and attention to your breath.
3. If a thought arises in your mind, notice it without judgement, let it go and regain focus on your breath.
4. Take time to notice and feel the space and peace that you discover.
If you find yourself struggling to eliminate thoughts, focus on counting your breath. Count for five seconds as you inhale and five seconds as you exhale. Or, recite a mantra. The repetition provides an area of focus.
By reserving a few minutes for meditation each day you’ll find improved concentration, clarity of thoughts and ideas, and an increase in self-awareness.
As busy business professionals, it’s difficult to fit physical activity into the routine. Daily, I dedicate time for a run around the neighborhood, a walk with my dogs or yoga practice.
This month, my passion for wellness is coming to life with LIT Life + Yoga. Opening in Italian Village, this yoga and lifestyle brand will offer classes for yogis at all levels, skill-building workshops and lifestyle experiences from nutrition to meditation. Myself, and talented yoga and wellness professionals, are here to inspire and teach you. If you’d like to expand from these simple tactics, LIT Life + Yoga can be your guide.
Remember, a successful business leader is mindful, makes clear and careful decisions and cares about team members. Take time for yourself to get a positive charge in work and life.
Debra Penzone is the President and CEO of The Charles Penzone Salons. Debra’s expertise as a business leader, hair professional and her avid philanthropy have earned her the respect of the salon industry and the nonprofit community.