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Last week I met with a friend of mine who suggested I try joining her for Bikram yoga. I’d been thinking about finding out about something like it so it seemed like an opportune moment to start. My mum trained as a teacher of Hatha and Raja yoga back in the 70s so I’d been exposed at a young age to some basic principles and practices. How hard could it be?

Holy cow! I have never sweated so much in my life, though quietly chuffed with how much I could keep up in my first session. The second session the follow morning left me pretty wiped but gave me time to reflect of some pretty cool metaphors that the experience had presented.

Here are my 9 ways Bikram yoga makes a great metaphor for life and business:

1.Stay in the room:

Not completely original as Denise Duffield-Thomas uses this metaphor in her Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp. However, this one really makes a lot of sense. Allow me to elaborate…

It’s intense and overwhelming when starting something new and way outside your comfort zone (just like your first 5 minutes into Bikram Yoga!), sometimes you get the urge just to chuck it all in. However, if you can stay in the space, giving things a go as you can, staying in contact with that environment, being inspired by others then you’re more likely to maintain momentum. You’ll need less time to adjust than if you were dipping in and out of that space, and you’re way ahead of the game than if you never went there in the first place. “Staying in the room” is going to increase your chances of being successful at what you’re trying to do.

2.Learn from others

Although you’re getting clear instructions throughout on what to do and how to make appropriate adjustments, nothing really beats being able to see how it’s done by someone more experienced. You learn a lot, quickly, and can avoid some of the usual beginner mistakes.

3.Focusing too much on what others are doing will unbalance you

This might seem to contradict the last point but stick with me. Although you need to learn from others, once you’ve got the basic idea, you have to stop looking at what they’re doing and focus on what you’re trying to implement. If you try to do stuff while watching everyone else you’ll lose your balance and fall over. Now if that’s not a metaphor for life and biz, I don’t know what is!

4.Daily consistency is an ideal not a requirement

The first session I did almost everything I was asked to, the next session, I did less. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t at least be consistent but the reality is that circumstances are constantly changing.  To be perfectly consistent is a nice ideal to have but let’s face it, not actually necessary. I still  joined in, learned more, improved a bit here and there. Some days you’re on your game and some days your off. You can fatigue, get run down or sick, or my lady friends, be under different hormonal influences. Just because you achieved one thing one day, isn’t a failing if you don’t get it the next.

5.Fuel and replenish your body

Activity of any sort drains your body. If you want to maintain momentum either physically or mentally, then you need to refuel and replenish your body. Food, sleep, water; you know the drill.

6.We’re all at different stages in our journey

Some of us have more experience than others and more often than not you don’t even know how much, so quit comparing yourself.

7.You need a resting pose

Seriously just as you think you’re about to die, you get to lie down and stare at the ceiling. This rest, albeit short is enough to keep you going. Discover what your life or business “rest pose” is because you seriously need one.

8.Go at your own pace

Everyone is different, different strengths, levels of fitness and/or experience. If you try to keep up with everyone you will run yourself into the ground and probably die. Seriously if hot yoga is a metaphor for life we would immediately stop competing so much with others for the sake of self preservation.

9.Drink lots of water.

This requires little explanation. Water is the source of life. Drink lots of it to keep your mind clear and your body healthy.

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