As you may already know that running your own business isn’t easy, it requires self-discipline, passion and hard work.
And finding time to focus on your health can sometimes be difficult but is so essential to being the most successful and efficient version of yourself. But if you can carve it out in your daily routine, it can reap the benefits in your body, mind, life, and business.
Here is some fact of why Yoga and Meditation can help:
- Yoga and Meditation have been shown to improve brain function and energy levels.
- Reduces stress, decreasing the production of cortisol; the stress hormone.
- Reduces anxiety with the importance of being in the present moment and finding a sense of peace.
- Improves sleep.
- Improves overall health, physically and mentally and makes people feel better emotionally.
- Improves heart health and lowers blood pressure.
- Increased muscle strength and tone.
- Increased flexibility.
- Improves respiration, energy, and vitality.
- Switches on your creative brain.
To be a successful entrepreneur requires a creative brain and being able to think outside of the box.
There have been a number of studies showing how yogic breathing practices increase the Alpha brain waves associated with lower levels of stress and greater levels of creativity. Alpha brain states are where brilliant ideas arise, and where athletes find their zone. The feeling of wellbeing we have after yoga practice leaves us feeling clear-headed, revitalized and energized to take on whatever comes our way. A regular yoga practice can bring on feelings of awareness and being connected, feeling a vital life force flow through us and from this state births original ideas and visionary creations.
The fear of exposure, failure, judgment, or not getting it perfect can be crippling for us women striving to do our best.
The practice of yoga helps release stress and emotions held at a cellular level. Most emotions are held in the hips, neck and shoulders and yoga is unique in supporting deep release in all these areas. Many studies now show the profound ability of yoga to release trauma from the body and the positive effect yoga has on people suffering from PTSD. The more we heal our nervous system and come to a place of inner calm and reflection, the greater our creative expression.
You may well be working away at her computer for hours holding the same position. A simple yoga practice will allow for a fantastic stretch and release of emotions, stress, and contortions of the body, easing the repetitive strain and bringing the body and mind back to equilibrium and ready to face whatever the day brings. Just find a space to pop your mat out and off you go. Below I have designed three short yoga sequences easy to slot into a busy day for the entrepreneurial woman to gain ultimate performance.
Morning Sequence – Find Your Zest
Find a good spot to practice and choose to have some music or to simply focus on your breath and body and to be present in the moment.
Begin with your breath, clearing your thoughts and using your breath as a compass point for your mind. Breath deeply and fully allowing your belly to expand as you breathe in and deflate as you take a long exhale, allowing yourself to feel calm, grounded and centered.
Chair Pose / Utkatasana
Stand with your feet together and grounded. Make sure your knees are together and as you inhale, swoop your arms up as you bend your knees. Keep your knees stable by looking down and making sure you can see your toes. Your arms should be inline with your ears. Pull up your pelvic floor muscles and engage your abdomen so that you are static but dynamic.
Sit a little deeper so that your quads engage and roll your thighs inwards. Hold for ten deep long breaths from your nose. You can also practice this pose gripping a rolled up blanket in-between your thighs to build strength in your quads and thighs.
Forward Fold / Uttanasana
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. As you descend draw your front torso out of your groin, lengthening your spine as you move more fully into the position. If you have lower back issues then softly bend your knees and place your hands on your elbows. Or, hands can be to the ground or wrapped around the calves. As you inhale, lift and lengthen your front torso, as you exhale fold deeper drawing your tummy and chest in towards your legs. Stay here for ten, slow, deep breaths.
To increase the stretch in the backs of your legs, lean slightly forward and lift up onto the balls of your feet, pulling your heels a half-inch or so away from the floor.
Low Lunge / Anjaneyasana
Bending your knees in forward fold, take a big step back with your right foot and softly land your right knee to the ground. As you inhale; swoop your arms up perpendicular to the floor, open your chest and elongate your spine. Gaze past your fingers. Stay here for five deep long breaths.
Downward Facing Dog / Adho Mukha Svanasana
Place your hands either side of your front foot and then step back into a plank pose with your hands directly under your shoulders and engaging your core, thighs, and shoulders. Then press the ground away and push your hips high. Spread your fingers wide.
Focus on drawing your lower abdominals in and slightly upwards while drawing your front bottom ribs towards each other and lengthening through the sides of your waist.
Downward Dog is a great way to strengthen and tone the abdominals. Make sure to also engage your pelvic floor muscles by drawing a line up from the base of your spine which lengthens through the crown of the head. Create space in your chest and draw your shoulder blades down your back. Try bending your knees to elongate your spine and only straightening the legs if this doesn’t affect your spine. Draw your heels towards the floor and feel your hamstrings and calves begin to stretch. Look in-between your thighs and stay here for five to ten breaths.
Relaxation – very important / Savassana
- Allows you to absorb the benefits of your practice
- Releases stress, fatigue, depression, and tension
- After your practice, it helps to reset the body temperature, calm your central nervous system and bring your breath back to normal
- Calms your mind and improves concentration
The most important pose in your practice to allow the full benefits of yoga to sink in. Lay down on your mat and make sure you are warm, use a blanket if needed. Spread your arms with your palms facing upwards and your legs with your ankles rolling outwards. Allow your whole body to relax and let go whilst your mind stays present.
We are used to engaging our muscles and our brains to achieve our goals, yet in Savasana, we must become equally skilled at letting all that activity go in order for the pose’s beneficial effects to arise. It’s hard to let go of the idea that everything important happens when you are moving and taking action. Yet a deeper part of yourself waits for those moments when you are completely relaxed to reveal its truth. A feeling of connection, clarity, all-knowingness, love, or joy may arise from this state of ease and relaxation—a taste of what meditation offers.
Yoga is my passion, my way of life. My belief is if you like something then practice it if you love something then teach it.
Initially, Jess was introduced to yoga in 2003 with Ashtanga Vinyasa with Mark Freeth. In 2013 she began practicing traditional Hatha with David Goldring. Exploring further she went to the Freestyle Yoga Company in Tunbridge Wells in 2014. Early in 2015, she traveled to Budokon University in Miami where she studied and achieved her 200 hr Budokon Yoga teacher training. She has since trained and gained certificates in massage, Rainbow children’s yoga and Pre and Post Natal Yoga with Katy Appleton.
Jess teaches yoga in and around Sevenoaks and afar and offers private classes, adults group classes, kids workshops, and pre and postnatal yoga.