A Corporate Yogi

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Although I work in what appears to be a trendy start up, I really work in health care, where creativity is generally red taped by legal considerations. The part of the start up culture we do embrace? Quickness. We move very quickly and if you can’t keep up, it’s probably a good idea to bow out early on. Honestly, I love the pace most of the time. Although at other times, it adds stress to an environment that can already breed stress on its own due to the aforementioned red tape.

I leave most days at 4 pm to get to 4:30 pm yoga, just in time to change. But generally, my schedule looks more like this:

4:00 – Get up from my desk to head out
4:01 – Get asked a “quick, last minute” question before I leave for the night
4:07 – Get into my car and actually leave
4:12 – Get stuck behind high schoolers crossing the road from their school to the parking lot (and let me tell you, it’s nothing like the speed walking competition from the Olympics..)
4:14 – “Tap” on the breaks at the millions of stop signs that litter my path to the studio
4:19 – Sit at the light on Lakestreet to turn into the parking lot, backed up by traffic already
4:22 – Park my car
4:23 – Run in and change, scrub my make up off and fill up my water bottle
4:29 – Hear the instructor yell last call
4:30 – Rush into the room, lay down my mat (usually crooked, which I feel like is a problem only I have, but I digress) and take savasana

Obviously, the second I lay in savasana, I am instantly calm. Wait, no, that’s not true. Given that my 30 minutes leading up to this pose have been likely stressful and, at minimum, rushed, I can’t possible relax right into the pose. So this got me thinking how can I marry what often feels like my two lives? How can I be a corporate powerhouse (okay, I’m entry level but dare to dream) from 7 am – 4 pm and a yogi after that? How can I actually incorporate these meaningful intentions that I hear in class into my day-to-day job? Ultimately, what does a corporate yogi look like?

As I started to dive into the answer, I consulted the queen of corporate wellness – Arianna Huffington. I found that she has a lot of tips to live a more balanced life, even while building an empire. And when I think about it, what does Modo Yoga preach more than anything else? A connection to the breath to create balance. It all started to click. Although, I wouldn’t say the lessons that inspire me so deeply in yoga have fully infiltrated the rest of my life, slowly but surely, I am working toward that. It’s important to me that I can like the fast past of my job while being a yogi at the same time – and I know I’m not alone in this mission. Here are the tips and tricks that I’ve been trying out in order to live a more unified, powerful, balanced and yogic life:

1. I keep a notebook of all the intentions that have more resonated with me while in class. I try to page through it everyday when I get into work. Admittedly, it doesn’t quite happen that often, but I find the more often, the better my mindset starting the day is.
2. I leave work 10 minutes earlier to avoid the rush and commotion. I also keep all of my workout clothes in my car, so I always know where they are, and I won’t accidentally show up to yoga with nothing to wear.
3. I reframe my work problems so that I don’t “throw a second dart” – the idea that a situation and your emotions toward it are two different things. The situation happens, but you throw a second dart when you allow your emotions to continue to ruminate on the event.
4. I embrace the fast-paced work culture but don’t buy into the stress by working later at night. I know this may not sound like the best idea, but I find that if I can get a head of some work, I will be happier the next day. I am also at a point in my life where I am not worrying about a family, so I have the time, but I understand this isn’t a viable solution for everyone. I also talk to my manager about resourcing and delegation at times when it is simply too overwhelming.
5. When I am frustrated with someone, I try (it’s a work in progress) to think of one reason why I’m happy that they are a part of my company.

As I grow in my career and as my yoga practice deepens, I hope to continue to bridge my two worlds. Are you a corporate yogi too? How are you a #boss while still remaining zen and living a life your yoga instructor would be proud of? Let me know in the comments section below!

written by Morgan Rogers

Morgan Rogers is a copywriter based in Minneapolis with an interest in health, nutrition and hot yoga (of course). She graduated from the University of Southern California with degrees in Human Biology and Spanish but is also passionate about the written word. Follow the Inspired Life Blog for more stories on all 12 of her 2017 challenges.

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