As a yoga teacher, you spend many hours face-to-face with your clients on the mat. And it’s incredibly satisfying to witness their positive transformation right before your eyes. But running the behind-the-scenes aspect of your yoga business might not be as appealing…. especially when you have to do so from the crowded and distracting space of your house. These 7 tips help you stay centered as you work from home, which can combat overwhelm and help you stay on track. This means you are even more prepared and energized the next time you see your students in person.
This topic is especially relevant right now in the face of social shutdowns resulting from the Coronavirus breakout. All community gathering places have been forced to temporarily close, including yoga studios. And while you may be able to still work one-on-one with your private clients, or film videos to post online, group classes are off the table.
The downside is that this turn of events can greatly alter your routine and habits. And in the uncertainty, you might be worried, anxious, or confused.
The good news is that positive habits–such as the ones mentioned below-will give you a sense of groundedness regardless of your environment. You’ll stay connected to the abundance mindset that allows you thrive in all conditions. And, you can retain a sense of independence and control as you continue to move your yoga business forward.
Photo Credit: Iriana Shiyan
(1) START THE DAY ON PURPOSE
You might know that creating a structure or schedule for yourself is one of the best practices to implement as you work from home. This is even true for creative types, like many of us yogis. In fact, it’s the structure or sense of organization that provides a foundation ftaskrom which to expand and grow. From the security of routine, you feel safe to try new things.
And structure starts with your morning routine.
A morning ritual gives you purpose. It sets the tone for your day. It reminds you about what’s truly important (both for your personal wellbeing and business success). Most importantly, a morning ritual helps you maximize your most valuable resource–your energy levels!
My morning routine:
I wake up daily to a dark and quiet house. After washing my face and brushing my teeth, I walk quietly to the kitchen when I drink a large glass of water and a small protein and juice concoction.
From there, I move to my meditation seat and enjoy some deliberate time in stillness. This is an important way to listen to my inner guide and tap into the Infinite Power that flows through my entire being. Then, it’s time to move that energy in a yoga practice and put my thoughts down on paper in my journal. All of this gives me more zest and clarity with which to take into the rest of the day.
It’s about this time that I hear Steve and Kai start to stir. We meet in the front room as the sun rises. As we enjoy espresso and breakfast, we connect in a meaningful way. It’s during this time we also incorporate the second tip to consider when working from home as a yogi.
Join me for a virtual practice via my YouTube Channel! There are so many great classes to choose from now!
(2) SET YOUR EXPECTATIONS IN ADVANCE
Let’s be real. Your home is full of distractions. Even when it’s empty, the call of a stray dirty dish on the counter or laundry begging to be done can beckon you away from your real work—sticking with the logistics and marketing plan of your business.
And if your block is anything like mine, you might unexpectedly realize the neighbors are deciding to pressure wash their entire house or the city coming to check power lines (which may interrupt your power for a few hours).
While you can’t plan ahead for all of the unknowns in your day, you can start by setting clear expectations for the day with people in your house. Basically, you want to set your expectations for the day long before you get into the the thick of your work so you don’t get frustrated or discouraged when things don’t go as you (or your family) planned. And you’ll be able to re-focus and re-align quickly should you get off track at any point in the day as well.
Ask these questions to clarify your expectations for the day:
- Who will be home?
- Which family members need attention from you, and what help do they need?
- Will you be forced to leave the house at any time to make that support possible?
- What’s for dinner?
- And what needs to get done in your business as a priority?
As a side note, you can do this the night before if that works better for your family (especially if the responsibilities of the day start bright and early).
(3) BATCH YOUR WORK
One of the best ways to set yourself up to be efficient and organized is to batch your work. This is when you block out chunks of time for certain tasks that are similar in nature. For example, Tuesday is my filming day, where I get my camera equipment ready and record numerous videos back-to-back. These videos may not be posted for weeks, but the preparation is done all at once. This saves the time and energy in the setup and cleaning up process.
And you can do this, too, with any aspect of your yoga business. You can batch the work you do in:
- writing blog posts for your website
- scheduling for the studio
- creating client lesson plans
- crafting yoga sequences for group classes
- writing marketing copy for your website or ads
The options are endless. Just know you will be far more focused and productive when you get your mind working in the same direction for a period of time!
Some additional tips to batch you work:
- Set a new intention for each chunk of time. This gives you foresight and clarity.
- Set a timer. This reminds you to take breaks.
- Plan ahead. Have your materials for the day ready to work on, or at least accessible so you can start without overcoming resistance from the get-go.
- Before you move on to a new segment of work, close out the task completely. The work might not be entirely done, but do a mental and physical tidy up of your space so that you’re ready to move on to what’s next without distraction.
(4) ONE ACTIVITY, ONE SPACE
Your home is likely a safe and comforting environment. However, when you work from home, it can simultaneously become a distraction. Dirty laundry or stray dishes on the sink might call you away from the important business-related work at hand.
This occurs because you mentally assign your habits to the locations in which they occur. For example, if you cook meals in the kitchen, you develop a unique connection with the objects on your kitchen counter. Or, you might watch TV on the living room couch each evening. This leads you to develop a different relationship with that space than, say, your daughter who reads her favorite book on Saturday mornings.
Basically, you have specific habits and memories associated with each place in your house.
This is beneficial if you have a home office space and can dedicate the behind-the-scenes work to this room. However, many of you don’t and you end up doing your bookkeeping or class planning from the kitchen table. This sends a mixed signal to your brain. Now, the kitchen table is associated with eating meals with family and your bookkeeping.
To stay focused and efficient, try to dedicate one activity (your business work) to one space in your house. And if you don’t have an entire room to space, carve out a space for it within your current environment.
More tips to stay grounded in tight spaces:
- Divide your room into zones. For example,you might use one chair in the living room for planning your classes, and the couch for watching TV. Or, you might sit on the left side of the kitchen table to eat with family and sit at the other end entirely when doing your bookkeeping.
- Separate your digital spaces. You might only use your computer for writing copy for your business, scheduling your team, and sending emails that are work-related. Then, you can use your ipad for personal emails and photo storage. Perhaps your phone is dedicated to social media, texting, and calls.
- Refrain from working in the bedroom. Sleep is one of the greatest factors to health and mental wellbeing. So, keep your work out of your bedroom entirely! This will ensure you memorize one action–sleep–in the single location of your bedroom!
(5) KEEP YOUR PHONE OUT OF YOUR WORKSPACE
I just mentioned that you want to have one activity per space in your environment to minimize distractions. And I’d venture to say that your phone is the greatest source of distraction to your progress at work.
So when you get settled in to work on a batch project, leave your phone in a different space. Turn it on silent, or turn it off. Leave it in your purse or backpack. Or, keep it in another room entirely. This will ensure you can stay present on the task at hand–which is creating (not responding to what someone else is creating).
(6) TAKE HEART-HEALTHY BREAKS
Cardiovascular endurance is one of the five elements of fitness, and you boost this when doing sun salutations or holding challenging poses on the mat. But your heart is far more than a pump that supplies blood to your entire body. The heart is actually responsible for sending important signals to your brain and body. It does this via nerve pathways, electrical impulses, hormonal messengers, and energetic waves.
What’s fascinating is that your perception of your environment affects each of these modes of communication–especially the last, which are the energetic waves of the heart.
If you experience a negative emotion, such as frustration, feeling overwhelmed or angry, your heart creates incoherent waves. This means that the signal from your heart is chaotic in nature. It’s more like the results you’d see on a seismograph after an earthquake (or the jagged lines you see to the left of the heart in this image above).
On the other hand, if you experience a more positive emotion, such as calm, peaceful, curious, appreciation, and love, the waves of the heart are coherent in nature. They are smooth and even, just like the image here to the right of the heart. These are coherent waves.
There are times that the logistical aspects of your business can cause frustration. If you work from home in an isolated environment, it can also drain your energy. This has the potential to create incoherent heart waves and disrupt your internal sense of balance (and overall health).
So, take heart-healthy breaks to come back into a coherent state. To do this, you could:
- Take a walk outside
- Play with your dog or cat
- Call a friend
- Watch a funny clip on YouTube to get a good belly laugh
- Go for a bike ride
- Write a thank you card to express your appreciation for clients
Learn more about heart coherence in the Awaken your Potential Workshop.
(7) SOCIALIZE DELIBERATELY
Long-term success in your yoga business is amplified when you take action on purpose. This is especially true regarding your interactions with others. That’s why this last tip to consider when working from home is to socialize deliberately.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, you likely thrive on spending quality time with your students. This can create a void, or leave you feeling bored or disconnected, when you’re working on other aspects of your business alone. To sustain a greater sense of balance overall, decide how you best want to interact with others.
For me, I deliberately socialize with my husband in the morning. It’s a way we connect authentically and remind each other of the love and appreciation at the heart of our marriage. As for the rest of my family, we set up FaceTime dates that are outside of my important windows of working time. This allows me to still batch my work, and manage my energy wisely (using my peak hours to get the most important work done).
Plus, I set aside two times per day to check email, check in with social media, and connect with other colleagues in a present-way…. Even if we’re not in the same room as I do so. I just know the intention to socialize deliberately can be felt across state lines and time zones.
How do you best connect with others?
There is no right or wrong formula to set up socializing habits when you work from home. To clarify what’s best for you, simply answer the following questions:
- When is my mental focus the best? (save for work)?
- At what time(s) of day is my creative mind most active? (save for work or collaborate with others)
- When is my energy low during the day and could use a pick-me-up from a friend?
- Which is my preferred way of communicating with close family? Friends? Colleagues? Etc
- What social habits support my overall life and yoga business goals?
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Life is full of unpredictable circumstances, and that can get amplified when you work on your yoga business from home. That’s why structure and good habits are especially important. This is why paying attention to your energy levels and heart health are vital to your progress. When you use these 7 tips when working from home, you can support the priorities that are most valuable to the success of your yoga business–and do so in a way that gives you more energy, clarity, and focus over time!
Take Action Now:
- Download the guide to implement these 7 tips and stay grounded as you work from home this week.
- Listen to my Interview with Howard Martin on how to create a coherent–and healthy–heart. You can listen for free via the link in the guide above. Plus, it’s part of our Awaken your Potential Workshop. I’d So if you like what you hear, check out the other great professionals in the industry to expand your yoga- and energy-related knowledge!
- Do a home audit and check the relationships you have with various spaces in your home. You just might be surprised at which relationships are supporting you (and which ones you might just want to do without).