Yin Yoga and Business10,000 footprints
As James and I ventured deeper into creating 10,000 Footprints, we found ourselves using the principals of yin yoga to support our development of the website and business. Clark outlines three principals of yin yoga: play to your edges, resolve to be still, and hold for a time. Lessons learned from practicing these principals during yoga have deeply supported the mental and emotional roller-coasters of starting an online business.
#1: Play to your edges
As we learned and explored what it takes to create a business, it became easy to be overwhelmed. The amount of information out there is phenomenal. When practicing yin yoga, we play with the “edge” of an asana: we come to our deepest space and release back many times. As we do this, we find over time our edge may shift a little deeper and we experience the asana differently and more fully.
In business, this idea of playing with the edge of our knowledge, pushing a little and then coming back, became a way to grow without feeling as overwhelmed. When information became too much, we backed away and allowed the mind and body to settle a bit before venturing a bit deeper again. As we continued to learn in this fashion, our depth of knowledge has become deeper and our business practice more developed.
#2: Resolve to be still
Finding stillness can be the most difficult hurdle in a yin practice, and it was no different working on our business. As much as we worked to make small steps forward each day, we found that allowing space for stillness then allowed space for reflection. We could almost “hear” what changes needed to be made before we moved on. The first version of the website homepage has changed dramatically from what you see today; allowing stillness for a few weeks gave us the space to see what changes we needed to make to bring the site to the next level.
#3: Hold for a time
Starting a business is uncomfortable. It involves facing fears. Like tears and anger and sick-to-your-stomach fears. It is hard. It takes a huge amount of patience and even more motivation. More than once we’ve thought about quitting, doing something easier. Something more comfortable.
Yin yoga emphasizes time in a posture. Holding a forward fold for 3 to 10 minutes might not seem that big of a deal until you’re there, playing with your edge, finding that space before pain but after comfort. Then you resolve to stillness, to wait. Suddenly those tiny minutes seem expansive, but the goal is to stick to the posture through the discomfort, through the emotion, through the fear, and come out the other side. It is hard, it is uncomfortable. And it teaches us to embrace the difficulties and discomfort because it will ultimately make us grow.