I am a yoga girl stuck in a corporate girl’s body.
Hmm what? Let me try to explain what I mean by that. When I was going through teacher training, I felt like it all made sense; I was one with the universe, I was a yogi. When I’m teaching yoga, or preparing for a yoga class, or taking a yoga class, I feel so peaceful. I feel like I am doing what I was born to do. I feel happy, alive, and whole. I feel refreshed, I feel like my highest self.
But then, on my 30 minute commute to my day job I feel that part of me shed off the closer I get to work. I go to meetings with business partners, I respond to emails to my managers, I put together presentations and collaborate with my team members, and I’m not unhappy…I’m just not the same zen yoga girl I was after my 6am yoga class. Instead I’m the Type A, go-getter, achiever, who’s not afraid to push back or roll my eyes or reply back with some sass – the girl that passed her CPA exams and survived three years of public accounting. I crush some excel sheets, and I get sh*t done.
I feel like the inner-yogi in me is constantly competing with the career girl that I am during the day, Honestly, it’s hard to balance the two. It’s like I have my yoga self, and then I have my corporate self and it’s hard to figure out how to let the two coexist. At the core, obviously I’m the same person, same personality, same values…but trying to balance the yogi version of myself with the career girl version of myself has been (and continues to be) a process. I really hope that this blog will resonate with others of you who are trying to discover your authentic self, while at the same time navigate societal pressures and career goals.
In the meantime, here are a few steps I take when I’m in my corporate mindset but need to find some yogic balance.
- Come back to your breath – When things get tense at work, I often find myself holding my breath, or taking short shallow breaths. I like to begin all of my yoga practices by taking three deep inhales and three deep exhales, and doing this in my cubicle when I’m a little stressed really gives my body and my mind a chance to reset.
- Practice gratitude – Thinking of the first five things I’m thankful for when I’m really feeling frustrated is a quick way to shift from negative thoughts to a more positive mindset. It’s always a great practice to think about what you are thankful for at the beginning or end of each day, but it’s also a wonderful thing to practice when you feel like the world is out to get you.
- Smile – This one makes me laugh just writing it, but you know the old marathon trick of smiling while you run because it tricks your mind into thinking you’re happy and everything is okay? Try this at work. When I’m frustrated by something or someone at work, I come back to my cubicle and just smile. It’s a fake smile at first, but then I feel so ridiculous doing it that I end up actually smiling, and no lie – it actually works. My mind is in a better place immediately.
Does anyone else feel the pressure of balancing career goals with yoga? How do you overcome this?