When we show up to our #yoga mat it is real easy to get swept away by the yoga poses. If you go to most yoga classes they are taught in a way that makes us feel like the purpose of yoga is to just be successful at the poses. We spend many a moment on our mat striving to achieve, to be successful at everything thrown our way. From warrior 2, to crow pose and down dog, we are tangled up in the quest to be and to define our success. As a business owner there is a similar feeling of getting swept away. As the months have ticked by and I am now 10 months into owning this studio, many of my weekly moments are spent calculating, measuring and trying to define the success of SHIFT.
In business the only way that success is calculated and measured is by sales. "What are the monthly sales, what were they compared to last month, last year?" "What is the profit left over after the bills are paid." It is all a numbers game to define success and it can be very consuming. This first year of business was all about how do I maintain the level of success the studio has and now as I look forward to year 2 my focus is how do I grow the success. But how do I define success? Is it the numbers on the spreadsheet? How do you define if you are successful at yoga? Is it the number of arm balances you can do?
In the midst of my success inquiry I came across the simple and poignant words of Albert Einstein. He said " strive not to be of success, but to be of value." Shiiiiiit. Those words hit me straight like an inspiring dagger to the heart! Exactly what I (and ultimately all of us) needed to hear.
My thoughts immediately shifted, my focus morphed, my heart skipped a beat and all the pressure of trying to be successful faded. "That's it" I thought, how I will measure the success of SHIFT moving forward. I will strive not to be a (financial) success, but I will seek to be of value to the lives of my students. To focus each week, month and year on the value this business adds to people's lives. How brilliant. It doesn't ultimately matter how big the dollar amounts are, how large the sales numbers and profit margins are. If my business doesn't add value to the lives of those that use it, then why even do it.
That leads us to think deeper about our yoga practice too! Why seek just to master poses? So you can hold a handstand and look cool on #instagram. Great! But how about looking deeper and for more meaning? Does showing up to your yoga mat and moving and breathing add value to your body? Have the deep messages I have been teaching you over the years been adding value to your life? Has learning how to #meditate together added value to your mental state?
If so then why worry about how cool our poses are? Why worry about how much we paid for our yoga pants, why define our success with statistics and numbers? Instead let us look for all the ways the practice adds value to our life and let's walk mindfully forward together from there!