At The Power Conference yesterday a session promised to “Unleash Your Authentic Voice for Success”. As Dana Theus engaged the audience, I realized everything you needed to know about being successful could be found in a committed yoga practice.
Dana held her throat and talked about not being able to speak because we often worry about saying something wrong. We hold back out of fear. She advised taping into deeper levels and staying in an energetic space where the words almost didn’t matter. Underneath we have our real story which we need to tell with meaning and the best way is to state, “I believe ______.”
One of the foundations of yoga is to reach this energetic state of “being in the moment”. An inability to speak is symbolized by a blockage in the throat chakra. Before we can communicate, we need to feel grounded, be creative, digest ideas, and have compassion, then we are ready to truly share. A regular yoga practice helps to stop the overwhelming stimulus from the world and our brains. We learn to observe that what is happening to us is not us. In this way we find a better energetic state and can share our beliefs.
For me, noticing my breath and concentrating on fuller breaths is the most basic way to be in the moment. The more you do it in yoga, the more you’ll find yourself doing it throughout your day. This is the way to start your journey away from powerless and defeating behaviors.
The keynote speaker, Katty Kay, also touched on some yoga principles during her talk about confidence. Confidence is the stuff that turns our thoughts into actions. Although partly genetic, it is a choice and something any person can build by taking risks without fear of failure. As we try to learn yoga, we often spend many hours slowly attempting to move our bodies in a certain way. Some students are much more willing to fail, fall, and start again. In this way, yoga can help you find your edge, add challenges to your days, and become confident in failure.
She also talked about “ruminating” and gave the example of successfully hosting a three-hour show only to spend the next three weeks with her brain constantly bringing up the one wrong question she asked. During meditation, we learn to become the observer of these types of thoughts. I tell my students then may have to observe a certain thought over and over again a hundred times in one short meditation session. The more you practice yoga and meditation, the more you will realize how much your brain is constantly trying to force you to feel bad about the past or worry about the future and you can work to stop it.
Katty suggests you think three good thoughts for every “Negative Automatic Thought” (NAT). It takes that many. Every time you notice the bad thought, force yourself to repeat three positive outcomes from the same situation.
I couldn’t help but to think of gnats flying around my head. These negative thoughts are exactly the same. I’ll use the image during meditation with my students. Observe the gnats and bring your mind to a better place.
Connecting your body and breath with yoga will improve your work and fulfill your personal life. As a yoga coach, I hope to help people be successful in all that they do.