Why Yoga is Perfect for Freelance Lifestyle?
“Yoga is the artwork of awareness on the canvas of body, mind, and soul.” - Amit Ray
Are you a freelancer like me? Do you get up in the morning and the first thing that comes to your mind is that endless list of clients you need to handle right from the get go? And do you lie in the bed awake, mentally checking your daily to-do list, worrying that something slipped your mind? I used to do that. My balance was so out of whack that most dreams I could recall in the morning featured missed deadlines and unsatisfied clients.
I was not only mentally exhausted and preoccupied but my frantic lifestyle that catered exclusively to my career started to hurt my overall health. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do; I really do. There came a point, however, in my life when I couldn’t continue doing it the same way I’ve been doing it in the past. My back was killing me, my vision was blurry, and I couldn’t get centered even when I put real effort into doing it.
1. Give Yoga a Try
I decided to give yoga a try. I figured that it certainly can’t hurt and I had to try something. Focusing my attention inward three to four times a week worked like a charm. I got more physically fit, but what is more important, I learned to manage my life and my mind and bring back at least a semblance of balance to my life. I still have my days, not to worry. Some clients and projects are more difficult to handle, but they are few and far in between, and overall, I am a much happier freelancer than I ever was.
2. Don't Give Up
Starting yoga all by yourself is not an easy task. I tried, I struggled, and I gave up. That is when I decided to attend yoga classes, at least for a while. Once you get down to the basics of yoga, it’s easy to work at it from the comfort of your own home, but I found that classes were necessary to learn the proper techniques. I attended yoga classes for about two months before I felt comfortable enough to ditch them and continue on my own.
The great thing about yoga is that you only really need a mat and the techniques to do it. You set your own pace, you practice when and how it suits you. You need to be disciplined about it, however. I now go to a yoga class at least once a week. It helps me to retain the momentum and learn new things, plus, yoga-lovers are a great bunch to hang out with! But to reiterate, freelancing and yoga work well together because you can easily fit an hour of yoga anywhere in your usually busy schedule.
3. Enjoy the Process
Yoga forces me to focus; focus my mind, focus my breathing, focus my energy. It helps me achieve balance inside myself that I previously couldn’t even imagine. I think this is why I actually love yoga. Overthinking kills my creativity. Stress does the same. Yoga takes both away, clears my mind, and helps me think! I became tremendously better at what I do a couple of months after I fully dedicated myself to my yoga routine. Coincidence? I think not.
Another nice thing that came out of my regular workouts is my heightened appreciation of my work output. I no longer stress as much as I did about whether or not my work is absolutely flawless and perfect. Yoga taught me to appreciate life’s little imperfections, so I roll with it. By the way, clients still love my work, even if I don’t obsess about it!
4. See the Results
Remember how I was telling you that my back was killing me? Sitting became excruciatingly painful for me at one point, so I did the bulk of my work kneeling in front of my computer or lying on the floor on my back. Needless to say, not much was getting done. Yoga helped me with my back problems as well, so I can now sit for a stretch of time if my deadlines are fast-approaching.
Yoga doesn’t solve everything, sadly. That blurry vision I was talking about – had to get prescription glasses for that. But I’m not complaining. Yoga helped me a lot, both personally and professionally. It helped me to grow on both fronts; I am happier with myself and with the work I do!
So my advice to you is: go and enroll in a yoga class. All you need is an ounce of will and a nice – non-slippery – yoga mat. Give it a try because you seriously have nothing to lose. I gained a new perspective, a peace of mind, and a healthier back. If you come away with only one of those things from your first few yoga classes, you may consider yourself lucky indeed!