Follow Your Bliss in the Workplace


Follow Your Bliss in the Workplace Today

When it comes to following your bliss, do you have difficulty to find out what you want? Did you know that when you focus on what you don’t want, you bring more of what you don’t want!  Let’s stop and take a minute to do a bit of guided imagery or even journaling.  If you have a few minutes, take out your notebook and write down some of your thoughts. I assure you, you will find this very relaxing and enlightening way to spend some free time.

Is it impossible to find a deep and honest answer to the question: “what do you want”? You are not alone! Many of us struggle to find out what we really want in life.

The time comes when it is easier to come up with a long list of what you DONT want than creating a list of what you are really looking for. That’s where creative writing comes into play.  Take a deep breath and let’s begin this visualization!
Imagine you have a huge bag full of ideas, situations, things, characteristics, images, etc. The bag has a never ending supply of every imaginable thing and thought. Now visualize yourself taking pieces out of the bag. Take one thought, idea, image, opportunity…. Have a look at it and decide if you want it or not. Make the decision as intuitive as you can. Decide quickly, you need to move fast to sort through all those possibilities in the bag.

Take one, look at it, decide, done. Then repeat. Take notes of the things that went to the “don’t want” list.  To help you I have come up with different ideas, images, situations and characteristics to help you with this exercise. Below is a random list of possibilities around teaching yoga.

Here is the list:
, Making money
, Comfortable living
Coaching others, 
Practicing yoga every day, 
Practicing yoga as you wish, no set times, Flexibility, Doing what is good for your family/community , Self-appreciation, 
Taking care of yourself
, Calming environment, 
Working for yourself, 
Passion, great health, 

Working for a non-profit, Creating value
Creating new ideas, doctors Alternative medicine, Nutrition, Ayurveda
, Acupuncture
, Quantum healing

Now, you can write up the above 30 possibilities on small pieces of paper then put them into a bag, jar or box. Or write them down simply on a piece of paper!  Feel free to add to the list above! Now take one piece of paper out of the container, decide if you want that or not. Separate the “want” and “don’t want” items. Keep on going until you worked through the whole list.

When you look at the “don’t want” items, you will have a pretty good idea what it is that you don’t want. And this will be a tremendous help in figuring out what you really really want out of your everyday life and attracting more of the same!

Clayton Yoga has been teaching over 13 weekly corporate yoga classes for more than ten years in the greater metro St. Louis area.  We follow our bliss everyday and love what we do.  Interested in having more of that energy in your company?  Get started with corporate yoga wellness and onsite classes today, contact Michelle at 314-630-1677!   

Two Productive Hours

dart-444196_640Do you crave getting concentration back in your workdays or even in your private life? We need to fight more distraction than ever before. And we all pay a high price for it every day.

In our previous blogpost we shared our suggestions for the time between waking up and getting to your workplace.

How to make the most of the 2 most productive hours in the morning?

One of the well-known productivity advice out there is to ignore your email for the first few hours of the day or at least not check it first thing in the day. But how realistic is this in the workplace? Not at all.

Here is what we suggest: check ONLY the important email first thing when you get to the office. Only from team members, your boss, most important clients and suppliers. The messages might have a big impact on the priorities of the day! On the basis of these crucial messages, you might need to rework the list of the most important projects you need to take care of today.

The next step is to get rid of distractions. Close email, close the door, tell your co-workers to respect your next 1,5-2 hours as focused work time.

It is unrealistic to expect that you will be able to work with 100% focus for 2 hours. You need to take at least one break. Begin with focusing for 45 minutes and then taking 15-20 minutes off. Don’t forget that you have your own rhythm. Maybe you prefer to focus for 60 minutes and then take a break. You supposed to take a break at 45 or 60 minutes but you are in flow and work nearly effortlessly? Use the power of flow and take your break when you feel ready.

Use RescueTime as an app to help you cut back on distractions. You will even get some statistics on your online usage patterns from this useful app.

Managing 2 hours of truly productive and focused work is most probably more than any of your colleagues do in the morning.

One last tip: take an on-site yoga class if it is offered at your company. The 60 minutes that you spend away from your office is the secret of better focus and productivity in the afternoon!

Here is the truth: it is impossible to give the ultimate advice on how to focus. You are a unique person with unique habits and energy patterns. All the advice we or anybody can give is just that: advice. It shouldn’t feel as written in stone and a must. Please try out our advice for a week consistently. If you feel it works for you: awesome, keep going! If you feel that you need to customize the tip to your own energy patters: do that! And if you feel that a tip is impossible to integrate in your life (after trying it out), then just let it go.

Our goal is not to add stress to your already stressed life. Not all tips will fit everybody!

Would you like to create an on-site yoga program to increase focus and productivity at your company? Just call Michelle at 314-630-1677 or contact us through the website.


Morning Focus

widow-1148929_640Focus is one the most coveted skills of the 21st century. Let’s continue our quest to find your own path to success through more focused work.

As we established in our last article: being able to concentrate on what matters and being able to stay focused is a skill you really need to work on. You will get more done and improve the quality of anything you do.

Did you have the chance to look at your patterns of concentration during the usual workday? If not, you can go back to this exercise shared in our last blogpost.

If you consistently note your experience with focus for at least a week, you will begin to see some patterns. What is helping you to concentrate and deliver your best work? What is your biggest pitfall? What causes you loosing concentration? Which are your best 2-4 hours of focused work during the workday? Which are the notoriously unfocused times?

Did you know that research shows that our most productive times are usually after 2 hours of waking up? This productive period lasts for 2 hours approximately. So if you wake up at 7am, you can hope for a focused work time between 9-11am. Which would be in line with the typical workday begin at least in the office. This suggest that we need to get to the workplace in less than 2 hours of waking up.

How is your morning shaping up? When do you wake up? What is happening in the first 2 hours after waking up? Is this one of the most stressful period of your day?

When do you get to the office? What do you do spend those 2 hours after arriving? How do you spend the morning? Do you check email, chat to your co-workers or get a coffee? Write everything down to get the awareness of what is really happening with your time. you know, awareness is the first step in any changing process.

Now the next step is to identify what would need to change in order for you to invite more concentration into your morning.

Here are a few suggestions for the time before you get to the office:

get to bed early the night before so you can wake up easier and on time the next morning. This might mean cutting back on TV…. and might be just the best action step for you!

create streamlined habits for the 1st hour of the morning. This might mean systemizing what you wear. Getting your clothes out and ready to wear in the morning – do this the evening before. Pick your 3 most loved breakfast choices and only prepare those. Don’t need to get creative with your breakfast every morning. If you love smoothies, gather and prepare all the ingredients the evening before. What if the whole family could agree on only one breakfast choice?

use your commuting time for learning or relaxation. You could listen to audiobooks or podcasts on the way to the office. Or simply but consciously take calming, deep breaths while sitting in your car. And yes, do listen to fun stuff. Laughing out loud is the best relaxation!

In the next installment of this series we will talk about how to make your workday more focused.


Concentrate For More Success

bulls-eye-1044725_640Do you suffer from your attention spreading too thin? Do you have the feeling that if only you could concentrate more, you could probably accomplish your big goals? Or at least way more than you can currently? Our new article series is just what you need to read!

You have heard this many times: Success often comes down to who is willing to work the hardest. Hustle is still working.

You can achieve more in your job by hustling a bit. Have you ever thought about how many hours of your working day do you actually spend producing optimal results? Research shows that employees only work concentrated only for a couple of hours a day. And the rest? Checking e-mails, chatting with co-workers, surfing the web or sitting in meetings – these activities might be not so productive and still take up a few hours of the workday.

What if you could concentrate a bit longer? Or you could work a solid 3 hours every morning and afternoon out of the 8-hour workday? Now that would show up in everything you do. You’d accomplish more than any of your colleagues. Would your boss notice this change? You bet and it would only be a matter of time before your salary reflected your improved productivity. You could cut back on overtime and even get to leave early on Fridays!

Improving your concentration level will affect your private life, too. Imagine how much better your relationship would get if you were giving your partner your full attention. What positive impact this could have on your parenting skills? And your friends would seek out your presence even more.

Concentration helps you master crisis situations, too. You become more alert and more focused when you’re out and about. Your situational awareness will increase This makes you better at responding to a crisis you might be facing.

Before you search for the ultimate answer on how to get more focused every day, let’s look at your patters of concentration.

Do you have periods during the workday where concentrating is easy for you? Maybe you find focusing on what matters easy right after getting to the office. Maybe your focus time is the 2 hours before lunch break. Take notes of supreme concentration for at least a week. When did it happen? What were you concentrating/working on? Why do you think it was easy to focus in that period of time or on that particular task? Gather your notes in a notebook or on your computer – whichever feels easier.

Now turn your attention to the periods of time when you failed at focusing. When is this happening? Maybe right after lunchbreak? Maybe after you get to work and get overwhelmed with a full desk and dozens of emails bombarding you? Please note the reason behind this difficult, sometimes outright confusing and unconcentrated period of your workday.

In our next article we will support you to find your own patterns of focus and how to make the most of it for more success and less stress in your life!

Freedom In Imperfection

woman-570883_640Perfection comes up often in yoga classes. You want to be able to achieve the perfect pose. Many times all you get as a result is imperfection. You need to practice further… or be able to find the freedom in your imperfection.

The same is relevant at work. While we might strive for perfection in the office, we need to face that we are all imperfect human beings. We do our best, we develop ourselves, we grow. And all the while we must accept that not every presentation will be perfect and not every meeting will deliver the perfect results – but it is possible to improve.

“I am Me – Accept me as I am”.
It doesn’t mean that you won’t change detrimental habits because you are embracing who you are. It also doesn’t mean that you are promoting laziness or lack of ambition. What it does mean is that you have taken a look inside of yourself and seen who the person inside truly is. There are things that you like about yourself and also things that you don’t, but it all works together to become the person that you are today.

True change in your life is an act of love. You become a better presenter when you love who you are right now even if your last presentation was a bit heavy on PowerPoint slides. It means that your life, self-esteem and happiness are not tied to your last performance.
Anything done out of self-hate doesn’t usually last because you will be always criticizing your efforts. Nothing is ever good enough because you start off not liking yourself from the beginning.

Imperfection says that the only way through is with love on board. Accepting and embracing you by celebrating why you are unique. It is getting reacquainted with yourself through a few steps that show the value that was there all along.

Here are five ways to truly be free by letting yourself perform and be as you are.

1. Look at yourself honestly. Write down what you find positive and what is negative in your eyes. Find ways to change the wording of those negatives so they are now positives that you can embrace. If you believe that you cannot meditate, find the gift of awareness in the moment. Holding a yoga pose for a minute during your corporate yoga class gives you the gift of full concentration – use it to visualize your afternoon full of great interaction with your colleagues.

2. Say No. Become brave enough to say “no” to events or activities that don’t foster your interests just because it’s a “cool” or “acceptable” thing to do.

3. Bring new experiences in your life. Try new poses and yoga sequences. A new fitness trend? Why not give it a try? Experiment with new looks to accentuate your strength and give yourself a confidence boost.

4. Laugh more. Laughter promotes feel-good endorphin release. It is restorative and also promotes health. And works wonders at the office, too!

5. Explore your creativity. You might believe that you are not creative at all. Or find that your creative efforts are not up to par. So what? Enjoy any creative pursuits just for the fun of them without judging yourself or having expectations. Paint, write, sing to your hearts desires.
All in all, please allow yourself to be human, flawed and free by embracing your imperfect life.

4 Ways To Stop The Critic Inside

shame-799094_640Who is your biggest critic? Your partner or boss? No. Your critic is staring right back at you through the mirror. No one has more power to criticize you as that little voice inside.

We all know how it starts: “You are not good enough. You don’t know enough…. And it never stops, does it? No matter what happens there is always something that you find to criticize on yourself. Now what would happen if somebody else would give you the same treatment? Most probably you would stop them sooner or later!

Why is it that it is so much easier to stand up for ourselves when others criticize us but we keep listening to our own belittling voice inside?

Keep reading to find out four ways that you can send that cynical noisemaker packing.

4 Ways To Stop The Critic

Box up your negativity – literally. This is great exercise especially if you are deeply impacted by your own negative thoughts. In the grand scheme of our life, each problem holds only a small place overall. Seeing it as small minimizes its power over you. Get an empty box or buy a fancy box if you would like. The box needs to be small. Whenever you are plagued by a negative thought about yourself for the way you handled a problem or because you made a mistake, write it down on a piece of paper. Put it away in that small box. See your issue diminishing in size. Why not have a special, extra small box for the office so you can immediately deal with the “work critic”.

Treasure all the good in you. Now get a big box (can be a shoe box that you decorate nicely if you wish) to keep all your achievements, strength, wonderful experiences in one beautiful place. Write them all down and put it into your treasure trove. When you feel negativity bubbling up in you, just look at all the goodness your big box contains!

Accept your imperfections. Oh, yes, you are not perfect. Nobody is. You might procrastinate or forget about your yoga class. You might not be able to do a headstand. Or you might lack effective communication skills. First there is something you can do about these things. Act proactive and find ways how you can improve those imperfections! The baseline is that all the less than perfect parts are still a part of you – the good, the bad, the ugly and the peculiar. Love who you are and then move on to making changes in your life.

Talk to somebody you trust. Explain the situation that makes you feel so bad. Allow a friend or co-worker to console you, counsel you and challenge that negative thought pattern that is condemning you. Depending on the situation, you might think about getting a personal or success coach help you. Many companies offer coaching support to their employees.

Many times stepping away from a situation that triggers your inner critic is the smartest choice.

Why not take advantage of a corporate yoga class to create that distance between you and the mean voice inside? At St. Louis Corporate Yoga we would love to support you so just give us a call at 314-630-1677 to see how a corporate wellness program will benefit your company.

Live and Love Your Imperfect Life

wisdom-92901_640We have a fascination with perfection. Instead of finding nirvana, most people find disappointment, anxiety, judgment and a face in the mirror that is not truly their own.

Let the vision of the perfect life go! What you need is courage, compassion and connection to create a fulfilled life. How can you experience these valuable traits in your life? Just follow our tips below.

Let go. Letting go is very different from giving up. What you need to let go of is the expectations of others for your life. Set goals for your life and challenge yourself. The most important is that you follow your own dreams and goals. Don’t use someone else’s measuring stick to chart your path.

Love everyone, you included. Would you rather play the shaming and blaming game, jump on the bandwagon and try to fit in than getting attention paid to our flaws and shortcomings? Too many people will compromise their values and beliefs to fit in and not be ridiculed by others. Don’t settle for this!
Invest in yourself by taking the time to accept who you really are. Then and only then can you find places and people to whom you “belong” as an authentic “you” and not a cardboard cutout.

Perfection? Just a pipe dream. We all have our own vision of what’s important in life. Concentrate on your vision! Find ways to live your life living up to the highest vision of yourself. Find out how to be the best person that you can become in the time you have on this planet.

Transform yourself. Everyone evolves over time. The person you were yesterday is not the person you will be ten years from now and that is how it should be. What it shouldn’t be is you chasing an unrealistic expectation based on society or friends who would rather you reflect them instead of who you are. If you desire changes in your attitude, your body, your career or your family life, do so from a position of acceptance and love of the current state of things and not to impress someone else.

Trust yourself. Who knows you better than you? Take a step in a direction. If it doesn’t work, then change course. Have faith in the process that is your life. Take the time to get to know your likes, dislikes, dreams, hopes, pet peeves and the rest. All of your other relationships stem from the one you have with you. It is hard to truly give to another person if you don’t first have these things within yourself.

When you take the courage to be free and present yourself as you are, unconsciously, you give others the permission to be themselves as well. And that’s a win-win for everyone.

How To Be A Likable Person To Work With?

Your workplace success depends on how well you are able to work with your colleagues and the management of the company. The good news is that it is all learnable! You can improve your communication skills. Most companies offer training to employees around negotiation, speaking and communication skills. Do you want to take your own initiative? There are lots of free resources available to you!

We compiled a few resources for you below to help you improve your communication skills! Enjoy the infographic, a few videos and a book recommendation!

How To Be A Likable, Approachable Person To Work With

Brian Tracy on 3 ways to improve communication skills

Marie Forleo’s 3 second communication solution

Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques- Workshop recording from Stanford Graduate School of Business

Have you read this classic book on communication? Solid, time-tested advice in Dale Carnegie’s famous bookHow to Win Friends & Influence People”

Have fun working on your skills then creating wonderful conversations that lead to success and happiness in your work and private life!

Bite-Sized Success Advice

career-479578_640Do you wish to be successful? Develop habits that will help you reach your goals!

Easy road to success is a myth! If you crave success, first you have to learn how to deal with simple situations. Get as much experience and knowledge from those and use those experiences as a basis of up-leveling your life.

Becoming successful requires you to have self-discipline. You must never let your mood take the best of you and never allow yourself to simply go with the flow. Yoga is extremely valuable in teaching you how to manage your emotions so take that corporate yoga class consistently for best results.

No matter how challenging your current situation is especially when you are trying to be the best that you can be, never lose hope. You will get through eventually.

The path to success is paved with obstacles. Sometimes you can destroy that obstacle or go past it. Some other times you might even be forced to find another way so you can avoid the obstacle that you are faced with. Regardless of what you choose, you will know, in your heart, what the best is the best thing to do.

Think positive even if you are faced with a lot of challenges.

Thinking positively is just the beginning, you have to take consistent actions, too!

No matter what the naysayers say, please know that anybody can become successful – and this includes you, too! Just focus on achieving your goals and give limited attention to the negativity around you.

Successful individuals spend their time wisely – with clear focus and attention to get done the most important things in minimal time. You can follow their example!

Stay open minded and calm especially when faced with difficulties. If you can keep this inner calm, decision making will be so much easier.

Increase your chances of becoming successful by checking out different points of view, gathering new ideas, focusing on your goals and checking out new opportunities that will help you achieve the success that you have always wanted.

Making up excuses is lame. This is only for people who are either lazy or too scared. Take your time to deal with any blows life send your way.

Hard work is still the most important bet to become successful in your chosen career.

Make sure that you are always in good physical shape. Taking yoga classes regularly and staying healthy will not be a challenge any more. Fill yourself with energy during your on-site yoga class.

Always remember your passionate why! You do things for a reason. Let that “Why?” shine every day to motivate you even if it was easier to just give up.

Never ever quit. You can only be successful if your determination is strong. Don’t waste a minute with doubting yourself.

You need to master your craft if you wish to become successful. Focus on less areas but go for deeper learning!

Don’t forget: YOU CAN DO IT!



Reach Your Wellness Goals With Mental Toughness

fitness-332278_640Why is it that sometimes it is easy to reach your wellness goals? But with your next goal? It might seem impossible to achieve the new level of fitness. You are still the same person so why did you manage to succeed last time and bitterly fail this time? Could it be that you were not “mentally tough” when you needed to be? Was your mindset to blame?

Let’s look at the influence of mental toughness has on your goal achievement! Dr. Jim Loehr is an internationally recognized performance psychologist and his book “Mental Toughness Training for Sports: Achieving Athletic Excellence” will bring clarity on wellness mastery. In his book, Dr. Loehr defines mental toughness, revealing that it is made up of the following 7 components:

• self-confidence
• attention control
• minimizing negative energy
• increasing positive energy
• maintaining motivation levels
• attitude control
• visual and imagery control

When you look at the list of those 7 important ingredients, you will recognize that controlling your energy is essential to accomplish any physical fitness goals. By controlling and directing your mental and physical energies, you are able to set a habitual course that improves your ability to achieve the physical goals you set.

Does your state of physical health rely mostly on mental toughness? One thing is sure: you need to consciously adopt a healthy lifestyle which over time becomes an unconscious habit in your life. Until the habit is formed you will need to manage and control your energy and motivation levels! And this can be pretty tough on some days, right?

Let’s see 2 examples: Mary and Ann are the same age, same height and weight. They both enjoy a healthy diet. But after work, Mary heads straight for the couch and the remote control. She watches her favorite shows staying up late. Next day she wakes up tired and low on energy and starts the process all over.

Ann practices yoga and goes to the gym at least twice a week. She makes sure that she drinks plenty of water throughout the day. After work she spends time with her family and goes to bed at a decent hour, and gets plenty of sleep. On her lunch break she goes for a walk outside her workplace and even takes office yoga once a week.

Who is going to be in better physical shape: Mary or Ann? Ann is going beyond the easy choice every day. She manages her energy and is working on creating new preferable habits. Her confidence level increases every day and her chance of a long-term success is pretty high.

It is obvious that mental toughness has to be present to some degree for you to reach your physical goals!

Can you just simply sit on your couch and think about the level of physical fitness you want to achieve? If only it was so easy, right? Without taking action nothing will change in your life! You have to adopt the healthy lifestyle, eat right, drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Plus you have to move, keep exercising, practicing yoga or any other physical activity you chose.

Would you like to create a new healthy habit? Take advantage corporate yoga classes offered at your workplace! No office yoga at your company yet? Let’s change this! Please call Michelle at 314-630-1677 so we can create the best on-site yoga program for you and your colleagues!