Sunday, June 6, 2010

Yoga for Marketers

Do you like to do Yoga? Have you ever done Yoga? I'm in quite a Yoga phase right now. All different kinds. Some Rodney Yee, some Suzanne Deason, even some Biggest Loser Yoga (ouch). One of the great things about Yoga is that the advice and steps you take during a work-out can carry through to the rest of your day. It is not so surprising, then, that I realized that marketers could also benefit from some Yoga wisdom. Don't worry -- you won't be doing any physical stretches here. It's all in your head :)

Find Your Center

At the beginning of a lot of Yoga work-outs, you are advised to find your center while standing evenly on your two feet. For a marketer, finding your center means squarely standing on your two feet, which are knowledge and experience. Do not be swayed too much by what others are saying or doing. Listen, but remain conscious of what you want to achieve and what you want to accomplish. Keep your eyes on your goals, and if your knowledge and experience plant you in a way that is unique, all the better.


No matter what kind of Yoga you are doing, you will hear an emphasis on breathing. Breathe in deeply, exhale out tension and toxins. Even while you are asking your body to stretch its limits, your mind works on concentrating on how your breath goes in and out. For a marketer, breathing is actually important physically. The world is a stressful place, and at least for me, I only realize how shallow my breaths get when I sit down and actually try to take deep breaths. But a marketer can also concentrate on internal rhythms, goals, objectives, and desires while working on everyday tasks, while building a foundation, while going to meetings and/or conferences. This kind of approach -- concentrating on one thing in the foreground while in the background you are working on something else -- is behind many ideas that are floating out there today.

Stay balanced

There isn't a lot you can do in Yoga that doesn't require some amount of balance. Similarly, there isn't a lot a marketer can do that doesn't require some balance, and I don't mean just the bottom line. Are you balancing your online, offline, and Social Media campaigns appropriately? Are you balancing your time in promoting yourself versus promoting others? Are you balancing your time in completing tasks the regular way while learning all the time how to do things in new ways?

Turn things upside down

One of the more common poses in Yoga is called Downward Facing Dog. Your head is down, your legs are stretched back. The idea is that turning upside down will release toxins and stress. For a marketer, turning things upside down can shine the light on a new way to approach things. But upside down is also a good way to think about how a marketer can construct a campaign. We all know the ultimate goal: sell something. What is the last step before the sale? How do you get to that step? And the one before that?

Honor your body

Finally, a lot of Yoga instructors remind you to honor your body. Sometimes it makes you feel kind of bad. The instructor may be leaning backwards to reach his or her ankles and you are lucky to reach back even a little. But you are told to honor your body and its restrictions. The same holds true for marketers. Not everyone can do what the great gurus of marketing do, especially not at first. If you can't do the full pose in Yoga, you find an adaptation. The same holds true for marketers. If you don't think you have enough content for a weekly Blog, start with a monthly or quarterly e-newsletter, or start with comments. If you just can't seem to master a certain skill, accept that limitation. Not everyone can turn themselves into a human pretzel. Trying can result in serious pain. The same holds true for marketing. Do not extend beyond what you are comfortable doing. The result will not be favorable.

Do you have a hobby that feeds your soul and also carries you through your profession? I'd love to hear about it!

Image by Aaron Neifer.

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