Is Your Body In As Good Shape As Your Business?

Lisa Kalner Williams

Lisa Kalner Williams started her social media marketing company, Sierra Tierra Marketing, with about $200 for a Web site and business cards. She’s one of the women discussed in Mom Incorporated: A Guide to Business + Baby.

Says Lisa, “For the first year of my business, I did no exercise. I’m now entering my second year and finally have a somewhat-easy-to-manage plan to gain back my physical fitness.”

In the following post, Lisa talks about her decision to get back in shape, and the reason she chose yoga as her preferred form of exercise.

Last month, I celebrated the first-year anniversary of my full-time social media marketing business, Sierra Tierra Marketing. This milestone made me reflect on the question that everyone seems to ask me — “How’s it going?”

1.    The business? Check. Satisfying work and happy clients.
2.    Home life? Ding! I’m still able to manage quality time with my preschool daughter.
3.    And the body that runs both the business and home life? Yeah — this I tossed right in the “needs improvement” bucket.

This last year was by far the least active I’ve been in the past decade. My daughter got too big (emotionally) for the stroller, so I no longer walked her to day care. (Walking without a stroller takes four times as long, without any cardio benefits.) Being away from an office job meant that I no longer ran like the dickens to catch the commuter train to Boston. So this body languished — and softened — in my car’s driver’s seat, my desk chair, and whatever I could find to sit on at my local Starbucks.

So I made a decision to have my body run as smoothly as my business. I decided that practicing yoga three times a week would be the best way for me to achieve this goal.

Why yoga?

I can’t say I chose yoga because it was a long-lost love. In fact, my only regular relationship with yoga was a semester-long college curriculum requirement in the early 1990s. A handful of practical reasons made yoga my choice for physical improvement. Here are the benefits that came to mind:

First, yoga can be done almost anywhere. In a studio or gym. By watching it on TV, a laptop or a mobile device. This flexibility ranked very high for me, as cold weather in New England severely impedes my motivation to “go out there and do something.” It’s also great for when I travel, since I’ll always have some mobile device with me. For the time being, though, I practice one morning and one evening at a local yoga studio. On Sundays, I clear away furniture and do yoga in the living room.

My wallet also made its exercise choice known, since yoga requires very little equipment. The most you’ll probably need is a mat, two blocks and a resistance strap. The do-it-yourself gal in me uses a fabric belt for my home workouts (and most yoga mat straps can double as resistance straps). I also eyed this yoga kit  as an affordable way to have all the fixings for home workouts.

Another appealing factor for me was that most types of yoga produce a great workout — but with little sweat. Each Tuesday morning, I leave my yoga studio and walk right to my local Starbucks to begin monitoring my clients’ Facebook pages. I have yet to drip on the table or stick to my chair.

I spoke with Checka Antifonario, a Boston-area instructor and children’s yoga specialist, about yoga for work-at-home moms. She spoke highly of the mind-body effects of steady yoga practice.

photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

“For moms who work from home, the days are often full of multitasking and role-juggling,” Checka says.  “While these are necessary ones in today’s fast-paced world, we are equally in need of opportunities to slow down — to practice focus and simplicity.  Carving out some time to be on your mat — whether it is 10 minutes of breathing and meditation, an hour of vigorous postures or somewhere in between — will allow you to tune back in to your mind and body.  When you commit to this, the state of flow that you can find in a yoga practice accompanies you back into the agenda of the day, and the rewards are sweet!”

This reminded me of the other benefit of yoga — that of slowing down, even if the pause is temporary.

Admittedly, I can’t say with conviction that my mind has slowed down yet. But I have certainly noticed an attractive sculpting of my leg muscles and improved posture at my laptop.

We moms work so diligently to ensure that our children and clients are in good shape. It is often in those efforts that we neglect to take care of our own fitness. My hope is that these tips will inspire you to think of ways you can incorporate physical activity in your busy schedules.

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