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November 23, 2013

Yoga: Content Marketing for the Soul. ~ Emily Lambert

I’m a writer/social media enthusiast. In other words: I write, I tweet, I blog, I read. Rinse and repeat. I also practice and teach yoga. The rinse cycle.

Put the two worlds together and you can understand how I view the theme, or message, of a yoga class as content marketing for the soul.

Content marketing’s purpose is to inspire business and loyalty from buyers by delivering consistent, ongoing valuable information. In this case, the buyers are students and the information comes in the form of inspiration.

Buyer beware:

These messages don’t necessarily hit in that 101 class; they slowly seep in through the cracks, practice after practice, when we aren’t looking. We’re too busy trying to hold warrior three. And then one day, we realize we have an ability to change our outlook on unfortunate situations, making what feels unbearable slightly more bearable.

The basic idea is we are what we think. So if we change our internal words, we change our thoughts, too. A fellow yoga teacher explained to me why she enjoyed teaching yoga so much: “My external dialogue keeps my internal dialogue in check,” she said.

We all need reminding, whether we’re hearing the words or saying them. 

Example Number One:

One message I like to revolve (pun intended) my classes around is how to get comfortable with discomfort.

Imagine being in a deep twist, sucking for air in a vacuum, and now what? Transfer this to an uncomfortable situation off the mat. What words could be used to describe how it feels? The internal mantra probably sounds something like this: This sucks. This is never going to change. I don’t want to be here.

But….what if we changed our thoughts to: We are momentarily facing some discomfort. We are currently experiencing a shift (defined as a slight change in position or direction, versus the bottom fell out and all hell is breaking loose) in our lives.

It sounds so much more promising, doesn’t it? By simply changing the words, we start to see more fortunate opportunities. And maybe those opportunities are just slightly ahead, as soon as we get out of this who-knows-where-our-body-parts-are-at-this-point twist. The point is, they are there.

Example Number Two:

Some of us are working too hard, on our mats and in our lives. We engage our muscles, as in really, really engage our muscles, and completely forget there’s an expansion back out. (Trust me. I get this.)

An expansion and a softening. Did someone say “softening”? In other words, we surrender the outcome. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?

But when it comes down to it, surrendering is hard stuff. We worry about the future. A lot. But all we can do is give our best effort in the present moment and surrender the outcome. Otherwise, we have wasted the present moment on worrying about something beyond our control.

And for many, many things, we have no control. Even though we think we do. Let it happen.

Example Number Three:

“I can’t do this. I will never [fill in the blank].”

And we may try and we may even fail. But then we need to try again.

Think about the reverse for a moment—never trying at all. You would never go to a yoga class, meet a new friend or finally get the job you’ve sent out over 100 cover letters to get. I recollect a quote—yes, you guessed it—heard on the mat:

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

~ Thomas A. Edison

Keep visualizing it happening. Keep trying. Keep putting ourselves out there. Whatever we focus on gets bigger. So choose our words carefully. Fill up with good content. It works.

 

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Editor: Paige Vignola/Editor: Bryonie Wise

{Image: FashionbyHe via Flickr}

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Emily Lambert