4 Yoga Lessons to Apply to Your Marketing Practice in 2012

It’s that time again. We’re entering into the new year and, after the holiday chaos, we begin to reflect on the previous year and set our resolutions. Instead of focusing purely on marketing automation today, I want to take a broader view of how marketers can look to grow in 2012.

Having practiced yoga for over eight years now, I have consciously made efforts to bring the principles of yoga into the workplace. In my view, there are four primary connections between marketing and yoga. I will personally be making an effort to observe these within my work life in the new year and I invite you to do so along with me.

1. Set an intention. In yoga, we often begin practice with setting an intention. This can be an idea, thought, or action we commit ourselves to whether it is in the near future or in the long term. An intention can be large or small but it helps us plant a positive thought, put forth change, and create movement to reach a desired action. As our marketing teams set and commit to goals for 2012, it’s critical that we stay focused. This can be challenging when new issues and requests arise almost every day. Try to stay focused each day, week, and month. Be intentional and remember, we get what we intend, not what we hope for.

2. Be aligned. Using proper alignment is critical to receiving the full benefits of a yoga posture and the key to not injuring yourself. If you’re not properly aligning your joints you can cause unnecessary stress on your body. In turn, if your marketing team is not properly aligned with other teams (such as sales or product) within the company, then neither your team nor the company will be able to reach its full potential. Even worse, improper alignment can be causing additional, unnecessary stress. In 2012, prioritize aligning marketing with other teams within the organization.

3. Be open to assists. As we practice yoga poses, teachers also help us to go deeper into these poses through assists such as verbal cues or through physical support. These assists help us to be more aware and realize the full potential of a posture. One lesson here is that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help and/or input. We never have all the answers so lean on your team, your colleagues, and even outside peers and subject matter experts as needed. You’ll find that by doing this, everyone will grow. Secondly, all of our marketing efforts contribute to the overall goals. The leads toward the bottom of the funnel can’t be as great without the awareness and nurturing efforts at the top to middle of the funnel. How do your marketing efforts assist each other?

4. Practice. Yoga is a practice. We don’t look to do every pose perfectly and we understand that each time we come to our mats our bodies can be different. It’s all about committing to the practice and continually improving ourselves over time. Often times in marketing, we can beat ourselves up for not getting the best outcome from each tactic. We tend to keep ourselves from making progress as we seek perfection. Yoga, like your career, is about progress and not perfection. Stay committed to your practice and continue to test each piece of your marketing plan.

Good luck growing your marketing practice in 2012. Namaste.

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