Updated November 28, 2023
CPAs have a bad reputation.
Let me guess: when you think of an accountant, you envision a basic-looking white man wearing a boring UPS-brown colored slacks and cheese-thick glasses with a calculator in one hand and a bulky stack of files in the other. He probably eats spreadsheets for lunch, too. Yuck.
But here’s the twist: I’m a CPA, breaking that mold. I’m not your typical number cruncher, and I certainly don’t fit that snooze-inducing stereotype.
I also am a certified Bikram Yoga! 🧘🏽♀️ Yup, 2024 will make 10 years since I got certified. I was trained in beautiful Thailand while couped up in a dreamy all-inclusive resort overlooking warm sapphire hued waters.
Although I no longer teach yoga (blame the pandemic, a story for another day!), I used to teach four days out the week waking up at 4:30 AM, to lead a 90-minute Bikram Yoga class filled with at least 20, sometimes 30 early bird yogis.
Bikram Yoga is the origin of modern hot yoga.
Every class features the same 26 set postures and 2 breathing exercises, is taught by a Bikram-certified instructor, and takes place in a 105-degree, 40% humidity carpeted room.
Don’t let the high temps fool you, this yoga is a lot of fun, but also challenging because of having to hold positions for upwards of 30 – 60 seconds each in the sauna-like room.
The three principles of Bikram Yoga are breath, posture, and deep relaxation.
I practice these principles while I’m teaching and during my day-to-day life. You don’t have to turn up the heat or the humidifier for this one – just remember to incorporate these ideals into your every day.
That’s the key. Don’t leave mindfulness on the yoga mat – you need to take it with you!
When I’m feeling anxious or stressed, I shut off my laptop, straighten my posture, and breathe long, deep, and slow until I feel a sense of relaxation to begin. I hold that position for as long as I need.
Breathe → Posture → Deep Relaxation
No, it’s not as easy as it sounds (sometimes the over-thinking runs rampant in my brain), but taking ten minutes out of your day to do this can be a game changer.
Yoga has turned out to be the perfect compliment to my career as a CPA.
Before I started practicing and teaching yoga, I didn’t understand the value of pacing myself like I do now.
I’ve been an entrepreneur since 2010. Running my own business is like having a kid. No I’m not a mom yet, but hear me out yo. There are no designated “on or off” hours; I can stay up all night and weekends tending to the business, and no matter what I do, it still feels like you aren’t investing enough time; there’s always more to be done.
But like with parenting, running a business doesn’t mean you have to forget about taking care of yourself.
How can you even begin to think of tripling your revenue streams if you’re constantly stressed and burned out?
How can you analyze your financial data accurately if you’re overworked?
How can you be the Boss of your business if you don’t know when to take a break or even if it’s ok to take a break?
We must switch things up before shit hits the fan.
Enter the three principles of Bikram Yoga.
It’s not just about sweating it out in a scorching room; it’s about integrating the three principles of Breathe → Posture → Deep Relaxation into your daily grind, especially if that grind includes leading a team, crunching numbers and managing the financial facets of a business.
Breath isn’t just about oxygen intake; it’s the reminder to pause amid the chaos and inhale a moment of clarity.
In business, that means taking a deep inhale/exhale before making a crucial decision.
It’s about not letting stress cloud your judgment when analyzing those daunting spreadsheets. By consciously taking a few deep breaths, you’re giving your mind the chance to reset, allowing for clearer, more focused thinking.
Posture goes beyond physical alignment; it’s about maintaining a professional stance in your business dealings.
It’s the mental poise to navigate challenges without crumbling under pressure. Just like holding a yoga pose in a heated room, maintaining posture in business means staying steadfast and composed during turbulent times. It’s the resilience to stand tall and face setbacks head-on without losing your cool.
Deep relaxation isn’t reserved solely for the end of a yoga session; it’s about finding moments of calm amid the storm of entrepreneurship.
In business, it’s the art of unplugging, recharging, and allowing your mind the space to rejuvenate. Whether it’s a brief meditation or a well-deserved weekend getaway, embracing deep relaxation fosters creativity, enhances problem-solving abilities, and ultimately fuels your entrepreneurial drive.
Hot Yoga makes EVERYTHING better.
I recently took a trip to Dallas. Usually when I travel, I make it my mission to find a cute local workout spot near where I’m staying. And Dallas didn’t disappoint.
I took a class at Bikram Yoga Richardson on a night where the heavy rain showers outside turned that class to one of the most hot, humid, sweaty classes I have ever taken. It had to be in the top 5 of all time and I have taken probably close to a thousand classes. 10 out of 10 hard.
The harder the class, the greater the revelations and mental peace that come post-class. It’s almost like magic. ✨
I went into class lightweight stressed, concerned and annoyed by the rudeness and insensitive Uber driver just minutes before class started.
And afterwards, I felt like I was walking on clouds, my skin was glowing, and I had a renewed sense of creativity and energy. It sounds weird, but fellow yogis would agree.
How did I survive such a challenging class?
The 3 principles of Bikram yoga: Breathe → Posture → Deep Relaxation
Now, you might wonder how these seemingly serene principles translate into making money. Well, let me break it down.
A calm mind is a fertile ground for innovative ideas. By incorporating these principles into your daily routine, you’re not just fostering personal well-being; you’re nurturing a conducive environment for business growth.
Clarity in decision-making, a composed demeanor in negotiations, and the ability to pivot without panic are all by-products of a mind attuned to the principles of yoga.
Moreover, remember that bit about being the Boss of your business? Well, that doesn’t just mean calling the shots; it’s about leading by example.
Prioritizing self-care sends a powerful message to your team—it emphasizes the importance of balance, mental wellness, and resilience, setting a tone that echoes throughout your business culture.
So, while the business world often emphasizes hustle and grinding around the clock, integrating the principles of Bikram Yoga into your entrepreneurial journey offers a different narrative—one that’s vibrant, agile, and in tune with the rhythm of success.
Because, in the end, a healthy mind leads to smart financial decisions, innovative strategies, and a business that thrives beyond measure.
So, whether you’re in a corporate office or paving your entrepreneurial path, embracing these principles can set the stage for holistic success that transcends the traditional confines of any profession.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational and conversational purposes only. Emails, blog posts and social content from Obih Collective Inc. are not legal tax advice. Please consult a tax professional before making any tax decisions based on this information.