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Hold the Mayo — Part Two

MY WORK-LIFE BALANCE SHEET Assume the Position

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MY WORK-LIFE BALANCE SHEET

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Assume the Position

Hey, folks, I tried another Mayo Clinic technique. For those of you keeping track, it’s in the section of the article called “Striking the Best Work-Life Balance,” and it’s about halfway down on the list: “Nurture Yourself.” They suggest making time for a relaxing activity you enjoy, such as walking or listening to music. The prospect of a nice, dull walk seems like about as much fun as deliberately contracting mange, and listening to music is no good either, since it either pumps me up like the “Theme From Rocky” (and not that lame “Eye of the Tiger” one from Rocky II, either. I’m talking the original, the one that plays while he drinks raw eggs and pounds a freezer full of meat), or it makes me want to reach into my Ipod and throttle whoever’s singing (Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, James Blunt…the list of potential crimes of passion is endless).

So, I figured I’d try their other suggestion, yoga. It kind of sucked right away since my instructor was not the bra-less New Age hottie I had envisioned, but a guy who combined the commanding physical presence of Drew Carey with Tom Hanks’ hair from The DaVinci Code. We started with some basic breathing exercises, which were supposed to reduce stress and make you aware of your body’s natural rhythms. This only made me more aware of my own nostrils, which was somewhere between unpleasant and just plain snarky. The Downward-Facing Dog finds you with your butt up in the air and your hands and feet planted firmly on the floor. All right, so maybe I shouldn’t have quipped “this is exactly the pose I strike with my lawyer,” but I think I heard one guy chuckle with understanding.

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Finally, we were supposed to take ten minutes of silent meditation. I lasted about forty seconds, after which I used my time much more productively by going to the front desk and talking with the owner about ways to diversify. You’ll be glad to know that he took my advice, and will soon be opening the world’s first yoga center/fried chicken franchise. Not to brag about my business sense, but if I can bring a guy around who spends most of his time in a lotus position, think of what I can do for you.

Anyway, Mayo Clinic, so far you’re “O” for two with your suggestions. I’ll keep trying.

TOP THREE TAKEAWAYS

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  1. Yoga is a thousands-year-old tradition designed to improve your health, and increase your connection to the universe. Oh, and a decent mat to do all this crap on will cost you $39.95.
  2. Being aware of your own breathing can put you in touch with your core energies. Or, it can simply freak you out.
  3. When it comes to being properly prepared for yoga, I’ve been told anything from the Men’s Wearhouse does not qualify as “loose fitting clothing.”

Tom Stern is the founder of Stern Executive Search and the creator of CEO Dad, the syndicated comic strip about executive dysfuntion.