4 Things Yoga Taught Me About Customer Service

Sideplanktreeposejennyd

You try holding this for a few minutes and tell me how it goes.

After a wee little knee injury (don’t worry, it was nothing serious), I decided to shelve my normal exercise, jogging.

With the goal of finding something with less impact, it was recommended that I try yoga.

I have not ever been a fan of yoga–nothing personal–just was always too slow for me. I want weight loss and yoga didn’t seem like the type of activity to make that happen.

Needless to say, I had only tried yoga a handful of times in the past and was definitely not giving it a fair shot.

I took to the Apple Store and found the Down Dog yoga app that features beginner and intermediate levels.

I woke up that first morning in November, around 5:30am, and began my wobbly adventure.

I am hooked.

There is something powerful about yoga asking you to use inner and outer strength to hold a pose.

Five months into it and I can do a side plank tree pose like a shivering branch in a breeze (see picture). My arms and legs still shake violently during some poses and my breathing patterns are not as in sync but hey, I’m doing it. And, I like it. I’m not a size 2 but suddenly, I don’t care so much about that because my body just feels really damn good. Really strong. Really connected.

Yup, I drank the Yoga Kool-Aid and I’m so happy I did.

I thank my wounded knee for guiding me in this new exercise direction.

But wait, let me pause my hippy stuff for a brief moment to connect this with customer service!

4 Things Yoga Taught Me About Customer Service

#1: Remember to Breathe

Customer service isn’t easy. It spins you around in consistent circles. You may become so caught up in helping others that you forget to breathe. What yoga teaches us is that every pose requires deep breathing. Remembering to take moments to yourself daily to breathe is important. But, if you truly cannot find time, remembering to breathe deeply during overwhelming situations will benefit you more than you can imagine.

#2: Have Patience and Lots Of It

Customer service isn’t easy. It spins you around in consistent circles. (Yes, this deserved the same opening lines as #1). Patience with helping others is an absolute requirement for the gig. Yoga teaches us slow movements make for greater flexibility as we flow through the poses. The more patience you have in customer service, the more you’ll be able to make it through the day.

#3: Practice Makes Awesome

You’re not learning that standing split the first time you do it, kid (well, maybe you are that elastic) and you’re definitely not going to know how to help that incredibly difficult customer on the first encounter (well, maybe you are that good). The more you do every day, the more awesome you’ll become.

#4: Strength From Within

I loved running because it would allow me to feel numb. I would just run and clear my mind, not focusing on anything. Yoga requires you to be genuinely yourself. It asks you to focus on the inside and outside, which can be challenging. In customer service, we’re often told to put on a happy face, no matter what we feel on the inside. We’re told to put aside who we really are to get the job done. Imagine if we all took the time to be genuine with our customers from the inside out?

By the way: Download the Down Dog App here. Be sure to follow them on Facebook or Instagram!

[custom_author=jenny]

Jenny Dempsey is the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. With over a decade of customer service experience, Jenny has been recognized through social media channels as a thought leader. She is co-founder and a regular contributor on the Customer Service Life. When she's not helping or singing to customers, she is studying to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Be sure to check out DempseyWellnessCenter.com and follow her on social media!

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