LMA Southwest chats with 2019 LMA Southwest Region Conference presenter Founder of CubeFit Yoga Shanna Lee to discuss her presentation, "Zen Break: Unplugging to Recharge"
What inspired you to present on this topic?
As a former corporate executive myself, I understand the pressure we put on ourselves daily - to constantly perform at the best level we can, to achieve our goals, to follow our ambitions - and how that can cause burnout and create unnecessary stress which can negatively impact our health. What good is a promotion or a raise if we're constantly at the office - or worse, the doctor's office? I am passionate about the true meaning of work/life balance, not only how to balance the hours we work but also balancing how the intensity and type of work affects our life outside the office.
What are the top three things you hope the attendees took from your presentation?
- Wellness doesn't have to be a scary word or a big process - focus on creating healthy habits in small, incremental ways. When most people think of "wellness" it can sound like another item on the TO DO list - which is not what any of us want to hear. I want them to take away that small things like drinking more water, taking a walk after lunch or turning off their notifications can help add up to a healthier/happier lifestyle.
- Wellness isn't just physical health. Most people tend to think "lose weight/eat right" to achieve a certain level of health but our mind is a very important aspect of our overall health. You can have a 6 pack and live on vegan smoothies but if you aren't mentally taking care of yourself that can be just as detrimental to your overall health. Taking time to decompress and lower your level of stress is as important, if not more than, eating an apple a day!
- Wellness is not optional - we only have one body and one mind that we MUST take care of. When we sacrifice any aspect of our health in our body or our mind, we're not able to do the important things like enjoy life, be with our families and yes, even go to work. Not to get all yogi on you, but I always felt this quote was impactful: The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered "Man! Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health."
There were several “ah-ha” moments during your presentation, one of which was the need to intentionally unplug. How can being more in the moment help us to be better employees?
"Being present" sounds like yoga speak, but it's really just a matter of focus. If we focus fully on our task at hand, we are more efficient, so we not only save time but we are also less likely to make mistakes. When we are present with each other, we show more compassion and make a better team. And when we are present at home, we are fully rested after having a break from work, which allows us to be ready to fully connect when we're back at the office.
You mentioned that you left your career at an accounting firm to pursue your passion. Can you tell us a little bit about what sparked your decision?
(It was a recruiting/consulting firm, specializing in accounting/finance - just to make sure I don't misrepresent for my Big 4 folks out there!)
It was really very organic, actually! I was leading yoga sessions for my own office when my clients asked me to lead sessions for them, and as my audience grew I began seeing how these sessions affected different groups in similar ways and I began to realize I was able to provide these people something they desperately needed but weren't seeking out - and even if they were, it wasn't currently available in the market. I've always been told "start where you are" and I maybe couldn't save all of corporate America from burnout, but I could start where I was and help as many people as I could get access to. Plus, I was able to trade my business pants and high heels for stretchy pants and sneakers, which is a bonus!
What is one thing you didn’t share during your presentation that everyone should know about this topic?
That often the companies who could most benefit from these sessions are the ones least likely to engage. It's unfortunate but so true that many companies have yet to realize the connection between health/self care and productivity. But when you don't feel your best (or when you don't feel valued, appreciated, supported) you are less likely to contribute at a high level. I'd like everyone to know that if you are in a position to make those decisions for your company, consider prioritizing wellness for the sake of the people, and ultimately the company will reflect that. And if you're not in a position to make those decisions, consider if it's worth staying in a place that doesn't value you enough to create opportunities for you to take care of yourself. #WWTDLD (What Would The Dalai Lama Do)
Shanna Lee is the founder of CubeFit Yoga, a wellness company that specializes in delivering zen to the corporate office. After a 10+ year career in corporate marketing, Shanna became a certified yoga instructor and began to notice the benefits of movement and mindfulness extending into her professional life. Shortly after successfully sharing yoga and meditation with her coworkers and clients, a business was born.
CubeFit Yoga specializes in designing and delivering practical, accessible tips and techniques that can be done in the office and beyond, to reduce stress and increase focus. No experience – or stretchy pants – required!
Shanna works with companies of all sizes, from startups to the Fortune 50 and has been featured on television and in print, all in an effort to promote corporate wellness and happy, healthy humans in every office.