Why Branding and Yoga?
A little bit behind the Relationship between these two seemingly irrelevant things.
It's a fair question — yoga and branding are about as far apart industry-wise as they can almost possibly be. Or so it may seem, but it makes sense to me. And here's why...
We Are Not Any One Thing
Look at yourself. Or your best friend, mother, sister, brother. Look at anyone you know well. You know them well enough to know how complicated they are. Many of those close relationships have an element of love-hate. You've probably wanted to strangle your spouse at times, yet at that same time you still love them with your whole being and would do anything for them.
And that's because we aren't any one thing. We aren't just our hair color, eye color, the clothes we wear, the words we use. All those elements are part of who are, part of what makes us, us, but it's not the whole story. We each have our unique histories, experiences, fears, strengths, joys, passions, weaknesses. Sometimes all those things can be contradictory — they can exist simultaneously even when they necessarily fit with each other.
Love - Hate.
But all those things work together to round us out into full-spectrum, fully-formed and functioning humans. Those things make us unique. They give us our personality. They more than likely inform the way we dress, style our hair and choose to accessorize.
It's so important for us as humans to recognize who we are at our core. Self-consciousness is a real part of life, but the more we know who we are, the more confident we are and the more we live out our purpose, whatever they might be. We have to be true to ourselves rather than try to be like everyone else.
A brand is the same way.
A Brand is Not Just One Thing
A brand is not a logo.
Let's just be clear and get that out of the way.
A brand is not a logo. It's not your colors, fonts, patterns or words. At least, it's not just those things, just like you aren't just your haircut or the sound of your voice. A brand, like a person, is in-depth, multi-faceted, has goals and hopes, a vision, a purpose.
The visual elements — your logo, fonts, patterns — are just the visual representation of what your brand truly is at its heart. Like a person, the visual elements are informed by the heart and root of the brand's goals, mission, vision.
When people try to please everyone and be liked by everyone, they inevitably end up not having a lot of friends or real connections. We can never please everyone and it's not all our fault — some people will never be pleased. A brand has to be true to itself to make connections, build a community, reach its target customer or client. There's an element of knowing what your target customer wants, but even still, if a brand isn't true to itself it won't go far. It won't have that confidence and assurance in itself and it'll fizzle out.
A brand has to know who it is and what it wants to accomplish to tweak and customize its approach in order to be truly successful.
Yoga is the same way.
Yoga is Not Just One Thing
Yoga has been marketed as a fitness program, weightless regimen, mainstream workout trend with everything from goat yoga to beer yoga and rage yoga.
But, really, that's not yoga. Yoga is so much more.
Somewhere around 500 - 200 BCE, the ancient ascetic Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras — a philosophical guide of sorts to yoga. And guess what? Less than 2% of what he wrote even talks about asana — the physical poses that we now define as yoga.
Yoga is breath, meditation, self care, right action, gratitude, humility, practice.
Yoga is a way toward self-betterment. Yoga is a way of seeing the relationship between everything. We are all connected. Life is all connected.
In fact, the word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root "yuj," which means "to yoke," "to connect."
But it's not just us to everything else that it connects. Yoga connects us to ourselves through a an understanding of our own mind-body-spirit relationship. Every element informs the other. And just like with people and brands, no two bodies are the same, no two minds are the same, no two spirits are the same. All that to say, no two mind-body-spirit relationships are the same and no two people can approach the healing of that relationship the same way.
Even just within asana, the poses, our approach has to be mindful toward our own bodies. Though it's tempting, not all the poses we see on Instagram can, or should, be done by every body. That doesn't mean any body is less than another. It just means they're different and need different approaches for their practice to have the most meaning.
Where It All Comes Together
We, as people, are not any one thing and not just like any one else.
A brand is not its separate elements and has its own strategies that set it apart.
Yoga is a multi-faceted practice that teaches us about our multi-faceted presence in this world.
None of these can be broken down into a formula. None of these can be broad brushed to completion. Every single aspect is specialized and unique to what it needs to be.
So, Why Branding and Yoga?
Because they both inherently tap into the core of who a brand or a person is and empower that core to be bold in what or who it is, to live true to their core, and to do life in a way that makes sense to them.
My approach with both branding and yoga is from a holistic and sustainable perspective. My approach is customized to each individual situation, because we can't all be grouped into a box. We can't all be fixed by a formula.
I'll dive into all of these in more detail another time. But hopefully that's at least a helpful overview.
As always, let's connect! Reach out with any questions, concerns, comments or just to chat.
Here's to the truth and boldness within...