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Finding Your Om: How Yoga Helps Stylists Bring Balance to Their Busy Lives

Working as a stylist can be both physically and mentally demanding. Practicing yoga is one powerful way to ground and connect with your body.

Stylists make their clients feel like the best versions of themselves, putting their bodies and minds to work in unique ways for each task. The most reliable and rewarding way to provide the highest level of care for clients is to make sure you take care of yourself too. Yoga is an ideal holistic approach for stylists who want to ensure their minds and bodies are healthy, strong, and ready to meet the demands of their work.

Take care of your body

Ask any stylist if they’ve had to deal with aches and pains as a consequence of their profession, and you’re bound to be met with affirmation — as well as a few groans if they’re been particularly busy recently. You spend hours on your feet, arms out at often uncomfortable angles to keep your hands working overtime. It adds up. Pain can manifest anywhere, from the back to the shoulders, neck, arms, hands, and even feet. Improving your flexibility and dexterity can go a long way toward easing the physical strain of working on clients.

As a stylist, yoga practice is an exceptional way to improve your body’s ability to deal with daily stresses. You don’t need to twist yourself into an ornate pretzel to get it right. Simpler poses like Cat/Cow mobilize and stretch your spine along with your torso and neck. Downward Facing Dog also helps relieve back pain and sciatica. Similarly, after a long day spent artfully manipulating hair dryers, shears, and other tools, hand and wrist exercises are great for increasing dexterity and preventing carpal tunnel issues.

If you’re not looking to improvise on the mat, classes are a great place to hone your practice. Online platforms like Glo Yoga and Peloton also give you access to live and recorded classes to help you find your perfect flow. 

Take care of your mind

Hectic schedules and long days of physical work can chip away at your mental well-being. Add in the many hours stylists spend listening to the daily troubles and woes of their clients, acting as their secondary (or in some cases primary) therapists, and the importance of staying centered becomes even more evident.

Luckily, yoga provides an abundance of mental benefits too. Even basic exercises such as Butterfly Pose can quickly ground you and relieve some of the anxiety brought on by the chaos and stress of life. 

As the state of the world has only become more uncertain, and the stresses of the job remain ever present, taking a few moments each day for mindfulness, meditation, and reflection can bring you to a better headspace.

Take care even as you work

For a busy stylist, yoga routines don’t need to be limited to active exercises. Your work makes others feel better about themselves — an environment that evokes a sense of comfort, peace, and serenity will be good for both you and your clients.

Care for your body on and off the mat by considering how to optimize your station to be ergonomically supportive. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Ensure your station is equipped with chairs that suit your height. Quality salon chairs typically have a wide hydraulic range to help you limit neck strain and crane.

  • Get a cushy matt to pad the floor where you stand. Hard floors can wreak havoc on your joints and cartilage over time, so you’re doing future-you a big favor. 

  • Ask for a chair or stool to be available for you to spend time seated when appropriate. Make it a habit to get off your feet in between clients, during consultations, or when color is setting. 

  • Get your hands on a rolling caddy. A tool caddy will keep essential equipment close at hand while limiting your step count (in a good way, we promise).  

You may also choose to bring the studio into the salon in other ways. Incorporate the kind of soothing music you may hear at the yoga studio, or add small plants such as bamboo palm, Chinese evergreen, or Gerbera daisies to improve ambience and detoxify the air. A little bit of upfront work on improving your space could pay holistic dividends for years to come.

Looking for more ways to become a better boss and leader? Our Manager’s Handbook to Salon Operations has everything you need to level up. Get your free copy now

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