The Mountain, the Cow and the Three Warriors: Yoga Parallels

Having to start a project can feel like having to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

We know our destination. We know that it will be a long and challenging trek. We know that we have the ability to do it.

But the question remains: how do we get started?

How do we choose the right course for a successful project completion?

Breathing, Uniting and Focusing

Whether you are tackling a hike, a new product design or a translation project, let’s all start with a deep yogi breath.

The Sanskrit word ‘yoga’ originally meant “to unite” and “to hitch up,” (horses to a vehicle). Other translations are “to put to purposeful use or concentrate.” Yoga has come to describe a means of uniting different parts and a method of discipline.

But because we cannot go straight into head stands, no matter how much we concentrate, yoga is practiced in gradual steps, starting with simple poses. Metaphorically they can be applied to a wide range of endeavors.

Beyond Om

The principles behind these 7 easy poses can be applied to a variety of undertakings:

  1. Mountain Pose (standing straight and tall):

Take inventory, examine your starting point and at your end goal. List all available source materials, project parts and required deliverable.

For translation projects: record and analyze all source files, confirm target languages and audiences, list additional services needed beside translation, specify delivery formats and methods.

  1. Cat-Cow (arching and rounding your back for core warm up):

Start connecting with your core team, talk about project specifics, allocate available resources to each section. Keep result optimization and efficiency in mind.

For translation projects: select the best-fit team of translators, reviewers, and additional resources as needed. Contact them and discuss nature of files, timeline, deliverable and pricing.

  1. Warrior I (stand strong, stretch, concentrate and stay balanced):

Connect with the main resource for your project and get started. What kind of materials do you have to work with? What challenges lie ahead? Assess the materials’ format, complexity, as well as quality and how easy they are to work with.

For translation projects: have the main translator for each language take a close look at all files and start the work. Instruct the linguist to ask questions as they arise and to provide feedback about the source documents. Ask for reports on work progress if necessary.

  1. Warrior II (similar to Warrior I requiring increased mid-section flexibility):

Have a high quality resource provide you with feedback on the work of Warrior I. Ask for change and improvement suggestions as needed to ascertain a high quality end product. Discuss results with Warrior I.

For translation projects: have a second certified linguist review the work of the main translator (also called second review). All suggested edits are tracked and sent back to the original translator (Warrior I) for approval. She or he owns the translated file: only approved changes will become part of the final, delivered product.

  1. Warrior III (last warrior pose, further increase in strength and balance):

Choose one or more test users or consumers, provide them with your product, ask for their reaction and opinion. Decide whether and how you would like to adjust your product based on their feedback.

For translation projects: send the translated file to a contact of the end client who is native in the target language and is qualified in the subject matter. Run any suggested changes by the main translator and let him or her update the final, delivered file.

  1. Downward Facing Dog (overall stretch, calming and centering):

Take a stretching break and get your mind off what you were doing before. This allows you to gain new energy, new perspective, and to re-focus.

For translation projects: walk away from your file and work product. Come back later with renewed strength. Read through your text again: you will find some things that you missed before or would like to edit.

This step can be implemented at any time and does not need to follow 1-5. The more Downward Facing Dogs, the better!

  1. Shivasana (or corpse pose, lying down at the closing of practice):

This is as important a step as all preceding ones.

A time to think about the work that you just completed, and the goals that you reached. A time to feel good and to relax.


Did you take a deep breath and are you standing as tall as you can?

Flowing into the succession stances will happen more and more effortlessly as you practice.

Need a little break? The Downward Facing Dog is there for you anytime you need it. Take it and keep on moving.

TELL works with a network of highly skilled professionals, including experienced linguists and voice-over artists who have translated and recorded meditation CDs for Hemi-Sync®. Please contact us here for more information.