Mindful Leadership

Four Ways Yoga Can Help Your Career

Yoga gets a bad rap for being the exercise of choice for nutty nut lovers but it’s so much more than sitting around with your ankle thrown over your shoulder. As I’ve learned in the last year, the deeper you dive, the more you start to see parallels between the evolution of your yoga practice and the evolution of your career perspective. In other words, it can be the front door to some seriously groovy professional growth. Here are just a few of the “a-has” I’ve had on the mat recently:

1.) Yoga teaches you the journey always has a next step. You push yourself until you reach your own physical limits and, just when you get there, you discover there’s another level that’s both higher and deeper at the same time. Yoga (and work) are extraordinary like that.

2.) Yoga teaches you how to carry strength into all areas of your being. Don’t be fooled by those who say yoga isn’t an intense workout. It’s extremely physical, especially in building the core strength required to hold difficult poses for long periods of time. Not surprisingly, it’s “core strength” that enables you to stay centered off the mat as well.

3.) Yoga teaches you not to judge yourself or others. In yoga – as in life – some days you have balance and some days you don’t. A pose you nailed just hours before is now causing you to weeble wooble then topple over. It happens. It’s no big deal. The goal is to get to a place where you are no longer critiquing yourself when you stumble. You simply stop, find your center, and quietly start again. When you practice this inside class you will practice it outside as well. Also, a funny thing about yoga is the moment judgement enters your mind at all – either “Hey, look at me!” or “Oh, I don’t think I can do this” – that’s the point when you fall. Every time.

4.) Yoga teaches you that anything worth doing doesn’t come easy. As much as we all want to start our practice nailing the king pigeon (Google it) – yoga doesn’t work that way. You must start simply and build up from there, knowing your results will be parallel to the intensity of your focus. This an extremely powerful teaching tool, especially for those of us who struggle with patience for the process of success.