‘Tis the season for making your list of wishes for the New Year. Today, while practicing yoga, I was thinking what a great world of business we would create in the New Year if the top executives of every company practiced yoga.
Current estimates suggest there are up to 20 million Yoga practitioners in the United States, yet in my travels, I haven’t come across too many top executives who admit to practicing yoga. Yoga has been rated as a highly beneficial practice on mulitple levels of body, mind and spirit. I have been practicing yoga for the past five years, and given the many benefits I have experienced, I am convinced we could use more executive yogi’s in the business world.
Here is my vision of what yoga-practicing executives would inspire in their employees and businesses:
1. Discipline to work at being our best selves and companies.
2. Positive intent and commitment to unlocking our full human and business potential.
3. Union with ourselves and each other; no person or business is an island and our actions impact others; together we support each other’s evolution in a balanced way.
4. Rigor to work and grow; to find our optimum performance edge that working towards can be uncomfortable, but won’t hurt us or be more than we can handle and leads us to exceed our expectations of what is possible.
5. Individuality in self expression of the flow, that is also guided by a shared framework and goal within a community.
6. A “mindful state” where one recognizes distractions and attachments, acknowledges them and then returns to being fully present in the moment. Yogi’s turn off cell phones, lap tops, and thoughts about past and future and focus on RIGHT NOW and doing the best you can at that very task.
7. Calmness of mind that inspires confidence in times of change.
8. Clarity of mind and enables us to see things more clearly to inspire creative and strategic solutions to complex problems.
9. Emotional and physical strength to face difficult situations and people.
10. Stress management and relaxation techniques for facing outdated habits, new challenges and other stressed out people or customers.
Wow, just listing these benefits makes me want to get to the yoga studio. The funny thing is, yoga can be as simple as taking time to sit with your eyes closed and breathe deeply for 5-10 minutes. Clearly, we can all practice yoga, even busy executives. What do you say?
Written by Diane Ring
Executive Coach and Head of Environment & Energy Practice