Each new year provides us with an opportunity to reevaluate our goals – professionally and personally. With the growing trend of blending work with our personal lives – think remote work cultures, expanded family leave policies, and other corporate culture perks and improvements – there’s a good chance this year’s goals and resolutions are much more closely related than ever before. After all, so much of our personal lives filter into the workplace.
Prioritizing self-care and getting more exercise are two popular new year resolutions, and with its increasing popularity you may have zeroed in on taking up a few yoga classes each week. And, why not? Yoga trends today tout sculpted muscles, burned calories and other improved mind-body benefits.
But, what if I told you developing a regular yoga practice could also help you achieve your workplace goals? In its purest form, yoga is much more than crazy, pretzel-twisting poses in sauna-like conditions; yoga is the study of balance and communication from the heart.
Based on more than 5,000 years of science and technology, yoga asanas or poses were designed to meter the breath, which prepares the mind for meditation, which ultimately leads to resetting the central nervous system to its original calm state. In a nutshell, the entire process is the secret sauce that has you leaving class feeling like your best self – calm, yet alert and fully energized.
What does this all have to do with the workplace? Plenty. Reduced stress, staying in the present moment and economizing the words that we use to be more effective in our communications are just a few examples. Others include refocusing your energy from unnecessary activity; talking less and listening more; speaking your truth more directly, and even writing in a more productive and meaningful way.
To get you started, here are a few tips to help make the connection from a yoga class to the workplace:
- Yoga means to join or yoke within a community, similar to our colleagues within the workplace.
- Listen to your body, as in, trust your inner guru or intuition when making decisions. Oftentimes, you know more than you think you do, so take some risks, when it feels right.
- Focus on your lines of energy, as proper alignment from the ground to the top is needed to maintain even the hardest of poses. Workplace initiatives and/or goals are best achieved and maintained when everyone is aligned from the most junior-level to senior executives using proper lines of communication.
- Remember the cadence of your breathe helps to keep the pose – even when it’s hard. In the workplace, things can get sticky or serious; but, like your breath, doing the prep work and being kind to yourself and others will get you through the roughest of spots.
- Setting your intention for a yoga session is similar to asking before embarking on a new work initiative: What am I looking to achieve here, and why?
Here’s wishing you much success in achieving your 2019 goals!
– Carol Ready is a Senior Director of Strategic Communications with Cheer Partners. She’s also a certified Vinyasa Flow and Restorative yoga instructor and is in the midst of earning her 500-hour certification.