As we celebrate International Yoga Day on June 21, I wanted to spend some time to reflect on the impact yoga has made in my life and the potential it has to change the way we work, live and treat one another. Whether you practice yoga everyday, or practice it occasionally, it serves as a safe place for many people, and relaxes both the body and the mind. Yoga is more than just a trend, and more than just about increasing your strength and flexibility. Yoga is beneficial in so many ways and if the teachings and practices in yoga are implemented into the aspects of your life, your daily routine, decisions, moments and high-stress life will forever be changed.
Yoga can be viewed as just another fitness class and way to stay active, however if you take the time to listen to the practice and yourself throughout the practice, you can learn a lot about yourself and see alternative outlooks on the world. In a professional sense, the messages in yoga can be very helpful. Below explains how I use the teachings in yoga, throughout my daily life, and especially my professional experiences.
Stay centered. Staying centered means to always be aware of your body, the way you feel and how your actions influence your growth. It’s about knowing your strengths and weaknesses and being in tune with yourself. Apply these words to your professional settings. Always be aware of the things you strive in, work to strengthen the things you could improve on, and be self-aware. Always know that whatever comes your way, you can always come back to your center, where peace lies. Being in-tune with your center allows you to stay true to yourself. No matter what is going on around you, your values and work-ethic will remain intact.
Stay grounded. In times of turmoil or uncertainty, rely on your common sense and good logic. Typically, your gut instinct is the right path to choose, but remember to be realistic. Use this throughout your everyday life and let it guide you. In addition, it’s important to be proud and confident, but take the time to step back and see yourself in the big world. Know your impact and know the potential you have to reach great limits.
No one is stopping you, but you. In yoga, if you’re struggling to master a position, there is a good chance your mind is the one controlling your inability. If it’s your body’s strength that cannot overcome the challenge, use your mind to strengthen and push your body to know you will one day master the position. Use this in your professional setting, too. If you’re facing a challenge or something you think you are not qualified to take on, realize that you’re stronger, brighter, stronger and more talented than you think.
Breathe. Finding your breath is the primary focus of practicing yoga. If you are ever in a difficult pose, and are struggling to complete it, remember that you can always come to your resting position to find your breath. When facing a difficult decision or task, take a moment to find your breath, regardless of where you are. This will help you find your inner peace and allow you to make a conscious decision.
Let go of the things you cannot control, and let go of perfection. This is a common teaching in many yoga practices. Things happen in life and at work that you cannot control. The only thing you can control is how you perform, how you treat people and how you choose to accomplish the things you strive to accomplish. Sometimes, the path to getting to a pose or to an accomplishment is much more valuable than the actual accomplishment itself. Appreciate setbacks and roadblocks as they make you stronger and your journey richer. Remember the way you perceive your self-worth and ability is in your control. Let your goals and passions feed your drive, and let go of the distractions and events happening around you that no longer serve you. If co-workers don’t perform as you would like them to, push yourself harder and be the example that you believe they should have.
It doesn’t matter where you practice. Yoga can be done in your living room, in a studio or in your car, if you’d like. As long as you practice where and how best suites you, you’re doing it right. Just like your place of work. Some people are lucky enough to work from home, others prefer to be in an office, and others prefer to be outdoors. Wherever you can perform and do your best work, is where you should be. You do you.
P.S. You can’t forget happy baby. When life gets too serious and you’re feeling stressed, remember you can always go to the happy baby position, as a wonderful stretch and way to simply end your day…or practice.