Most leadership books tell you what you need to do but do not give you the techniques to make it happen. Yoga offers both a leadership philosophy and the technology to actually develop the required leadership skills. Yoga and mindfulness practice provide an ancient operating system that is perfectly suited for our modern corporate environment. There is a vast array of effective yoga techniques to explore and no two yogis have the same practice.
For many people yoga is a practice of physical postures designed to stretch your muscles, enhance flexibility and force you to wear tight pants in public. While the physical practice is important, the mental and philosophical aspects have a more profound impact on how I operate and how I lead. My teachers all say that when you are flexible of mind you become flexible of body.
There are many leadership ‘super powers’ that you can generate with yoga technology. These attributes will make you a better leader and a better person. One example is self-awareness.
Many leadership books say that great leaders have great self-awareness. Sounds good but without techniques to cultivate self-awareness you might as well tell people to “go be awesome”. Just reading that is not enough. So, how do you develop self-awareness? Through the practice of meditation you become very clear on what motivates you, your core principles, what you want from life and your development areas. A self-awareness breakthrough for me was learning how to meditate while doing the physical yoga postures. Self-awareness helps you show up differently in all aspects of your life.
There are many other leadership ‘super powers’ that you will develop with a robust yoga practice. I have blogged before about how to cultivate mindfulness, compassion and gratitude, just to name a few.
If you take anything from this post, it would be that yoga is much broader than just the physical practice. It is a philosophy and operating system designed for any person. What’s more, I see yoga as a non-dogmatic practice that you can incorporate with your own spiritual practice or belief system.
Yoga is truly a way for you to help foster a better you … with a playbook!
(originally posted at ChiefYogaOfficer.com)