Leadership Lessons from Yoga

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Scott Eblin

Last Monday, our class became a yoga studio for about an hour. We learned the importance of breathing, basic stretching anda few sun salutation poses. After the final breathing exercise, I’m sure everyone felt completely relaxed, but did everyone feel more like a leader?

Yoga isn’t only a great physical workout, but it’s a wonderful mental workout. There are several mental exercises that a yogi cycles through during a yoga session. Relaxation isn’t the only state of mind. Over the last three years of steadily doing yoga, I’ve learned a few important leadership techniques that I believe will benefit anyone who practices yoga.

1. “You’re doing it wrong!!”

I’m joking; you can’t do it wrong if you try and pay attention. When you’re doing yoga, it’s really not about looking exactly like your neighbor. Yoga is a slow practice that takes time. Some poses will be easy, while others will be unachievable. The catch is that you can never do it wrong and you should never give up. When you can’t master a pose immediately, it’s ok to attempt it without being in the full pose. Yoga is about finding a better you and breathing into the poses as far as you can. Remember: You aren’t doing it wrong if you are trying your hardest. Just don’t give up!

2. You can do the impossible.

This is a fact and you should believe it. Like I said before, yoga is a practice that takes time to master. No one is asking you to do something you can’t, but don’t be surprised if after a few yoga sessions, you can. This is another reason you shouldn’t give up right away. Take risks and believe in your abilities to conquer even the hardest poses.

3. Don’t be a show off.

Once you have a handle on yoga, you may want to move to the front of the class. Why not? “I do downward dog better than any of these know-it-alls.” Don’t go there. Being too confident, even a little pompous, will only hurt your practice and the safe environment everyone expects in the studio. No one likes an arrogant yogi. In the studio, everyone is equal and attempting their own personal feats. It’s not a competition and never should be. If you’re focusing on everyone else, then you must not be focusing on your personal growth.

These three lessons are important in leadership building because they teach not only on practice, but on character. To sum up the lessons: Try hard and don’t give up, take risks, and don’t be arrogant. Yoga can be a very spiritual process. I would suggestyoga for anyone, not only for the amazing physical results, but also for the mental workout. Even just a mediation process once a day can improve the quality of your body and mind.

2 Comments on “Leadership Lessons from Yoga”

  1. Wow! I really enjoyed the leadership connections you made to yoga. I am so happy we had that yoga class!

  2. I really like this! I’m planning on starting yoga classes regularly this summer, and these are some great points to keep in mind about how I can not only use it as a way to relax and stay fit but also as a way to build leadership qualities.

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