taking yoga off the mat and into the office
So the internet’s definition of work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). The good news is that we can work with this…The bad news is that our culture and its work-life balance is out of whack. The lack of work-life balance can be very costly to both individuals and companies. Stress, obesity, absenteeism, anxiety, errors, burnout and unnecessary loss or accidents on the job can be the result of employees being out of balance.
Certainly reducing sugar, flour and processed foods while eating healthy and getting lots of sleep can help. Spending quality time out of work recreating with our loved ones and at hobbies we can enjoy help us to rejuvenate. Getting outside help in areas where we need it is a powerful tool. Going to the woods, water and nature and spending time in quiet and mediation is supportive. Another approach is yoga. It is continuing to pick up in popularity and there are so many types and styles to choose from.
Breath is simply life. It is fundamental to the practice of yoga -bringing in new energy and exhaling used and spent air. This is refreshing and empowering for us. Breath expands our lungs and opens up our heart. At work we need to keep our minds and hearts open. We need to be open to new approaches and let go of efforts and approaches that do not serve us.
Predictability and Innovation
Taking stock of core competencies and building off of them is a key recipe for success. When we enter the yoga practice or studio and follow the teacher, we are collaborating and inviting various yogis in the room to enter into our practice and we to theirs. In each class we remain open to change in order to be innovative. The old, strong poses continually gain poise while we make room for improving other poses. Oftentimes I can take very complicated business and personal problems to the practice, and by the end of the session they have resolved themselves or I have been given specific insights. The surrender to the yoga practice allows me to let go of obstacles in daily life. Then, the intuitive solutions come.
“Repetition confirms and intensifies.” Time and production equal credibility with oneself and in the marketplace. For me this mantra is reinforced by my yoga practice and running and training regiment, as it increases my self-awareness and physical and mental strength and brings me to a new level of determination and stamina. The structure and consistency is undeniably important to maintain one’s routine.
Preparation and Listening
A great lesson for all in our work and missions is to be accountable to the past as it is. While reviewing the past, in parallel, we move forward. Over time it has become one of the greatest gifts to be able to take honest stake of where we stand. Just like a business-taking inventory. Be who you are and where you are at. What is your value proposition? What is the gap between whom you wish to be and where you stand currently in truth as a business? Where do you need improvement? Where can you give more
We try new techniques or tweaks and sometimes we literally fall over as a result. We too can rise up after a fall and our companies and institutions can take seeming tragedies and turn them into triumphs. We get better. We bridge the gap of who we think we are and where we are at and improve in our execution.
Recalibrate and Reinvent
It is important in business to recognize that over time we build equity in our various relationships. We will build and carry on as a result of this equity. What we do in the whole body of our work matters.
Mistakes are part of the plan and process, and what we do as a result of them is critical and will be guiding lights for the future. Haters will see you walk on water and say it’s because you can’t swim. Throw us to the wolves and we yogis will come back leading the pack.
Let our haters (even our own false and untrained selves) be our elevators and resolve that, no matter what, we will work and persevere and be made better and stronger. It comes from staying in the room, no matter what. Continuous improvement is our lot – it is our collective DNA as yogis.
We begin again each class and therefore each day anew, each year and every era and project no matter what. We are reinforcing that each time we enter and make it through the class, we put “blinders” on to the outside world and we come alive in the austere conditions of the four walls of the studio and recalibrate our cognitive capacities.
“To thine own self be true” is an important axiom in life and business. Yoga helps to reinforce a terrific work ethic and improve both body and the internal force capable of reeducating itself. The energy we share and build in the yoga studio has potential. It is so promising and positive, that often I have consciously decided to formalize my commitment to move initiatives forward outside of the rooms as a result of success in the practice and the mindset and confidence that it creates within.
The “dead body” pose, Savasana, is where I rest and find the energy and willingness to execute. Like actual revenue and outcomes in business quantified and reviewed, we measure how far we have come and where we have yet to go. The full range of motion, the deeper we enter into our practice, and the longer we can hold poses demonstrates progress or the lack thereof. Sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly the consistency of yoga provides us a lifelong benchmark to be true to ourselves and allows us the ability to carry this practice in all we do.
The practice and discipline of yoga provides us a secret weapon to sharpen our focus, get smarter, faster, and deeper and become the yogi that day-to-day we are intended to be. Come meet me in the room and share in my secret weapon, and leave with improved determination and strength, not to mention nicer skin, better range of motion and flexibility, reduced stress, improved synapses and cognitive abilities, kinder disposition, deeper focus and clarity, muscle repair, balance, and an overall improved health and quality of life.
Kevin Goodman is the managing director, partner with BlueBridge Networks, a downtown Cleveland-headquartered data center cloud computing business. He can be reached at kevinjgoodman.com and bluebridgenetworks.com