It's September, which means it is National Yoga Month! I'd like to kick off the…
- Personal Development
What’s up with all the Yoga?
- Christa Heibel
- 12 September 2018
Happy National Yoga Month! I know what you are probably thinking – what does yoga have to do with me? And what’s up all with the yoga that Christa talks about? People are fascinated and constantly asking me about what I’m doing in India and why I am such a huge advocate for yoga. Some seem concerned that I can’t manage my Consulting business and travel! Maybe I’m neglecting the Consulting business. Maybe I’m not committed. To that, I say NO WAY! In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Being a yoga teacher and instructor has made me a better consultant, woman, and leader. When we get out of our own ego and our own set patterns of thinking and doing, we expand ourselves, our mind, and our potential. When we use the techniques of yoga to meditate and take care of our body and mind, we are healthier, more balanced and able to provide the leadership that is required in today’s business world. It’s true, employees are in more control of the type of leadership they want to work for. Are you a leader that inspires or strikes fear? Does your leadership inspire exceptional performance or high attrition rates? As Leaders we need to constantly challenge ourselves and those around us. Not just professionally, but personally too. We need to grow in balance and be in total harmony with our mind and body to utilize our skills and service others.
As a matter of fact, the first trip to India drove home for me that the blessings of my Consulting business. It was through through this trip that I experienced an awakening that has truly transformed my outlook, both professional and personal. I knew I needed to give back in some way, and I realized the best way for me was to share this ancient practice that has made me a better, more balanced person.
Yoga for Executives
In the field of business and employment, work-life balance is a necessity. The development and success of a business greatly depend on the mental and emotional state of the workforce, and the people who can significantly affect such variables are the executives. Nowadays, managers often take on several initiatives and the risks that are associated with them. A big investment can lead to a big reward, but it must be managed properly. To monitor, evaluate, plan, and execute projects in a competitive environment, executives must have concentration, physical stamina, and a stress-free mind. [Yogi’s Advice for Successful Mergers and Acquisitions]
Yoga, a way to achieve physical rejuvenation and mental relaxation, helps people, especially senior executives, carry out the things that they need to do. With yoga, they can develop a strong body, a serene mind, and a creative brain. Yoga also bolsters their empathy and mindfulness. All of these can lead to professional growth, successful entrepreneurship, and overall effectiveness of the workforce.
How Yoga Affects The Mind of Senior Executives
The life of a business executive is a never-ending race with technology, targets, and time. The demands in the workplace create tension and make us question our ability. They also make us feel dissatisfied, frustrated and stressed out. Executives, in particular, have heavy burdens. They have to make huge decisions on a regular basis, which can lead to physiological and psychological stress. It can make them mentally and emotionally drained.
Modern lifestyle, coupled with responsibilities and hectic work schedules, intensifies stress. Too much stress can lead to deterioration of executive efficiency. Yoga offers a way for an individual to manage stress and cope with combat modern lifestyle problems. It promotes health, happiness, and harmony.
Previous research on stress management reported significant improvement in the subjective well-being (SWB) scores of subjects. SWB is defined as an individual’s cognitive evaluation of his or her life. This shows that a program intended for lifestyle modification can contribute to better lifestyle management.
Yoga bolsters the human brain’s executive functions and cognitive abilities that are associated with the ability to control habitual actions, thinking patterns, and knee-jerk responses.
Physical exercises, like yoga, have been known to increase the levels of endorphins in the body, improve energy levels, reduce the focus on negative thoughts, and increase blood flow to the brain. Endorphin is a hormone produced by the central nervous system. It induces euphoria, modulates appetite, and reduces the negative effects of stress.
The practice of yoga makes people focus on breathing and alignment. It reduces the processing of nonessential information and self-defeating thoughts in the brain. It enables people to focus on things that are essential to their life and job.
The Advantages of Yoga
Boosts emotional intelligence
Results in brain imaging research show that yoga strengthens the ability of a person to regulate emotions. Empathy, the ability to understand another person’s feelings, deflates the feeling of pride and superiority over others.
Humans can come up with the biggest breakthroughs and greatest insights when they’re in a relaxed or meditative state. This is because relaxing activities like yoga encourage divergent thinking, a thought process used to generate ideas by exploring several possible solutions. Divergent thinking is a vital component to creativity, and it also promotes open-mindedness.
Aids in decision making
Yoga promotes enhanced brain function and the capability to focus and manage emotions and reactions. All these can help senior executives in decision making.
Stress reduces empathy and narrows a person’s perspective. Yoga reduces stress, and it impacts performance positively, boosts moods, and increases an individual’s sense of connection to others.
The human mind tends to wander. If you add text messages, phone calls, emails, and other work interruptions to the equation, it’s not surprising that employees find it difficult to stay focused. Stress and tension promote the need for diversion and the inclination to escape from unpleasant realities and nerve-wracking situations. Yoga, however, boosts mental function and helps people to develop the ability to stay focused.
Many studies show that yoga decreases anxiety, and because of that, it can definitely boost performance under stress. Yoga can reduce the impact of stress responses and is helpful for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Yoga is similar to other self-soothing techniques like socializing, exercise, and meditation. By reducing anxiety and stress in a person, yoga appears to regulate stress responses. This, in turn, reduces physiological arousal, like increased heart rate and hyperventilation, and enables people to stay calm during challenging situations.
Overall, yoga has many advantages. Its benefits for the human body enable people to become better individuals. It’s a great practice that can help busy individuals to relax, relieve stress, remain sociable despite pressure, improve work performance, and make better decisions.
The best part is you don’t have to do any elaborate preparation to start doing yoga. Almost anyone can get started immediately and move to the advanced levels with continuous practice.
Still wondering if Yoga is for you? Click here to learn more about National and International retreats I hold throughout the year. Perfect for busy business executives, no yoga experience required! If a class or retreat still seem a bit intimidating, I would love to share my story with you one on one. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about yoga and how you can get started!
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