The Leadership Benefits of Workplace Yoga
The lessons I’ve learned on the yoga mat have influenced my leadership style and my entire relationship with work. We all want to work hard and only become disengaged when we feel unappreciated and unsupported. I’ve seen previously top performers blamed or ostracised for becoming disengaged when the problem was really the organisational system. When this happens, we have to let go of assumptions, decide to actively listen and be open to feedback. And this is exactly what we learn to do on the yoga mat. We become skilled at quieting the mind, tuning in to how we feel and harnessing our inner strength. We let of of judgement and accept where we are right now.
Yoga may be an ancient practice but it offers a fresh take on the current organisational challenges in the new information economy. Offering yoga to employees demonstrates how sincerely we respect and value them.
On the yoga mat, there are no job titles – we’re literally all at the same level (on the floor!). Yoga also trains us to take a break, step away from titles and to-do lists and simply be. From there, new understanding, ideas and perspectives emerge. It is this type of rest and recovery that is vital to resilience in the long term.
I have seen how yoga brings this much needed balance into organisations. Individuals out of balance experience stress, anxiety, low mood and physical aches and pains. In the same way, the unbalanced organisation experiences conflict, poor communication, low morale and a negative culture. This cycle leads to higher attrition and makes it harder to attract and retain top performers.
Workplace yoga subtly develops the very best leadership skills while demonstrating employee appreciation and building solid and resilient teams from the inside out.