Yoga for Executives. Does it sound too aspirational? A decade or two ago, I know leaders would laugh and say, “Yoga for executives like us? Are you joking?” But now, yoga is seen to be the top intervention for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. And for high-performing, under-high-pressure executives, yoga has manifold benefits.
Yoga is way of life that leads to holistic wellness – physical, mental and spiritual. It promotes harmony of the body, mind and heart.
Yoga for Executives – the Benefits
Yoga, like coaching, can benefit executives at multiple levels.
Yoga for executives to develop awareness
It helps us tune into our bodies, mind and heart. Executives who do yoga can be more aware of their physical and mental energies, the inner chatter of their minds, and their feelings. This awareness is the first step to channelize thoughts, emotions, and actions more productively.
Yoga for executives to manage stress
We all know how stressful leading can get. Yoga calms the mind and gives holistic release to negative emotions. At the physical level, it reduces stressful lifestyle issues such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and substance abuse, to name a few. For executives, yoga is an excellent way to deal with stress.
Yoga for executives to enhance cognition
Yoga can improve cognitive functions such as focus, concentration, memory, and mental agility. For executives who deal with an incredible amount of information on a daily basis, yoga can be of immense use.
Yoga for executives to develop a centered mindset
Successful leaders deal with very high stakes. Yoga can help keep leaders remain centered and grounded when things go wrong. This is so important for the individual’s and organization’s wellness.
Yoga for executives to be physically fit
For executives with long, erratic hours, normal exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, or gymming may not be feasible. They can receive the benefits of all these activities through yoga. Here, executives do not need to be dependent on external facilities. A yoga mat and an airy, quiet place at home are enough!
I am into Yoga, as it was part of my bucket list! Why it was on the list I thought it would help me physically, mentally and, of course, spiritually.. Meditation/Mindfulness was already a part of my life, has been for over two decades. But yoga has helped me be increasingly mindful of how much to learn through direct experiences.
How yoga has benefitted executives I coach & Me
Here are some vital ways in which yoga helped me –
- Develop discipline and consistency in all areas of life
- Maintain physical health
- Deepen coaching presence
- Strengthen spiritual quotient
Do I use yoga/meditation in my Coaching? Yes & No.
Where I feel the coachee is ‘ready’ (not judgemental here), I share with them how useful these can be for them
Otherwise, fitness is the starting point; yoga or simple 20-minute walking! I personally experience total mindfulness in the latter
An executive I once coached kept a personal goal to gain fitness and wellness. His erratic lifestyle had made him a bit on the heavier side. He asked me if I knew any yoga trainer, and I put him on to mine. The executive practiced regularly and eventually became fit. He got motivated to practice other fitness regimes. His dedication to yoga inspired his wife to join yoga classes. He thus brought his family, too, into a fit and healthy lifestyle.
From personal and client experiences, I strongly feel yoga for executives would be transformational for the executives and their families. Many organizations encourage yoga for executives, leaders, and employees.
Yoga for executives? Not aspirational, but an imperative now.