In 2009 I stepped into a yoga studio for the first time. To say it “changed my life” feels a bit superlative–I’ve continued on the same life and career trajectory. What it changed, however, was how I engage with life.
Fast forward to 2015, when I found myself in a work situation that had me spinning in self-doubt. My very smart therapist (which is why I pay him to be my therapist) told me I needed to find fulfillment outside of work. I had–and let’s be honest, still have–so much of my identity wrapped up in my career, that when my career hit what I perceived at the time to be a road block, my psyche stalled.
I’d toyed with the idea of yoga teacher training for a few years, and now felt like the right time. I started teacher training in January 2016; it was a 9 month program with the option to extend if needed. I went into it with every intention of taking longer than 9 months, so as to not put myself in a pressure situation and have it be stressful (which seemed rather paradoxical). As of January 2017, I have about 30 hours left of a 230 hour program, with a goal to be finished by June 2017.
It’s been a meaningful journey–my practice has gotten physically stronger, but more importantly, I’ve developed a quiet interest in the philosophy of yoga. And by yoga I mean the full practice of yoga, the eight limbs, including but not limited to asana, the physical practice.
As I’ve learned about the foundational beliefs in which yoga is grounded, I’ve come to be especially interested in how these guiding principles can be applied in a work environment. My expertise area is learning and talent development, and in the past few years I’ve focused quite heavily on leadership development. As I personally have developed as a leader and navigated through work situations, I’ve found myself time and again reflecting on what I’ve learned in yoga study. I’ve come to believe that an understanding and embrace of the philosophies of yoga can guide me as a leader, and make me a better colleague, manager, and employee.
To be clear, what I understand about yogic philosophy, and what I’ve pondered about it in relationship to leadership, is nothing but a drop–just the beginning of a curiosity and investigation. Hence this site. This site is to give me a place to bring together these two seemingly disparate worlds and try to identify more specifically how my yoga can guide my leadership. And if you happen to get something out of the words written here, that’s awesome too.
(You can find me on LinkedIn.)