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March 08, 2017

Did you know that your yoga practice can impact your leadership skills? Yoga and meditation have been used for hundreds of years to promote self-improvement and a healthier mind and body. The influence of yoga and meditation on individuals and the skills learned during practice can provide benefits both in the studio and out. We've pulled together five ways yoga can help you become a better leader.

Improve Focus

When it comes to yoga, if you are focused on the wrong things, you may literally fall over. Yoga teaches you to channel your breath and focus your mind clearly on the present, prioritizing what is most important at that moment. Your movement, breath and body synchronized. Strength of focus and the ability to prioritize are some of the most important skills a leader can possess. Leaders must be a calm presence and provide guidance to those around them in challenging times.

Reduced Stress

Movement and breathing naturally reduces your stress levels and helps to provide clarity. The stressors of daily life like traffic, spilled coffee or a nagging work concern can send us spinning out of control. By using the skills practiced during yoga, you can achieve clarity of mind and a more relaxed state at work and during your commute. Being an effective leader means learning to deal with life’s ups and downs and being able to keep calm during day to day challenges.

Problem Solving

Many leaders experience tunnel vision in what they want to accomplish and how they want to achieve it. Yoga allows leaders to practice meditation and find calmness and mental clarity. The ability to slow the mind down can actually allow leaders to envision a wide variety of new and exciting opportunities, ideas, and solutions to everyday problems. Leaders can learn to solve problems and discover increased creativity in their thinking through the use of meditation.

Learning Balance

The ability to balance in a position that put your body at odds with gravity is an intricate part of yoga that may initially seem unrelated to leadership. It’s true that few leaders will be found holding tree pose in their office prior to a meeting. However, the focus required to conquer gravity is a skill that can directly benefit leaders in all aspects of their lives. Learning to effectively balance multiple responsibilities can ensure smoother process flows and improved communications. And the juggling act of leadership may even seem simple next to the challenge of wounded peacock pose. 

Improved Flexibility

Yes, yoga will make your muscles and body more flexible and healthier. But the benefit doesn’t end there. The ability to physically bend into unusual positions can actually make you more flexible in the workplace as well. Taking on the physical challenges and working through options to accommodate for your physical flexibility can open your eyes to the possibilities of options available in your workplace. Being flexible and open to change is a trait necessary for successful leadership.

The ability to commit to and practice yoga regularly can provide you with a healthier mind and body, but also improve your ability to deal with adversity in your place of business. Through improved clarity and the ability to open your mind to new opportunities, yoga can improve your leadership abilities.

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