How do you evolve to stay ahead of the game?
To make personal development a possibility, you need self-awareness.
To be aware of yourself, is to be conscious of your thoughts, feelings and actions, from moment to moment. To develop this ability means dedicating yourself to the present moment… Now. This is a challenge and requires a lot of practice. Consider 'being self-aware' a long-term process or a lifestyle, not an achievement. A journey, not a destination. Practising yoga and meditation accelerates your progress.
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence.
Research suggests that emotional intelligence is the greatest 'predictor of executive success'. Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations found that "strong people skills and self-awareness drive better strategic and financial results".
Mark found "a purpose for wanting to be better."
Mark introduced a mindfulness and yoga program to his 47, 000 employees, of which 13, 000 employees have partaken. A study with 239 employee volunteers showed a 50 percent drop in cortisol levels (stress) and heart rate variability, and 69 extra minutes of productivity a month.
When you invest in personal development, you invest your time and energy. You want maximum profit. Here are 11 reasons why yoga is the right investment for you:
1. Yoga grounds you in the present moment.
Being in the NOW brings clarity calmness and positivity.
2. Yoga increases focus.
Balancing poses especially, like 'tree pose', requires focus.
Balancing is a great way for quieting the chitter-chatter of our minds, for as soon as your mind leaves your mat, so does your balance. Multitasking has proved not to be as effective as focussing on one task at a time. It lowers productivity instead of raising it.
3. Yoga gives you a new perspective.
When you are balancing on your head with your feet straight up in the air, you see the world from a different angle. You learn to perceive your problems in a new light, and notice opportunities that you were blind to before. (The best leaders are those who have 'helicopter vision'.)
Studies have shown that cognitive performance after 20 minutes of yoga exercise was far more superior (i.e. shorter reaction times and increased accuracy) compared with the aerobic and baseline exercises. This is for both working memory tasks and cognitive inhibition (the ability to not remember irrelevant information). We would like to think we work smart.
5. Yoga inspires self-discipline.
Stephen Covey wrote, “the undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions”.
Self-discipline is the ability to do what needs doing, whether you feel like it or not. By dedicating yourself to a regular yoga practice, and keeping to it, you exercise your self-discipline muscle. Your yoga and business success, depends on your consistent follow through and to perform at your best ability.
6. Yoga makes you healthy, strong and alert.
Be aware of getting stuck in the 'rat race' and not finding the time for yoga. You cannot afford not to! So don't wait until you're sick and tired of being 'sick and tired'.
Ill health or a bad attitude affects performance, and contributes to the rise of absenteeism from work.
The self-awareness gained from yoga also makes you mindful of your posture and how you move. You become conscious of tension you might be carrying around with you, like hunched-up shoulders or a clenched jaw.
Specific breathing patterns practiced during yoga stimulates the body's parasympathetic nervous system. This reduces blood pressure and slows the heart and breathing rates. Goodbye stress!
Learning different breathing techniques can assist you stay self aware during the day; to focus, to diminish distractions and to stay centred.
8. Your mat is your Emotional Intelligence classroom.
You stretch out (both physically and mentally), old blockages and beliefs that don’t serve you. Let your mat be your classroom. Allow your emotions to come out to play and learn to master them, instead of them controlling you. You develop a healthy self-worth and recognise you are on a journey of continued growth and development. So that off the mat, you are authentic and able to relate to others in a more constructive way.
Yoga teaches you to make decisions based on ‘what is’, without getting the ego involved. So you end up having far better relationships. Which in turn increases your emotional wellbeing.
Mindful people are generally happier, more exuberant, empathetic and secure within themselves. These positive emotions influence your job performance and how you function with a team. The higher you climb in your field, the more emotional mastery you will need.
9. Yoga brings self-acceptance.
One of yoga's most beautiful and life changing lessons is that every person is unique. From your fingerprints, to your bone structure, from your personality, to your preferences. To compare yourself in any way to the person on the mat beside you, is pointless and a waste of precious energy. Once you realize this, you know that you have nothing to prove to yourself… or anyone else.
For me, spirituality is about being joyfully present in the moment and living purposefully.
It’s about expanding yourself and becoming wiser every day.
10. Yoga expands self-awareness.
What is more "enlightening" than to explore and expand yourself? Some of your most challenging questions or profound answers will reveal themselves. The truth about your strengths and areas you want to improve, make themselves heard!
You may initially choose to do yoga because it’s the only ‘exercise’ that complements every other sport. However, you will be surprised to gain so much more. Yoga is a fascinating journey of self-discovery and an opportunity to be better than you were yesterday.
11. Yoga is excellent for mental, physical and emotional stress relief!
Work overload and looming deadlines induce stress. While some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and impact your physical and emotional health. Your ability to deal with stress can mean the difference between success and failure.
Your posture improves and you stand tall and radiate confidence without saying a word. How you carry and present yourself in a professional environment goes a long way when you want to make a good impression. Confidence is a quality highly respected in business, as you would have noticed. Being a burned out zombie, not so much.
If you watched the video above, Mark, the CEO, drastically reduced the stress and improved productivity, in his organisation.
The fact is, yoga transforms your body and your life to be more powerful and peaceful. It's a continuous, lifelong process of constant growth. We benefit from Yoga, not only on the mat, but in the boardroom too. The more you do, the better you'll look and feel, the stronger you'll become, and the brighter you'll shine.
As a professional, you know a good bargain when you see one. Yoga provides an excellent return on investment. Close the deal, jump on your mat.