I’m a numbers girl by nature. I like things to be logical, ordered and “make sense”. I work in an environment based around numbers, strategies, codes and processes. On my quest for professional achievement and advancement I dove headfirst into doing whatever was necessary to advance my career and it was working. I had won awards, received multiple promotions and had more work than I knew what to do with. I also had no work/life balance, my stress and anxiety levels were through the roof and I had lost all creativity. At the time I felt that was the cost of professional success, but it was taking its toll on my overall health and well-being. I knew that I needed to change and find something that could help me work through some of these issues. It was about this time that yoga reappeared in my life.
I attended YS first beginner’s workshop and hoped for the best. I soon felt the benefit of my practice, discovered Reiki and opened my eyes to the possibilities of the benefits. I took every workshop, started reading about yoga, practicing regularly and somewhere along the line I realized I had created work/life balance, reduced my stress and anxiety and felt my creativity return.
People at work started asking what I was doing because they could see and feel a positive difference in me. It was at this point, I started to consider how I could bring yogic thoughts and principles into the workplace.
I started small. Things like starting my Team Meetings with having everyone state something that they were grateful for or breathing together when dealing with a frustrating issue. When a Team Member voiced frustration over stress or time management, I would suggest meditating or breathe work along with tips in Outlook. There was a shift in how I led my Team. There were more discussions about the people and how we could help them become better at their job vs. metrics and numbers. This trickled down to the Team Members and the engagement and performance levels of our Teams increased.
But we are still an environment driven by metrics, strategies and performance expectations and we are counted on to deliver. This can be stressful. During a particularly stressful push, I introduced meditation to our Leadership Team. We opened our weekly staff meeting with a 4 minute meditation.
And they liked it.
So we started a weekly meditation group amongst the Team. When I moved departments, I incorporated the new Team into the sessions. When I took over our Career Development Initiatives, I pushed it out to the entire site. We now have a weekly meditation group that has approximately 10% of our entire population that attends sessions.
I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training to be able to offer the Team an opportunity to attend sessions during work hours which would ensure no negative impact to their work/life balance, but provide an opportunity to establish a practice and reap some of the benefits.
I began teaching classes at work in December. Many people who have never practiced yoga came and immediately felt some of the benefits that made me fall in love with the practice initially. We now have weekly yoga sessions that rotate times to ensure as many people as possible are able to attend.
It has been amazing to see how open and receptive the entire Team has been to challenging themselves physically and opening up to new experiences. I have had many accomplishments over my career, but someone coming to our yoga classes with a new mat or seeing someone from work at the studio have become some of the most meaningful.
I am now always looking for ways to incorporate yoga into the corporate world. It’s not always classes and meditation. Sometimes it’s just remembering the Yamas before giving feedback or attending a meeting. Yoga has truly permeated every aspect of my life and I know myself and everyone around me has benefited from its lessons.