I am often amused by the look of curiosity on a client’s face when I announce yoga is on the executive coaching agenda. Most often a quick, nervous glance around the room seems to ask, “where are we doing yoga?” Then, gazing down at their body’s mid-section as if evaluate whether yoga will be possible today. Eventually meeting my smiling eyes with a slight look of surrender as if to convey, “Ok. Obviously I’m not getting out of this. Whatever you say.” To date, no client has ever walked out of the room!
I’m honored to be a trusted guide who can meet the client exactly where he/ she / they are in their journey of professional development. And, so we begin with a counted breathing exercise specifically designed for public speaking and stress management in the comfort of the plush conference room chair.
Most recently, I have elevated the chair yoga practices in my private client sessions to instructing small groups of executives in the studio at Energy Fitness Personal Training Studio on South Main Street in Downtown Memphis.
The reality is- yoga and meditation principles are not reserved just for the mat, nor does it have to be in a yoga studio. Om on the Road (Yoga Journal, April 2019) is an excellent story based on this very concept.
Still not convinced? Your life depends on it. Check out 3 realities for why you NEED to incorporate yoga into your busy life today.
Yoga for Executives: 3 Realities
1. Tech neck is real. Yoga is the deal. Ergonomically designed stand up desks, document mount clips, anti-fatigue mats and foot rests, oh my! Despite the range of posture correcting products on the market, none of these products can replace a yoga class which reinforces the human body’s optimal neutral alignment. Yoga is excellent for re-aligning and re-balancing the body to it’s forward facing neutral position.
2. Yes, you really can work yourself to death. Don’t forget to restore, relax and take a breath. According to The American Institute of Stress, workplace stress — having little control but lots of demands — has reached near-epidemic levels. “Workplace stress is bad for your heart,” says Michael Miller, MD, director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and author of Heal Your Heart. In addition to checking out the Signs of Job Stress on WebMD, be sure to consider a mindfulness/meditation/asana practice program as a means to slow your heart rate, reduce muscle tension and improve circulation.
3. Self care is a top priority. Leslie Lynn Smith, President and CEO of EpiCenter Memphis, recently contributed an incredibly inspiring article encouraging executives, “Remember you are only one part of a larger team — you can actually assign things to other folks and let it be. Executives especially need to remind themselves that they are one player in a team sport. Trust your team to take care of what needs to be done while you are making space for yourself, and, in turn, they will know the same is true for them. When we collectively rely on colleagues and remember we are not alone in the efforts of your organization, things shift quite naturally into balance. Encourage healthy relationships and shared responsibilities by simply asking your colleagues what they need or how you can help.”
For more information on the benefits of yoga to alleviate stress and enhance vocal confidence in your professional speaking role or to enroll in a Breathe Yin class at Energy Fitness, Contact Us today.
Laura Bresee is certified Yoga Alliance RYT-200 Instructor and certified in the Heather Lyle Vocal Yoga Method. Most recently, she completed the Baptiste Institute Teacher Training Course in September 2019.