headstandI am back blogging after a longish break – primarily because I have been in Goa where life is good and internet access is not so good.  Since November, I have had the incredible honor of being part of Yoga Teacher Training courses with my friend Nicole.  I facilitated part of the training curriculum and also sharpened my own practice.  To say that these are Yoga Trainings is withholding the complete story – the four intense weeks cause transformations in the body for sure.  However, the impact on your perspective on life is even more dramatic.  Suddenly, you create strength, space, grace and joy in all areas of your life.

As a Leadership Coach, I cannot help extend the learnings on the mat into our leadership roles at work and elsewhere.  Here are some that have touched my heart and helped me make breakthroughs:

1.  You have to be in it to win it!  I heard this phrase from the beautiful Jessica.  She said it was part of the ad for the lottery in the UK and applied it to her determination to be a yoga teacher.  This is true for the yoga practice, for any discipline we undertake for our health and for the workplace.  The first step has to be total commitment – putting yourself on the line – and then many things become possible on and off the mat! In life and in leadership, participating is more rewarding – and tougher – than spectatorship.

2.  Sthira Sukham Asanam – This Patanjali sutra of a still and joyful posture holds good for leaders too, doesn’t it?  It is easy to imagine that an effective Leader is one who is still – stable, calm, and focused.  And equally easy to see that such a Leader needs also to be joyful – light, able to let go, and flexible.

3.  Charaiveti Charaiveti – Buddha used to end all his discourses with these words that simply mean: keep going, keep going!  And in a yoga class and on the mat, when you have a fantastic day and your body is able to do incredible things, you don’t get attached to that achievement, you keep going.  And then you have days when the knees are creaking and the body feels like stone – then you find it in yourself to accept that limited movement and keep going.  As Leaders, especially in India, it is so crucial that you do not get complacent or lose heart and keep going.  Surely a key measure of success in today’s world is to stay the course!

And when it all works and falls into place, both on the mat and in leadership, there is a flow and a grace and an indescribable beauty – want to see some proof?  Here is my friend Melika in the midst of a vinyasa yoga sequence – Melika rocking the Moon Salutation – what do you think?