“No one is wise by birth, for wisdom results from one’s own efforts”- Tirumala Krishnamacharya. Wise Leaders from all walks of life make an endless effort to maintain work-life balance. For them, self-reflection and learning from personal experiences is an endless process. Yoga’s focus on advancing spiritual, personal and professional development maybe one way of addressing stress for leaders and entrepreneurs.
Dr Paul Olsen says, “The yogic principles, ethics, and health benefits are a process of personal inquiry”
Yoga, a Sanskrit word means union and discipline. It’s a self-assessment tool with ethics and health benefits. According to Connolly, early descriptions of yoga characterized it as primarily a mental; as opposed to a physical practice .In modern time’s yoga has become a tool that connects individuals through a process of self discovery. It has become an instrument that uncovers the essence of one’s being. Companies like Apple, GE, AT&T, PepsiCo, Sony, and Nike have recognized the benefits of yoga and offer yoga classes at work (Kudesia, 2010).
Yoga retreats have become a turning point for individuals participating in it. It is also a unique business process that turns yoga instructors into entrepreneurs. In Pakistan, finding the right yoga instructor is equal to finding an appropriate school. While our discovery continues, Nadia Faruki, a practicing yoga instructor in Singapore organised a self discovery retreat in Pakistan.
The recent Lahore blasts inspired her to share community tools essential for individuals dealing with crisis. She’s a certified health counselor specializing in nutrition and has taught yoga in both Singapore and New York City. Nowadays she focuses on teaching groups, privates and retreats, locally and internationally.
The constant stress and fear factor in our society can impact the organ functions and stress muscles, but practicing yoga can change that for the body. Nadia shared on media “A few days ago, after the terror attacks, I was asked at my training if it would be best to postpone my trip to Pakistan for the workshop. For me there is no better time then now to be there and teach”
The workshop is meant for the movers and shakers, decision makers and people who have the desire to impact and guide others. Her teaching experience of 13 years and a practical approach makes it an ideal course for leaders and influencers looking for self-discovery. She adds “For you to be part of this workshop, you need to ‘show up’ with an open mind, a desire to learn and to let go of patterns that don’t serve you well in the body or the mind. There are no expectations of the level of flexibility or strength or the ability to sit in meditation. Just show up as you are.”
Practicing yoga can help manage stress for leaders and followers but it may not be the only practical tool available for developing leadership, there are a lot of limitations in the society and its still not something that most people can easily connect to.
“I can tell you some things about Spring. That it’s about bursting. It’s about renewal. It’s about relearning. And it’s about becoming. And you know what? It’s also about discomfort. It burns to become. But you can’t avoid it. Step into it. Own it. You can’t escape from what your heart continually aches for no matter how hard you might try. The brain hardly ever wins. The core does.” – Erickson
Practiotioners like Nadia are redefining the core for many but their expertise are not accessible to a large consumer segment that includes – students, young leaders and women from middle-income backgrounds.
The complexities of the society are growing and yoga could be used as a connecting point to reflect on failures. This may be seen as a green signal to innovators and lifestyle management companies to dive deep and design practical approaches to change the daily lifestyle of the underserved.