The world is moving at an incredible pace. Maybe you are too.
That can be a good thing, fun and vibrant until perhaps you no longer feel in control of your life. Perhaps you simply lose the enjoyment you once felt for your work. You work day after day without purpose. Or perhaps you find yourself restless night after night unable to enjoy a full nights sleep and your physiology begins to suffer from signs of stress. Maybe high blood pressure sets in, issues with anxiety, pre-diabetes, severe headaches, overwhelming fatigue, or simply chronic pain in the back or neck from the years of sitting. Perhaps your relationships become challenged, your marriage, friendships, or you simply begin to realize that you don’t know your own children all that well. Any of these things test your ability to focus at work, to perform at your peak and to be a good leader. It then might be time to inventory your wellbeing and the things you do for yourself recognizing that your wellbeing has a direct impact on your ability to lead and to be that inspiring leader that we all want to be.
Yoga has always been special to me.
Being a yoga teacher is somewhat unconventional for someone like me. International MBA. Investment Professional. High Achiever. High Impact Gym Rat. But I have come to embrace yoga as an effective method for keeping me centered, for taking care of my body AND my mind allowing me to make right decisions at work and at home. My background allows me to teach others like me from a place of having been there.
I worked very hard to establish the best career that I could imagine in a lucrative, exclusive investment niche sought after by the best and brightest. A leadership role in private equity is very hard to come by especially for a woman. I was what friends called a workaholic. I love working to this day and can spend my entire day working and be ok with it. It is an innate sort of thing; some people thrive in a fast paced work environment and would be stressed by dull, task oriented work. Others are the opposite. I love to work, to think and to analyze. But after years of being completely absorbed in and even obsessed by my work and career I began to realize overtime that I had given my heart and soul over to the business. I began to notice that the once-predominant, authentic and delightful nuances of myself including my creativity, humor, free-spirit, softness and sensitivity had all but faded away. I wasn’t enjoying the daily grind quite so much. And I no longer felt in control of my work or my life.
Deep down I didn’t really want this ‘feather ruffling’, ‘bull in the china shop’ person to be the face that I showed to this world every day. And I didn’t like how I felt inside a lot of the times. Yet, I knew there must be a better way to exist as a professional, as a leader that didn’t compromise my inner self and still allowed me to thrive in my field. I wanted to figure out what was missing. What was the missing link? Yoga and its wonderful philosophy, breath work, meditation and poses (and my son and daughter!) have helped me to slow down, to find calm in the storm of life and choose the middle path. The path where I am back in control of my life and my wellbeing. And I know maintaining my wellbeing requires a commitment on my part and is a life long pursuit. But its worth the time and effort because, quite simply, when I’m well I’m better at everything. Yoga made me realize that the missing link was within me. I am a better mother, wife, friend, daughter and am certainly a better leader because of my yoga practice. I am more calm and focused, better-able to connect with my team, to concentrate in chaos, and to practice sound judgement.
You might be thinking that for some reason your path in life is not consistent with being a yogi. But doesn’t it make sense for anyone, for every leader especially, to take care of their wellbeing so they show up happy, healthy and able to connect with and inspire their teams?