Albert Einstein once said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”
There are many ways to transform your mind – some are legal, some are not. But more and more, executives and business leaders are turning to Yoga and meditation to boost their on-the-job performance. These practices are moving from the “spiritual” to the mainstream for good reason.
Anxiety, which can build up over time, impedes our ability to think clearly. It narrows our focus – making it difficult to see the full range of solutions that are possible. It also closes us off from valuable input from others.
Meditation transforms the mind – slowing it down to open up the space needed to be more calm, creative and thoughtful no matter what is happening around us. According to the Harvard Business Review, business leaders are taking meditation more seriously because it improves attention, memory and emotional intelligence. It also reduces anxiety, boosts resilience and helps people perform better under stress.
One CEO introduced meditation to his staff after 9/11. Sitting in silence for 20 minutes helped them be more present at work and find peace during a extraordinarily stressful time.
At the heart of meditation is mindfulness. That means becoming aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surroundings without judging. Mindful meditation relaxes our hurried minds — allowing us to be in the present, rather than fretting about the past or the future.
Similarly, Yoga is an active form of meditation that reduces stress and anxiety. Studies have found that Yoga not only improves cardiovascular health, digestion, flexibility, balance and overall quality of life, it provides clarity of thought and greater self-awareness.
Across America, the number of people practicing Yoga has increased dramatically. A recent survey by Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal reports that 36 million Americans are now practicing Yoga – an increase of 50% since 2012. Three times more adults over 50 are practicing Yoga than four years ago.
The survey also reveals that many people still feel Yoga is not for them. They view it as too exclusive — only for women, the flexible, athletic or the highly spiritual. One of best things about Yoga is that practicing is personal — not competitive, which opens it up to everyone, no matter your size, age or physical ability. It can be easily modified to meet anyone’s needs.
How to Get Started
If you’d like to give meditation a try, the FREE guided meditations from the CHOPRA Center are a fabulous place to start. Just find a quiet space where you can lay down or sit with your back supported and feet on the ground. Then hit “play.”
For FREE yoga videos, Yoga Journal offers online classes taught by some of the top people in the field. All you need is a computer, a Yoga mat, comfortable clothes and a quiet space.