3 Leadership Lessons I Learned At Yoga Class

I am a self-proclaimed bucket lister. I check buckets left and right. Like a regular ‘ole bucket inspector at a bucket factory.  One bucket I checked that I thoroughly enjoyed was:

70. Take a yoga class – X (June 28th, 2011, Tulsa)

(This is not a picture of me in yoga class)

My sweet mother gave me a month’s worth of classes at a yoga studio in Tulsa for my birthday. She genuinely wanted to see me check a bucket off my list! She also wanted to see me be able to touch my toes, something I have never been able to do…not even at birth. At least that is how I remember it.

So, I showed up for yoga class in my spandex tights and no t-shirt (surprisingly, that is not what they wear there) ready to stretch my abilities. I learned a few things during that month attending yoga, and I want to share them with you. That is what a blog is all about, right?

Top 3 Leadership Lessons I Learned at Yoga Class

1. Yoga is Really, Really Hard – I came in to yoga thinking I would be able to stretch a little and make some kumbaya sounds and then move on. I could not be more wrong. It takes complete bodily control and focus to be able to accomplish the positions. The yoga masters make yoga look easy because they have spent years upon years perfecting their art.

Leaders can’t assume that something that looks easy actually is easy. The best leaders make difficult tasks look easy through years of hard work and dedication.

2. Becoming Flexible Hurts – I didn’t think stretching and holding poses would make me sore the following day. I found this out as I slowly walked up stairs like an 80-year-old man. To become flexible I had to endure some pain.

Leaders strive for flexibility, but rarely put in the effort to achieve the freedom. Leaders must learn to fight through the pain and grow from it for the future.

3. I’m Not Good at Yoga – Like I stated earlier, I am not flexible. I am in good shape, fairly athletic and strong, but not flexible. My wife has also never been to yoga, and she excelled. It was very natural to her. I kept looking over at her a glaring because she was making me look so bad. I once even tried to scissor kick her during a yoga move. 

Leaders can’t compare themselves to everyone else, especially when trying something new. Someday could I become as good as Kristin at yoga? Sure. But not on my first visit. It was not my strong suit, but I was trying anyways.

Those are my three lessons learned! Have you ever been to yoga? What did you learn through the process? Have you ever tried to scissor-kick your wife during a yoga move?

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