5 ways yoga can enhance your career

Marlon Mai November 2, 2017 4 mins read

MD of Morgan McKinley China, Rio Goh, practises yoga for four to five hours a week! Here he explains how yoga can be useful for career development.

If you have not done any yoga before but your colleagues keep raving about how wonderful it is to relax in a downward facing dog pose and keep telling you about those other weird animal named poses, it is perhaps time to consider that even the casual yogi can parlay its skills into big time career benefits.

In addition to the well-known physical benefits of yoga, experts and research highlight the benefit of consistent practice, resulting in having a more positive attitude. Yoga can help reduce stress and improve emotional well-eing. Yoga is one of the few exercise methods that works on both the physical and mental level by bringing about your self-awareness, or what yogis call mindfulness.

As a yogi myself I have had many discussions with people who have practiced yoga their entire lives and I have taken all their wisdom and wanted to share this with you.

Yoga helps you improve your level of perseverance

Any yogi will remember their first time, sweaty palms and feet, shaky legs, looking around to see how others are struggling, even being embarrassed perhaps that you are not able to touch your own toes.

It is easy to give up but you will soon realize everyone has to start from the beginning and no one actually looks at you because we have all been there. You can be negative and give up or you can choose to overcome your physical and mental challenges and banish your negative thoughts. This is very important in the office as well as everyone will face new challenges every time you try something new or meet a new prospect.

Yoga will boost your self confidence

By knowing your own strengths and weaknesses on the mat, you will realize that consistent practice will eventually make it easier and you will notice that you will make progress, although slow but you will start to feel good about it.

As you make mistakes and as you struggle, you will appreciate your achievements even more, people start to notice in the office and the more confident and competent you become, the more opportunities you get in your company. It really does improve your self esteem.

Yoga makes you forget all temptations and improve your self-discipline

Life and work can sometimes be overwhelming and yoga is all about finding balance ensuring you do not wear yourself too thin. You need to balance your time, commit physically and mentally and a lot of the poses are all about balancing gravity, your body, your mind and all the choices you have to make in life. It gives you a structured opportunity to give your mind a break and forget about all the things that are going on in life.

You will have to work really hard to gain all the skills you need in yoga, but forcing yourself will not help. This is so similar for your career as well. Set your intention, set yourself a goal for today and work hard for it, back off when you need to, move forward full throttle when the moment is there.

Yoga reduces stress

Meditation, breathing and restful poses such as shavasana are all about controlled breathing. When your body is stressed it automatically raises your heart rate and you breathe faster. Deep and controlled breathing slows down your heart rate and calms your mind, your muscles are relaxed and you feel calmer.

When do you ever take time out on a day to align your breathing and give yourself a break? Yoga techniques can help you reduce performance related anxiety and helps adjusting your emotional reactions to career stress

Yoga will help you understand your limitations and to be okay with it

Yoga is a gradual and continuous process. It is a never-ending journey because in order to improve, you will have to keep practicing so you can raise the bar every time you step on to your mat. You do not have to compete with anyone, your only challenge is to overcome your own limitations and remind yourself that you can be the best at everything; we just need to be gentle and patient with ourselves.

Ultimately you can do the impossible, take it step by step and you will see that you have already moved on from your previous role and taken yourself to the next level in your new role.

Marlon Mai's picture
Managing Director | Finance & Accounting, IT, Sales & Marketing Recruitment