Leadership and Mindfulness Through Yoga

I have to preface this post by saying I am not a yogi by any means (but I own yoga pants, go figure). I tried going to a few classes when I was working full-time, but never really got into it. So when the SOM offered a free pilot yoga program, I jumped at the opportunity to try it again.

Gail Mann is a graduate of the SOM and developed YogaUnbound, a mindfulness program for leaders and executives through yoga. She has been leading current SOM students and staff members in a pilot program, which brings together meditation, breathing techniques, and yoga asanas (poses) designed to deepen the mastery of leadership skills and inspire self-discovery and awareness. The pilot program that she has created is about teaching the value of mindfulness practices to women in the workplace.

Yoga certainly has its physical health benefits, but I never contemplated how it would help with stress management. Last week was a week for big deliverables for all of my classes and attending my weekly yoga class was about the last thing I wanted to make time for. However, I dragged myself to school for the class, and I told myself, "This is my time to relax and not think about my to-do list." I really felt my stress melt away as we practiced various breathing techniques and poses.

In the short few weeks that I have been participating, I've already noticed a difference in my stress levels, especially heading into Finals Week. I can't say that I'm not stressed about Finals, but I certainly feel calm about what lies ahead. It is important for us to take those few minutes each day to really take deep breaths and quiet our minds. Just those few quick minutes to be peaceful has really helped me be prepared and be able successfully tackle my day!

For more information about Gail Mann's YogaUnbound program here at the SOM, please click here.