How Yoga and QiGong Helped Me Become a Better Leader
Yoga and qiogong and ancient practices that are surging in popularity today.
12 years ago I took yoga after work and was often the only guy in class. Sometimes I was the only PERSON in class.
Now in my Sunday yoga session I often have to ask people to allow me to squeeze in next to them as the room is so full.
Qigong is another story. Held secret in China for decades, it has only recently been opened up and taught to Westerners. Usually classes are harder to find and not hugely popular (yet). I have been practicing for a little over a year and I really enjoy this practice and the study of its origins.
Qigong is based on ancient yogic and budhist practices of ancient India. These practices were brought to China where they have been modified over centuries by Taoist and other Chinese influences. It is truly a Chinese energy art. There are many schools of qigong that have different philosophies and movements.
If you are serious about yoga and qigong, you do not come to practice to compete with the other students. You may find it hard not to overstretch when the person next to you is so obviously getting deeper into a pose. But yoga and qigong are not about competition with others. These are deep self practices that help you tune into your own internal state.
Yoga asks you to look deep into yourself and accept where you are. If you can only go so deep into a pose, this is enough. Allow the sensations of your body to enter your awareness and breathe.
Qigong is about practicing moving meditation while standing. The practitioner is coached to move slow. It is not about getting the move technically correct, it is about performing the movement as slow and relaxed as possible. We are asked to feel the energy flowing in our body and just notice any sensations that occur, without being drawn into them.
What yoga and qigong do is help us practice noticing sensations and emotions in our body while at the same time accepting and allowing these emotions.
As we get better at accepting and allowing these emotions that come up, we find we are more able to do this during the day. Suddenly we find that we are practicing yoga and qigong all day long, not just when we’re in class.
Allowing and accepting emotions have made me a better leader. Yoga and qigong are one of the doorways that have helped me explore this practice.
Get out there and try out a class for yourself. You can even find free classes on youtube.