Mindfulness, Yoga and Teamwork

I met an old acquaintance at a party Friday night: Steve Fuller. Steve is both a dedicated worker and an accomplished marathon runner. My acquaintance with Steve involved neither work nor running. I knew Steve from yoga class.

Although I no longer practice yoga, Steve told me he continues practicing and occasionally teaches yoga. He also mentioned how he has incorporated yoga into his daily routines. For example, when rinsing his hair in the shower, he bends backwards rather than forwards. When engaged in a long telephone conversation, he props his leg on a desk or window sill and stretches his leg and torso. Some of his colleagues consider this little more than a manifestation of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). But Steve said he does those actions mindfully–he very much knows what he’s doing and why.

Whether we call it mindfulness, awareness, or intentionality, knowing what we’re doing and why changes everything. When we’re mindful, we choose to do what is important for ourselves and our team. We avoid the distractions that so easily pull us off-course and out-of-focus.

“Yoga” is a Sanskrit word that means “union”– union of body, mind and spirit. When a team is clearly focused on a strategic goal and mindfully working toward accomplishing that goal, the team members are joined physically and mentally. They are (I don’t feel it’s a stretch to say) practicing yoga.

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