10 Yoga Principles that Will Benefit Your Employees

10 Yoga Principles that Will Benefit Your Employees by Kelly Prentice #TheWellnessUniverse #Employees #WUVIP
10 Yoga Principles to Keep Employees Content, Passionate, and Engaged

If you own or manage a business, you might agree, one of your biggest assets is people. The people you rely on daily—your employees, your clients, your care providers—plus a myriad of other people who make things run like a well-oiled machine. If these people are your biggest asset, have you considered how happy they are? Have you thought about whether their work is fulfilling, whether they feel passionate about what they are doing day in and day out?

Recently, we dug into yoga’s ancient teachings (the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali to be exact) to help us in our crusade to keep employees happy, passionate, and engaged. The first five principles are from the yamas- part of the eightfold path of Yoga set forth by Patanjali in the Sutras. Since yama means “rein,” you can think of yamas as restraints that we willingly place on ourselves to focus our effort.  The second five principles come from the niyamas, the second limb of the eightfold path of Yoga. Niyamas are recommended activities and habits for healthy living, spiritual enlightenment, and a liberated state of existence.

We know that these age-old principles can help you — but just to make sure, we included practice tips for each of the 10 principles so that you can put them into practice right away.

  • Nonviolence or Kindness:

Nonviolence is more than just abstaining from physical harm. It is about refraining from physical and emotional violence towards yourself as well as others. At root, nonviolence means maintaining compassion, being kind, and treating all things with care. When you are upset or feel challenged, aggression may be your innate coping strategy… but acting out in aggression leads to a domino effect of negativity and can make resolvable issues worse.

Practice:

First, begin to notice feelings of aggression or anger when they arise. Then, take a moment to recognize how these emotions affect your outcomes.

  • Truthfulness 

If you want outstanding results from your team, you must build mutual trust. Truthfulness means to be honest and sincere when speaking about your feelings, and also be mindful of the energy of your words. If you speak in a negative tone, you will attract negative things into your life. Practice speaking with honesty in a positive tone… and you will build trust and allow more positive experiences to come into your life.

Practice:

Help others to relate by telling truthful stories at work that are impactful and that positively influence the culture and those in it.

  • Not Stealing.

This does not mean refrain from stealing your coworker’s iPad. The yogic version of non-stealing represents the idea of emotional energy that you might steal from others. If you position yourself in great need (either of time, attention, or traits of others), then you steal the time and energy from those around you. When you have good relationships, those people will naturally give you what you need without having to force it out of them. It’s about an equal balance of giving and taking.

Practice:

If you’ve had a difficult project or a week with many late nights, send your employees home early on a Friday.

  • Moderation

Learn to use the minimum energy to achieve the maximum result. You can’t let a situation take over your life, and you can’t spend all of your energy on one thought or desire. When you feel the need to control outcomes and micromanage details, you engage in self-destructive behavior. This leads to regret and disappointment when things don’t go your way.

Practice:

Accept things as they are, and then work toward what could be with patience and gratitude.

  • Non-possessiveness.

When you cling to something, you establish a sense of ownership. That attachment can lead to suffering and negative behavior. Your employees do not belong to you. By letting go of attachment to situations, people, and possessions, you are more open to experience and accept people as they are.

Practice:

Give an assignment with a fair deadline and then step away, allowing an employee to take full responsibility for the job. Expect greatness.

  • Purity

Purity means to take care of your health and feed your mind with positive energy. It teaches you to be mindful of toxicity in your life, whether it be negative relationships, situations, or your lifestyle in general. Respect the body, mind, and spirit of yourself and your valued employees. Being mindful of purity gives you the ability to keep the flow of energy positive and vibrant.

Practice:

Bring yoga and meditation into the office and offer it to employees. A Bija Initiative Wellness Coach can help!

  • Contentment

Observe the office environment. Notice whether or not people are happy. Notice when things get tense or people seem off kilter; if you sense it, then you are probably on target. Being aware of what you have and where you are, and appreciating it, is living with contentment (known as santosha in Yoga). Cultivating contentment helps employees to be present in the here and now, and accept each moment with grace.

Practice:

Foster contentment. Take time to learn the favorites of each of your employees and use this inventory when showing appreciation to communicate that you care.

  • Discipline

The Sanskrit word for discipline, tapas, teaches you to value what you desire so that you can commit to making an honest effort to see it through; even when you are faced with an obstacle or a roadblock. You must show a commitment to your employees and your vision.

Practice:

Provide an outlet for employees to talk. Offer up a survey either on paper or online such as Survey Monkey. Ask them how you can make their life easier, more productive, and more joy-filled, and make a commitment to positive change.

  • Self-Study.

We can often go through life without looking deeply within ourselves, our values, actions and the impact we have on others by our thoughts, words, and actions. The yogi is encouraged to engage in self-reflection by analyzing the impact they have on others. By doing this, we get to know ourselves more honestly and see ourselves for what we are, not who we might think we are.

Practice:

Offer to send your employees to a personal development training of their choice. They will return with a better understanding of who they are and the impact they have on others.

  • Divine Empowerment.

Every employee has different religious and spiritual beliefs. It goes a long way if you can respectfully acknowledge each individual’s deeper belief system. Each person has their own sense of what brings meaning and value, a sense of higher purpose to their lives.

Practice:

Recognize the divine in each employee. Show respect for each person’s religious observances and spiritual beliefs.

If you’d like to learn more and other ways to connect with me, I invite you to check out my website.

-Kelly


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