Coaching and yoga (particularly Ashtanga, a moving meditation) are common bedfellows. And yet each individual’s approach to their practice is unique. That’s because we take our selves to the coaching relationship and the yoga mat: our own signature presence.
Reflecting on the synergies between our coaching practice and our yoga practice can bring a deeper understanding and embodiment of our individual coaching principles. Such synergies might include:
- Presence and mindfulness
- Deep and holistic listening
- Working at the edge
- Moving out of your own way
- Surfacing new perspectives
- Experiencing and accepting the moment
- Not being attached to outcomes
- Respecting and forgiving yourself
- Courage to experience ‘not knowing’
- Curiosity as to where your practice will take you
- Creativity as you experiment and embrace your failures
- Challenge as you move into a place of discomfort
Based on these synergies we might conclude that our yoga practice is in itself a form of self-coaching that underpins our personal and professional growth.
As our yoga practice develops so too the depth of the experience: the stronger yoga postures, particularly backbends (opening your heart) are acknowledged to provoke overwhelming emotional responses, for example tears or laughter; fear or sadness. Perhaps the intensity of the postures, and the channelling of energy, releases aspects of our shadow self.
The body-as-coach will resonate particularly with those who have worked through a physical injury, and experienced the learning and self-knowledge which this engenders. But however you understand the relationship between your own coaching and yoga practice, and interpret the synergies therein, I urge you to take a long hard look in this holistic reflecting glass.