Yoga and the Coach Practitioner

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:

Yellow flower
  1. Presence and mindfulness
  2. Deep and holistic listening
  3. Working at the edge
  4. Moving out of your own way
  5. Surfacing new perspectives
  6. Experiencing and accepting the moment
  7. Not being attached to outcomes
  8. Respecting and forgiving yourself
  9. Courage to experience ‘not knowing’
  10. Curiosity as to where your practice will take you
  11. Creativity as you experiment and embrace your failures
  12. 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.

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