Yoga at Work: What Toes Pose Taught Me about Wasting Energy

One alter ego that I haven't explicitly mentioned is Julie the yogi. But if you've lived with me, at some point, you've begged me to go to yoga class in order to shake off a bad mood. If you work with me, you've probably caught glimpses of this Namaste-ing, headstand-balancing person when phrases like "We need more fire in our bellies" comes out of my mouth on sales calls. (I can be a little wacky, I admit...) Even though yoga has become incredibly mainstream during the past several years, there is still sometimes a perception that yogis wouldn't do anything for a living besides teach yoga or work at a non-profit. And there is definitely no room for your mat in the office. But I promise you that there's enough room inside a person to be yogi and a work warrior - at work. After all, living a life with yogic principles has changed every facet of my life, especially professional.

But before you think I've gone too far off the commune, stay with me... Because regardless of your stance on the physical activity of yoga, the yoga is also a school for action-based learning outside the studio. My past 15 years on the mat have infused me with techniques and lessons that are far more valuable than any technical skills I've learned in the office. They're the foundation for my actions and attitudes at work, which as you know, affect everything. You may remember that I consider one of my teachers, Rebecca Pacheco to be pretty Badass in Business; she has transformed my professional self through these lessons. 

In her Runner’s World yoga sequence, Rebecca demos the simple (but extremely painful, if you ask me!) Toes Pose. There’s a physical benefit to your feet, but if you pay attention, there’s an even greater benefit to your mind.

If you don't dig being on the mat, no problem. Fast-forward to 15:45 for the 40 second lesson:

 
"If you start to feel really strong sensation... Don't panic. Don't give it anymore energy than it needs."

I use this lesson on energy expenditure every. single. day. I don't know about you, but it is a raaaaaare occurrence for me to make it through the day without a tinge of exasperation at someone or something. Depending on the person or situation, it is far too easy to let these thoughts carry me away to that place of stewing in my own agitation and annoyance. The even more annoying thing about it? Dwelling in that place never makes it better! So when I see myself slipping down that slope, I ask myself:

“What am I giving my energy to? Does this situation or person deserve my energy? Will this create a better outcome for me?”
Posted on November 12, 2015 and filed under Spiritual Gangster.