Many articles have been written on the importance of Yoga in an individual’s life and just a simple Google search will get a layman tonnes of material about the same. However, having worked in the corporate world for more than 13 years, I certainly feel that fundamental principles of Yoga which were laid down thousands of years ago are still the most relevant in this highly competitive world where everyone is looking for quick wins and not long-terms solutions.
Personally, I have had a keen interest in practicing Yoga for so many years. I can certainly find multiple correlations between fundamental principles of Yoga and the necessities to survive the corporate world.
There are 8 limbs of Yoga as per Maharishi Patanjali – the author of Patanjali Yoga Sutra – who was the first person to formally document the principles of Yoga thousands of years back and is considered the father of Yoga. Maharishi focused on 8 important facets to live life in the perfect way. In this article, I will try to establish a parallelism between few of these sutras and the current corporate life.
1) Yama – Self restraints
I certainly feel this principle is the foundation for living the best in the corporate life. If we practice Yama in the corporate would, we can certainly avoid ego-clashes, maintain our composure, and be truthful in our conducts while serving our customer to the fullest. This principle helps build discipline in our actions and work in the corporate world.
2) Niyama – Things to do, coming to terms with yourself
Niyama helps us follow the rules and ethics in the corporate world, and come to terms with yourself by following the policy, procedures and compliance laid out by the company within the corporate world. This principle also helps us bring focus and dedication to our work for fulfilling the requirements of our clients/customers.
3) Asana – Control on the body through postures and movements
In the corporate world, there often is a lot of stress and pressure to meet the aspirations of individuals, team, leaders, and customers. One often faces pressures in the personal life as well, often resulting in us feeling drained out and completely torn apart. Asana helps us bring the focus back on being healthy. Just as machines require regular maintenance and down-time, so do our bodies. The human body needs at least 7-8 hours of rest every day to be prepared for the next day. Asana helps rejuvenate our body, mind and soul.
4) Pranayama – Breathing techniques
Pranayama helps have a better control on breathing patterns. This, in turn, helps us control our body and mind. Breathing is the most fundamental part of life which we often take for granted. Pranayama helps us focus on the basics and fundamentals in corporate world.
5) Pratyahara – Control of the senses
This principle helps take back the control of situations when they seem to be turning worse. It helps us drive and maneuver through crises to bring back normalcy, focusing on success for all.
6) Dharana – Steadying the mind
It is said that only a steady mind can take wise decisions which bring long-terms success for organisations and individuals. Dharana helps in steadying the mind while handling critical situations of decision-making in the corporate life. It is a principle most important for leaders in the top positions who need to make decisions about the vision, mission, and long-term strategy for the company.
7) Dhyana – Contemplation and meditation
Dhyana helps bring harmony within the self and an organisation. By practicing this principle, we can easily handle conflicting situations within the teams, work groups, and the organisation itself.
8) Samadhi – Bliss which defies description
Samadhi is the highest state an individual can attain in their life-span. This is the highest degree of discipline (level 5 organisations). At this stage, the organisation becomes self-sustaining and continues to achieve significant results.
If we practice these fundamental principles on a regular basis in our individual lives and the corporate world, we can achieve wondrous results. It is the secret sauce for achieving long-lasting success. It helps bring harmony and alignment between individuals and organisational goals for sustained achievements.
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About the Author: Atul Anand
Atul Anand is a GMBA ’11 alumnus from SP Jain School of Global Management with a specialisation in IT Management. Prior to this, he also completed the “Advance Program in Strategic Management” from IIM Calcutta. Atul is an active volunteer for “Art of Living” foundation and has been practicing yoga since more than a decade now. He has conducted several Yoga sessions for Syngenta employee across Asia Pacific (more than 10 nationalities).
With more than 12 years of experience in different multinationals across the world, he is currently working with Syngenta Service Private Limited, Pune as Regional Client Experience Manager- APAC. At APAC, Atul is responsible for more than 300 Business Users across 15 countries. He has also received several awards for his contributions in Syngenta.