Driving change in an organization can either reveal process deficiencies that need to be addressed or kudos for process stability that has led to an increase of productivity and sales. Whether you’re leading the change process, a strong contributor of the change, or determining how to shift from being viewed as a work performance challenge to the process; managing stress definitely becomes a heighten focus point daily. Driving change while managing stress can push you to your limits in either a good or bad way.

I love to encourage people to let the professional change experience push them to be their professional best. I personally often find myself seeking career clarity during these seasons of professional stretch and development. Driving change in the workplace forces you to become in tune to what you need to do to accomplish the assigned task. Your internal barometer may escalate due to the need for clarity of your strategy. Your strategy may include a variety of components ranging from streamlining communication to up-leveling people skills to becoming more efficient with time management or to adjusting your overall attitude to the change process. One way to accomplish strategy in your game plan is to retreat to a place or practice that will bring restoration to your mind and body while connecting the clarity dots of your personal strategy to evolve to the next level of being a strong contributor.

The frequent practice of yoga is a resource that different professionals retreat to as a source to accomplish career clarity. For some it’s a clarity practice that is a must-do on a daily basis. When I do practice yoga, it consistently gifts me the clarity I was seeking or directs me to connect with what’s really important about the professional matter at hand. I like following the inspiring Monica Stone on Instagram. Monica is an Ashtanga Yogini that takes great pride in showing her followers multiple ways on how to incorporate yoga practice into their daily routine be it at home or the office via social media and her blog, The Yogi Movement. I reached out to Monica to share her insight on how yoga practice can be a clarity source no matter where you are in your career path of managing and embracing your career lessons.

Career Tipper: What lessons can yoga teach a career focused individual about their personality strengths and challenges?

Stone:Yoga is a great tool to help reveal your strengths and weakness. When you dedicate to a consistent practice, you’ll notice your reactions in specific postures. You’ll notice if you want to avoid a certain posture, if you try to talk yourself out of practicing, if you are too hard or easy on yourself, or even if you feel guilty for not practicing one day. All of these personality traits that happen on the mat are a direct reflection of your strengths and weaknesses off the mat. For example, if you realize you tend to skip the really challenging postures or constantly modify them, then that could be a clue that you’re avoiding something. If you are constantly doing tough postures over and over to the point of exhaustion, that would reveal that you’re a perfectionist and possibly too hard on yourself. After an individual has been practicing for a few months, these personality traits will start to surface.

Career Tipper: How can frequent yoga practice help professionals overcome the stress of completing the daily action item list hustle?

Stone:A consistent practice is the key to overcoming stress. The goal of yoga is to calm the mind, and as you’re practicing, you’ll become aware of breath patterns. Certain thoughts that enter your mind may cause stress, and your breath will speed up. Your goal is to bring the awareness back to a steady breath. This practice can be done by sitting in meditation and observing the mind and the breath together. As you become more aware, you will be able to use this same technique to decrease stress at work for sure! Rather than feeling stressed about the “daily action item list hustle,” you’ll feel empowered and know that you can breathe through anything. 

Career Tipper: How can yoga assist professionals connect to their career passion?

Stone: Yoga is all about surrendering and letting go. Through my practice, I have discovered areas in my life where I was trying to force an outcome rather than let life unfold organically. I would become frustrated because I would have an expectation, and things wouldn’t work out how I wanted them to. Once I found yoga, my life changed. Dedicating to a yoga practice will help you become aware of these aspects, you’ll eventually let go of the bad habits. Once you let go, you’re allowing room for self exploration and greater opportunities. You’ll eventually connect with something that you love, and once you dedicate time and effort to that, you’re taking the first step in connecting with your career passion.  

Career Tipper: What is the aha revelation that your yoga practice gifted you about your career?

Stone: I realized that success is not about how much money you make or your job title. A successful career is about doing what you love, and helping others. When you do what you love, and it shows, that instantly helps and inspires others to follow their dreams. It wasn’t until I started practicing yoga that I realized I was unhappy in my career because I wasn’t going after what was really important with a career. I was always chasing after more money, a better job title, or an office with a window. Once I let go of the small details, I was able to focus on doing what I’m passionate about, which made me happier on a daily basis. This change also improved my friendships and relationships. In my experience, when you follow your path, everything begins to synchronize, and money and abundance will flow naturally.

Career Tipper: How can yoga assist someone prepare for a new job, promotion, or a career change?

Stone:The more you practice, the stronger and more flexible you become, so it can be empowering. Yoga will help build confidence and strength on the inside which will reflect on the outside, and give you the confidence to move forward with your promotion or desired career change. 

Career Tipper: What pearls of wisdom would you share with a career professional that may be reluctant to give yoga a try?

Stone:It’s a misconception that yoga is a practice only associated with postures. The yoga sutras define yoga as quieting the mind chatter, and then go on to list limbs (or techniques) that can help with this. Along with asana (postures), a few other techniques are: ahimsa (non-harm to yourself or others), saucha (cleanliness), dhyana (meditation), pranayama (breath control), asteya (non-stealing), satya (non-lying) and dharana (concentration). By just becoming aware of the thoughts in your mind that you have towards yourself and others, and changing your mindset, you are practicing yoga and becoming a more compassionate person. The postures are just shapes, and it’s how we react and breathe in those shapes that reveal our patterns and habits that could be holding us back. There are many styles of yoga, and my advice is to try a few of them, find one you like, and commit to a month of practicing before you decide if it’s for you. 

Be sure to comment below different ways and resources you uses to accomplish career clarity.