Leadership Lessons and My Yoga Mat
PENINA GRSSBERG IS AN ALUMNA OF THE THE WEXNER GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP, CLASS 5. PENINA IS AN EDUCATOR AND ACTIVE COMMUNAL VOLUNTEER IN NORTHERN NEW JERSEY. PENINA CAN BE REACHED AT: PENINAG@OPTONLINE.NET.?
Beyond loosening my stiff back, yoga offers tools for navigating leadership challenges.
Set an intention. At the start of a yoga practice, students consider what they want to get from the experience. Intentionality encourages me to make personal meaning and to enjoy the journey, not merely the destination.
Breathe. A deep breath calms the body and quiets the mind. The suggestion to notice the natural rhythm of my breath before trying to control it reminds me to gauge my own physical and emotional responses before taking action.
Find the edge. To effectively practice yoga (and leadership) I must find the zone where I feel challenged but do not experience pain. That edge is different for everybody, so I cannot judge myself by what others achieve. I need to respect my strengths and vulnerabilities and be sensitive to the thresholds of the people and communities I seek to inspire.
Use a focal point. To maintain balance in yoga poses, a focal point steadies my gaze. As I navigate instability and change within organizations, a focus on core principles serves as a compass to guide my decisions.
When you fall, laugh and try again. I may not get it right on the first try.
Community. I prefer a group yoga class to practicing alone. A community of people who share my passions is an important source of connection and strength in my work.
Relaxation. Every yoga class concludes with moments of relaxation providing an opportunity to absorb and metabolize my efforts.
Exercising self-care expands the capacity for exercising leadership.