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The Indispensable Truth of Yoga: Authentic Leading and Learning for Inspiring Performance

Thu, October 25, 15:00 to 16:30, Palm Beach County Convention Center, 1C

Session Submission Type: Panel Discussion

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Short Description

For centuries yoga has been intrinsically tied to self-leadership. Its popularity and tremendous growth attest to its effectiveness. VAE: Vision, Alignment, Execution combines yoga with a behavioral leadership process model to foster a powerful intellectual, physical, and emotional elixir capable of unleashing your full leader potential. Join the panel, including two certified yoga instructors, to discuss the type of yoga best suited for you and integrate it with VAE to develop your authentic and inspirational leadership style and enhance career opportunities. Leave renewed with fresh vision and resources to lead, learn, and inspire performance.

Detailed Abstract

It does not matter where you currently stand on yoga, whether you have never given it one thought, or you tried it and never pursued further, or you already know the many benefits to mind, body, and spirit. What should matter is that research shows that yoga can successfully assist leaders and that several forms of stretching and isometrics can yield immediate results (Agrawal, 2014; Grabara & Szopa, 2015; Walden, 2015). Join a team of passionate scholars, including two certified yoga instructors, faculty, administrators, and leaders from a wide variety of disciplines, inside and outside academia for an interactive and inspirational panel discussion. The panel discussion is designed to first remove any stereotypes attendees may have that say yoga is too feminine, they’re too old to start, or they do not have the time. For once you are exposed to the history of yoga, the peer reviewed literature tied to performance, and the fact that throughout all ancient and modern turbulent times, Vedic yoga has proven itself to be an authentic heeling constant that continues to experience enormous popularity and one of the largest mass followings only second to religion itself, you just may change your yoga position (Park, Braun, & Siege, 2015l: Prem, 2012; “Addresses”, n.d.; Yoga Journal & Yoga Alliance, 2016).
Think yoga is not intrinsically tied to leadership? You’ll never doubt it again after you see the connection to a behavioral leadership process model for turning vision into reality: The Work of Leaders – Vision, Alignment, and Execution (VAE) (Straw, Scullard, Kukkonen, & Davis, 2013). The VAE model is an easy-to-understand process for navigating the complexities of leadership and applying effective self-leadership behaviors to inspire team progression towards performance goals, especially in change management initiatives and/or turning new ideas into successful product launches. The fluid nature of the VAE process inherently prompts self-reflection to reshape perspectives, refine purpose, and redirect resources for alignment with desired performance outcomes. In addition, the sequential aspects of the VAE process provide logic and reason for leading teams to perform. The process has three steps with three drivers for each step and each step has two behavioral continua for a total of 18 leadership behaviors in the VAE model. A discussion of VAE will be incorporated into the relationship and practice of yoga illustrating a link between the processes of reflective leadership and purposeful action.
Many of the philosophies in yoga can be aligned with the role of leaders in an organization including: nonviolence (peace), truthfulness, and wisdom, just to name a few. The leadership role requires one to create and maintain peace within the organization, which involves promoting harmony among co-workers and even organizational rivals. In yoga, truthfulness is being honest with oneself; your abilities and limitations, which can be transferred into the leadership role as well. Finally, wisdom is developing higher order thinking and becoming more enlightened through the process of gaining deeper understanding, insight, and knowledge. Throughout the panel discussion we will guide you through a variety of these connections as further illustrated.
Now imagine walking into a yoga studio and getting ready to partake in a session where likeminded busy professional yogis and yoginis are barefoot (a requirement for proper stretching and balance) wearing comfortable clothing and are settling into their yoga mats. The warmth of the yoga studio, the subdued lighting and the soft earth tone music reminds everyone why they’re present. They are drawn to the practice: to take time out of their hectic day, to clear their mind, free their spirit, and to move between yin and yang (keeping still, practicing discipline, and building their inner core strength) to help make better business, professional, and personal decisions, and to achieve mindfulness (Fry, 2003; Shriver, 2018). They continue to practice weekly, to seek solace, knowing the time they put into their practice may be rewarded with the possibility of a longer healthier physical life and heightened mental capabilities rooted in the concept of self-leadership, self-actualization, knowing oneself, and being in the present moment (King & Herriott, 1997; Chow Hoi Hee & Gurd, 2010; Olsen, 2014).
Put your laptop aside and join the communal setting to celebrate the most popular forms of 15 yoga styles including Ashtanga (eight branch yoga), Vinyasa (flowing poses), Hatha (physical exercise and breathing), Kundalini (meditation to release energy), and Surya Namaskara (sun salutations). Learn how to choose a yoga program and instructor that is right for you and your body to match your expectations; discover body awareness: posture and poses; choosing a facility, full service or bare bones; fitting a yoga routine into your schedule; the types of equipment needed, their purpose and use; and hacks for getting the most out of online yoga programs and apps including Alexa that can serve as an interactive coach and track your level of stamina and performance (Abate, 2017; Cronenberg, 2017).
You may discover your company or school already offers on-site yoga classes or benefits that may cover the costs. Companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Lawrence Livermore Labs offer yoga classes to keep their employees healthy, motivated, and productive. Many companies offer classes before or after work and during the lunch hour. Did you know that if your organization does not offer yoga, the collective “posturing” of several individuals within the company can work collectively with human resources to see if a yoga instructor can be brought on site?
Query the panel to answer your most yoga burning calorie questions. Then leave the panel discussion renewed and refreshed with handouts featuring a plethora of information, contacts, websites, and a glossary of terms, so you can be ready to pursue a yoga program best meets your needs, your career level, one that can contribute to your authentic and inspirational leadership style.

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