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Yoga, coaching and self awareness

As a yogi and a coach, I often notice the similarities between coaching and yoga.

Coaching is an alliance between coach and client which helps to build self awareness. Yoga is not just about getting into crazy poses, but about bringing your mind and body together, and becoming more self aware.

Coaching works at different levels of an individual from behaviours (what we do, what others see) to values and beliefs (what drives us) at a deeper level, helping to remove limiting beliefs and replacing them with more helpful ones. Yoga philosophy talks about understanding the mind and liberating ourselves from it, not being held back by our conditioned beliefs that have built up over time. Without this self awareness we remain tied to these habits, our samskaras.

In yoga we are encouraged to set sankalpa’s, which are heartfelt intentions. These can be simple positive phrases that we repeat to ourselves to create a change, reform a habit or focus on what we want to achieve in our life. From a coaching perspective, a Positive Psychology approach would encourage intentional focus on our wellbeing and satisfaction as this can improve how we feel. So stating our positive intentions and focussing on this is only beneficial!

That brings us to meditation. Yoga practice involves short (or in some cases longer) periods of meditation. Noticing your thoughts from afar rather than being pulled into the thinking, and staying in the present. It takes practice, and some days it goes better than others, but is absolutely of benefit, as recent research evidence has shown that mindfulness meditation practice reduces rumination, stress, and increases working memory. We can all do with some of that!

Working on yourself in a coaching, or a yoga session is time well spent. Both allow you to focus internally, make sense of who you are and what you want to become. They compliment each other nicely, with yoga being a life time practice, whilst working with a coach can be done when needed to unpick the more complex challenges that life brings.

Namaste 🙏



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