I wasn’t always a big yogi. I dabbled in yoga and Pilates as a teenager, but didn’t quite have the patience to stick with it through lengthy sequences. It wasn’t until I started working in public relations that I came to fully appreciate yoga.
The “slow flows” are a welcome break from fast-paced agency life and tight, daily deadlines. Before I knew it, I started choosing yoga over after-work Netflix—and now I can’t imagine going back.
We hear all the time about the health benefits of yoga—it can help increase flexibility, strengthen your body, improve respiration, etc. Mind and body reasons aside, here are four reasons why PR professionals in particular should give it a try:
1. It improves concentration and mindfulness. The clarity of mind that comes with yoga and meditation can help PR pros stay focused and make the right decisions. Chief Investment Officer magazine recently published a great article about why “celebrity asset managers” like Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio practice meditation. The article also referenced companies like Apple, Google and McKinsey, which offer meditation classes for employees.
2. It’s a different networking activity. Any good PR pro can tell you about the value of networking with colleagues, clients and reporters. This usually takes place over lunch or drinks, but in a new trend some call “sweatworking,” people are getting more comfortable connecting with business associates over yoga and other group fitness classes like cycling and kickboxing.
3. It reduces stress. After long days of back-to-back meetings and pushing to meet deadlines, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Yoga can be a great way to relax, unwind and breathe. In particular, variations like hatha and restorative yoga can help with reducing stress and tension.
4. It reverses some of the damage of a desk job. Those of us who spend our days slumping in desks and hunching over smart phones will appreciate the opportunity to get moving. Yoga can help relieve muscle tension and even improve posture. Yogis looking for a challenge can try aerial yoga, which can be a good way to stretch and decompress while building core strength.
Simply put: we PR pros and other executives who work in fast paced industries, need time to decompress, and yoga offers that and more. Whether you try a class at a big health club or a small yoga studio, or just practice at home using DVDs or YouTube, I encourage you to explore the benefits of yoga.
By: Nicole Hakimi