“I Have Nothing to Learn”

When I worked in corporate human resources as a training and development executive one of my pet peeves were people who thought that they had nothing to learn, who knew that their experience prepared them for the subtleties of leading a team successfully and so much else.  These were usually the people I had been asked to coach or find external coaches for. They were the ones whose teams got the work done but begrudgingly and with a certain amount of cajoling.

These individuals were so sure that their way was successful and could not see that small adjustments could yield a host of superior results, and not just the corporate metrics kinds of results. Their jobs could have been more pleasant with healthier relationships both with their teams and those they reported to. By harnessing a greater sense of trust they would not have had to do so much of the work themselves and by cultivating curiosity, their own and others, they would have been better able to access tools for more harmonious and productive workplaces.

Yoga continues to teach me that there is no one way to do anything and the more open you remain to possibilities the better able you will be to incorporate those possibilities into whatever you do. I want to learn something every day and yoga makes that happen. There’s what you can learn from reading or trying a new recipe and there’s what you can learn from being present in your body, experiencing and directing sensation, it is all relevant.

I like to focus on the often repeated asana in the practice like Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog), Tadasana (Mountain Pose) or Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II). As many times as I’ve done these poses they never feel the same twice and every time I do them I learn something new. I learn something about my body, my breath, resilience, awareness, the earth, relationships. The possibilities are endless. You just need to be open to them.

I’d like to think that those executives I once worked with have evolved to a place where they can be open to suggestions, where they can sit with discomfort and discover something new. At this point I’ll never know.