On the occasion of the upcoming International Yoga Day, managers of all sizes and shapes are all of a twitter, shuddering at the prospect of being called upon to celebrate the day by performing some complicated asanas, that too at the crack of dawn, on a day which, unfortunately, happens to be a Sunday.
It is not that people who pride themselves to be managers are any less patriotic. Nor are they any less health conscious. Those who believe that managers are forever thinking only of evading taxes while leading a sedentary life full of fun and frolic at star rated joints could not be more wrong.
The reason managers need not earmark a particular day for practicing yoga is rather simple. This hapless overworked breed is already devoting much of its time and energy to following yogic pursuits. This alone helps them to retain their sanity while riding their high octane roller coaster careers. By following yogic principles, managers are continually enhancing their mental and physical well being, living a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
A communion and a harmony
Most of us are well aware that yoga is a state of communion. Spiritual enthusiasts tell us that it is the science of unison of our finite self with the cosmic Self. Bhagavad Gita describes it as the art of perfect unanimity with right thoughts and action.
To a conscientious manager, though, the communion is that between one’s individual value systems and those of the organization and the boss one works for. As long as harmony prevails, one is able to discharge one’s obligations while remaining in a state of bliss.
The yogins in an organization
Organizations have an eclectic mix of professionals with yogic propensities of different kinds.
There are the intellectual kinds who follow Jnana Yoga. Usually, they gravitate towards R&D, product design, market research and planning kind of careers but could be found in any stream of an organization. Those in the higher echelons of management often believe they practice this kind of yoga.
Karma Yoga is rigorously followed by those who implement and execute plans. Often, they are found performing unattached service to their organizations and bosses. The genuinely committed ones continue to perform, without waiting for promotions or increments.
The mystic path of devotion gets followed by quite a few. They practice Bhakti Yoga. They hang on to the coat tails or skirts of their bosses till the time the latter’s career advancements result into their own climb on the corporate ladder. Organizations keep devising imaginative severance packages so as to ensure that their bloodstreams do not remain clogged with deadwood which entertains a misplaced sense of devotion.
A manager’s yogic postures
Those who place a greater emphasis on the different kinds of yogic postures try to devour the vast repertoire of such experts as B K S Iyengar. They look up Larsen exercises (popularized by ‘Something Fresh’ of P G Wodehouse fame). They try to unravel the mystery behind Sivananda yoga. They try to differentiate between Bikram yoga and Anusara yoga.
After brooding over the various alternatives on offer, managers become better aware of the kind of posturing they have to indulge in so as to be able to survive and do well at their places of work. Whether employed in the public or the private sector, here are some of the popular yogic postures deployed by them.
(A Child’s Posture)
While sipping the morning dose of their favourite tissue restorative, when the better half is interrupting their devoted perusal of the morning newspaper and is handing over the list of domestic chores to be completed by the end of the day without fail.
(A Cock’s Posture)
While rushing through peak hour traffic, managers inhale and inflate their chest cavity to full when handling errant bikers whizzing across their path; they exhale and deflate their lungs when accosted with buses and trucks pouncing upon their humble means of transport. At all times, while driving, they maintain a hawk like vigil.
(The Half Moon Posture)
(Half Lord of the Fish Posture)
(The Wheel Posture)
When presented with a problem which has wheels within wheels – or multiple implications – the manager takes some time off to perform this asana. Soon, the mind is stilled and an out-of-the-box solution emerges.
(The Bow Posture)
Managers practice it when called upon to either announce or execute unpopular tasks, which could range from closing down business units to handing over a pink slip. The unpleasant arrow, conceptualized and designed by the top management, is shot. The manager graciously offers himself as a bow from which the arrow is finally shot.
Ek Pada Koundinyasana
(Koundinya’s Single Foot Posture)
(The Eagle Posture)
Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana
(The Single Foot King Pigeon Posture)
(Lord Hanuman’s Posture)
(The Fish Posture)
(The Tree Posture)
(The Downward Facing Dog Pose)
(The Lotus Posture)
With all these postures already a part of a manager’s daily life, is there a need for them to do some yoga on the appointed day as well?
Well, on this International Day of Yoga, I am toying with the idea of taking a dip in the Bay of Bengal nearby. To a busybee like me, it is a more exciting activity than Surya Namaskar – a set of twelve asanas for those with a lot of time on their hands.
Yet another option is to simply perform my favourite one only – the Shavasana.
(The Corpse Pose)
Shavasana involves shutting down one unit of one’s body after another like a factory in the small place where I live, and then again turning them on one after another like the well heeled women at a ghazal concert.
Most managers would agree with me that this is the coolest thing that yoga offers.