Leadership and Yoga
A great leader does not inspire me to follow him. Rather a great leader inspires me to create a path to my True North and he inspires me to lead others to a create paths to their True North. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I had this past week to return home to the USA and be in the presence of great leaders who inspire me to lead.
Last Sunday I flew from Singapore to New Jersey. I spent five days visiting friends and family. I witnessed JD, my rapidly growing nephew demonstrate great leadership. I would be lying if I did not admit that he sometimes orders his two younger sisters around and this results in arguments that my lovely sister has the honor of managing. Earlier this week, JD showed me how to be a leader. It was not on the soccer field or in his classroom where I am told he excels. It was at home with his younger sisters Katie and Lexie. After some YouTube research he learned some fantastic magic tricks. Instead of commanding his sisters to do what he wanted or telling them to leave him alone, he engaged them to be active assistants. As the performance began, each of them proudly handed him objects he requested and he demonstrated gratitude when taking the pencil, cup, or towel out of their little helpful hands. He made a tennis ball disappear! And he did not blow up at Lexie when she accidently made it reappear! We were impressed by his tricks and gave him and his sisters a round of applause. And then I noticed the younger two coming up with their own tricks to perform. (My father came up with one too, although I was not as impressed with his trick!). The best part of the magic show was seeing JD continue to inspire his sisters to create their own magic tricks. He smiled and applauded their performances, providing them inspiration to create and be their own leaders.
After a week of magic with my family I headed to Houston, TX to be with my YogaOne family. I led Anatomy Connections, a two day training focused on anatomy for yoga. We discussed True North alignment in the physical body. While exploring the anatomy of the muscles and bones in our bodies, we practiced standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and creating physical power in our bodies. I was most inspired when my students came to the understanding that each of us may stand in our True North differently. While one student may turn their toes out a bit more and another may turn their toes in a bit, we all have the power to align to our own True North. Just as our bodies are different so may be our passions. And yet, what we all have in common is that we all have desires and a True North path to seek. I also believe that we all have the power to inspire each other to seek their true path.
On Sunday evening, I assisted It’s All About “U”, Rooftop Yoga in support of Peach Outreach (a nonprofit founded by Baptist yoga teacher Marcy Kurtz). The practice focused on raising awareness of uterine cancer and the Baptiste community came together powerfully. What I witnessed was leaders inspiring leaders. Marcy was even able to inspire Baron Baptiste to show up to inspire all in attendance! What an honor and a treat to be part of an event with my amazing teachers. In addition to Marcy and Baron, Roger Rippy, Nancy Sheridan, and Bethany Lyons showed up to co-lead the practice. I observed each of these leaders inspire each other. They fed off of each other and created a palpable energy that inspired the crowd. And they relied on each other to keep it going. These true leaders did not stand alone when teaching. They demonstrated the truth that we are stronger together than alone. Over five hundred people on a rooftop shouting “uterus” across the city of Houston is more powerful than a leader just telling us about uterine cancer. The leaders of the day empowered each student to be a leader by creating change in their physical bodies on their mat and in the conversations they have regarding uterine cancer.
The Baptiste Institute is “committed to causing leaders who cause leaders first with themselves, and then with others”. While my nephew may not yet be aware of the Baptiste yoga principles, he is already embodying them. During the Anatomy Connections workshop, I inspired my students to stand in True North and lead by empowering others to find their own True North. Marcy and the leaders of the rooftop yoga event, empowered hundreds of people to lead the change and increase awareness of uterine cancer, all while creating community and fun!
I am now on my way back to Singapore with my heart full of gratitude. My whole being is full of inspiration to inspire leadership in others. Stand tall in your power and ask yourself, how will you inspire someone else to lead today?
Trish Corley is a Baptiste certified yoga teacher and a licensed doctor of physical therapy.