• Eugene McGarrell

6 weeks of Yoga won't solve 58 years of neglect

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

Like many people I have tried many health fads from a keto diet through to quick fix supplements. Early promise of weight loss and positive feedback from family and friends was often followed by a rapid loss of discipline and the weighing scales nudging beyond my ideal weight.

My recent foray into the health arena is Bikram Yoga. Notwithstanding the negative reports surrounding the founder of Bikram Yoga I decided to jump in and reap the physical and emotional health benefits that I’d heard so much about.

After 6 weeks of regular (almost daily) practice I am beginning to see micro improvements in my postures alongside some emotional dysregulation immediately after the sessions. Despite the immediate dysregulation I am feeling calmer in myself, more confident and dare I say resilient to the day to day challenges we all must face.

But when I started this new health kick which included a conscious decision to stop drinking alcohol, I expected to be slimmer, stronger, faster and more flexible. But then it hit me, almost 58 years of neglect cannot be repaired by 6 weeks of intensive yoga.

We are attracted to the quick fix. The silver bullet that will solve our big problems. We want success in our personal and working lives. The big idea that’s going to show the company I’m worth a pay rise. The simple solution to the most complex problems.

We buy in consultants to solve our performance issues, we revamp our strategies to reinvigorate the workforce and stakeholders and we suggest wild new ideas to “disrupt” and “innovate” when what is needed is a deep understanding of the context that created the problem in the first instance.

We are tempted to look forward, to ignore the history and thereby discard a significant amount of critical warm data that will provide the intelligence needed to solve the problem. New managers and leaders brought in to improve the performance of a team or organisation often choose to discard the past. “This is a new era” and we will do it “my way”.

To go forward we must go back. Without understanding the complex context of what led to the poor performance the leadership team will surely fail in their endeavours. For me to understand how to stay emotionally and physically healthy over the next 3 decades I need to embed practice into my daily life. There are no quick fixes.

For every complex problem there are simple solutions, all of which will fail. Complex problem solving requires complex thinking, significant levels of warm data and patience.

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