Guest Column: Spring Forward Toward Healthy Teamwork

Spring Forward Toward Healthy Teamwork

March is here. The clocks have sprung forward. The first official day of spring arrives this month — March 20th to be exact. As daylight increases, we find ourselves with more energy to expend. It’s a great time to join a team and/or to reevaluate the contributions we are making to whatever team(s) we are on.

Where the team concept was once reserved for sports it has since become a popular strategy for successful business. And any person with a thriving family life knows the value of teamwork. Teamwork shows us the difference between merely surviving and truly thriving.

As a yoga professional, I find it interesting that some benefits of teamwork are also benefits of a balanced yoga practice. Included are: even distribution of workload (which offsets the tendency for burnout); reinforcement of individual strengths (in order to better serve the whole); ability to achieve more as a whole (by applying individual strength with a clear, fair logic).

Hatha yoga applies mind to body through a series of breath-infused postures. A balanced practice does not get stuck in core strength, but also visits the need for extremities to be strong while encouraging muscular flexibility, range of motion, stimulation of organs and glands, and improved circulation. A balanced practice realizes the need for calm along with active strength building. The result is a holistic experience, that is to say, one where the collective of individual pieces becomes so much more than just added up parts.

Such is the case with healthy teamwork. This is why, especially with the economic challenges of today, teamwork is essential. Effective teamwork merges individual strength into group energy, taking both to a higher place. But this benefit of being on a team, be it at home, work, or play, really only comes when we put self-serving judgment aside to favor the group’s goal rather than cater to selfish needs.

Let’s look at that yogic parallel once more. If my judging mind was hooked on the need for biceps and thighs to bulk up, I might practice endless planks and warriors while overlooking softer poses such as butterfly. Conversely, if I encourage equal shares of active and passive postures, the energy I generate will flow in a more even, relaxed stream, becoming supportive of all parts of me. The result may well be holistic bliss.

March is here, and whether I practice yoga or not, I can apply the laws of teamwork to energize my life and realize that what Wikipedia says is true: “The most effective teamwork is produced when individuals harmonize contributions and work towards a common goal.”

Roseanna Frechette is Yoga Director and Business Development Rep for The Oxford Club, This article first appeared in Downtown Denver News, LoDo.

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