It might seem like the path to becoming a great lawyer is attending a top tier law school, getting the best internship possible, networking with movers and shakers, working 50-hour weeks, and climbing your way to prestige at a lauded firm. While, these endeavors certainly make a huge impact on the career of an attorney, you might be surprised how non-law related activities could sharpen your mind and fine tune your emotional resilience.
One method for combating stress and improving cognition is regular Yoga practice. You might be surprised who you would find in a Yoga class. Doctors, lawyers, and everyone in between can reap the mental and physical benefits of Yoga. In fact, law schools across the country hold Yoga classes for students. This ancient exercise offers many benefits to people from all walks of life—including those in high-stress fields like law. Yoga not only gives you a strength-building workout, it has cognitive and emotional benefits that can make you a better attorney.
Following are five ways that Yoga can improve your law practice.
#1 Right Brain/Left Brain Balance
Lawyers are trained to be analytical thinkers. This type of left-brained thinking is necessary for interpreting the law and building winning cases. While attorneys must be astute analytical thinkers, tapping into the right side of the brain is beneficial, too. The creative elements of right-brained thinking can help lawyers think outside the box and find clever solutions to their clients’ problems. Yoga practice fosters harmony between the left- and right-brain for optimal cognition.
#2 Yoga Helps Lawyers Understand Their Clients’ Needs
Regularly practicing Yoga increases a person’s sensitivity to another’s needs. This is especially helpful in assisting clients, especially when clients present their problems with heightened emotions. Yoga practice helps people think through problems as they come with clarity and empathy.
#3 Yoga Assists with Filtering Thoughts
Practicing law takes intense mental acuity. Preoccupation with unwanted thoughts can make prioritizing the thoughts that need immediate attention more difficult. Yoga teaches its practitioners to handle a steady stream of thoughts by filtering out the ones that don’t require a person’s attention in the moment, ultimately contributing to developing a razor-sharp ability to focus in stressful situations. Prioritizing what deserves your mental attention can help you inside and outside the courtroom.
#4 Regular Yoga Practice Promotes Mindfulness
The word “mindfulness” refers to acknowledging what is happening in the moment. This means that you take in your surroundings with clarity and gratitude. Operating “in the moment” assists attorneys with active listening—a much-needed trait when interacting with clients, colleagues, and judges.
#5 Yoga Reduces Stress
According to a Harvard Medical School article that reviewed scientific studies, a Yoga regimen can reduce the effects of anxiety, depression, and stress. Research has shown that Yoga reduces the frequency of exaggerated stress responses by regulating physiological responses to stress such as heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.
Types of Yoga
Yoga is a diverse practice with many styles. Some styles are more vigorous and physically challenging while others focus on breathing, improved circulation, and meditation. Diverse Yoga styles mean that there is something for everyone.
A few common types of Yoga include:
Kundalini Yoga blends physical movement with some spiritualism. In addition to performing poses and movements, Kundalini places emphasis on dynamic breathing and incorporates mantras in its practice.
Restorative Yoga is a gentle form of practice that focuses on relaxing and recharging. A restorative Yoga class features a handful of poses geared toward passive stretching. Some poses might involve using props like foam blocks for support. Each pose is held for five minutes or longer.
Bikram Yoga, also called “Hot Yoga” is rigorous. This type consists of 90-minutes of floor and standing poses along with rhythmic breathing. Practitioners perform this kind of Yoga in heated rooms, normally at 105 degrees.
Finding the right form of Yoga for your needs might involve visiting a few types of classes after performing some preliminary research. Your local Yoga studio will likely be happy to help you find the class that suits you best.
Oh and whenever you’re ready, here are some ways I can help you improve your practice…
- Join my private, free facebook community,Mindset Mastery for Lawyers, For lawyers only! It’s a great way to connect, and share ideas and tips on how to become happier and more powerful in the practice of law. To join Click Here.
- Check out my Mindset Mastery for Lawyers course.
It’s helped hundreds of lawyers learn how to master their minds to be more powerful in and out of the courtroom. You learn how to be more focused, productive and happier in all you do.
- Tap into how to decrease stress and anxiety with my 7 day Free Meditation Course
It’s 7 days filled with ways to be have less anxiety, be more intentional and become more focused in your practice of law. (I promise – I make meditation super easy).