My heart almost dropped when I saw the shot taken in the London business paper, “CityAM“… Could it really be true? Has my dream of integrating everything to do with yoga and all things holistic into City life actually be manifesting…? Is there really a yoga for bankers?
Of course, a picture of a bunch of bankers (or ordinary City folk more like it) doing a few downward dogs outside on a freezing cold London winter’s day really isn’t that interesting…Most people would have glanced over it as they casually read the paper in a semi awake state on their way to work, not thinking much of it. After all, we are all used to extra-curricular corporate events being promoted in the name of “work / life balance” – fun runs, half-marathons, 5-a-side football etc…No. What is most interesting is that yoga has finally made it into this illustrious list of all things socially (and professionally) acceptable! Yoga really is for bankers!
No big deal you may think. However, it wasn’t that long ago that being a yogi and all things complementary meant having to hide in the same closet as the gay and lesbian community. Seriously, not so long ago being a yogi in a pin stripe suit probably wasn’t one of the things you dropped casually at the vending machine or at lunch with your colleagues. You risked ridicule and shame if you dared to admit to your colleagues that you shared a perceived life outside of work with a bunch of granola types and hippies doing strange poses with your head tucked under your legs, sometimes inverted, chanting OM at the beginning and end of each class in a room filled with incense and Tibetan singing bowls…the complete antithesis to your average 8AM to 7PM loud and frantic City trading floor experience. Yoga for bankers then is definitely the last thing that comes to people’s minds.
So, after reading this article in CityAM I am very glad to say that yoga is now part of the mainstream and has found its way into the consciousness of some of the world’s largest financial institutions! These City yogis may have just been having “fun”, but they are participating in a practice that is quickly integrating itself into all areas of modern professional life. I wonder though if the conference call specialists – Pownownow, who organised this event realised the “agni” (or “fire” in yogi speak) they were playing with. The momentum generated may simply be uncontainable…
So go on, next time you are in downward dog, salute yourself as you stare down between your legs and breathe. Yoga is for bankers and for many more – it really is part of the mainstream; and this, my yogi friends, is just the very start of the new beginning…