Sonia Úbeda – Embrace and Lead

The Yoga Technique that changed my life

I want to share with you one of the most powerful Yoga practices that exist and that literally changed my life and my work.

For that I go back a few years ago, when  I worked in the corporate world.

At that time he worked at Tata Hispano. The company had signed a strategic alliance with  Tata Motors, the Indian automotive multinational part of the large Tata Group conglomerate. It had a great national and international projection.

Tata Motors decided to absorb 100% of the capital of Tata Hispano, until then the owner of 25%, and the company became 100% owned by Indian capital.

In the midst of all this sea of ​​corporate initiatives to integrate the entire company with Tata Motors,  and as Head of the Marketing and Communication Department, my role was to integrate all Marketing, Corporate Communication and Products and Services with the strategies and policies of the multinational.

For me  the work ahead of me was extremely inspiring, challenging and highly rewarding, since I was doing what I was most passionate about. The budget was quite fair, as usual,  for everything we wanted to do, so I took on the responsibility of managing most of them myself without large Communication Agencies to do the work for us.

I began to work on the projects with great enthusiasm, but after a short time I began to notice that my attention was increasingly scattered, that it was difficult for me to focus on the  important and organize my work well, that I was quite restless most of the time, that I shut myself up more and more without being connected to what was happening around me with my colleagues, that I had a bad mood, and that I did not rest well in the mornings. nights… I woke up with an extremely tense jaw in the mornings, a clear sign of accumulated tension.

I used to end the weeks very tired and I just wanted the weekend to come so I could lie on the sofa, without having any energy or desire to do much more.

During the week I didn’t have time to hang out with my friends and on the weekend I didn’t have the energy to go out or have fun.

Clearly, these were the first signs of stress.

One day, I was at my desk working, and I felt stuck doing a sales report. Suddenly, I backed away from the table a bit, and I was literally paralyzed.

I was aware of everything, but I couldn’t  move, I couldn’t move any part of my body, I stayed a few seconds watching, and the most I could do was warn my companions that something was happening to me. I got really scared.

My colleagues went to notify the medical service that we had in the company and I ended up on a stretcher in the infirmary, with a pill in my mouth to calm me down.

After a while I could move well,  and I was calmer.

I went home and spent 4 days resting, doing nothing else.

I remember that moment as a moment of total collapse.

And it took me to realize that I had to stop and learn to manage the stress that  It was already part of me at that moment in my life.

Back then,  That year was already my second year training as a Hatha Yoga teacher.

From that moment on, I decided to apply every day the Breathing and Meditation practices that I was learning in my training as a Yoga Teacher.

I got up 15 minutes earlier, got ready, and before leaving home (and without breakfast),  I sat on the edge of the sofa to do my Meditation and Breathing Practice.

I started practicing 7-8  minutes. Those 7-8 minutes turned into 10-12, 15 and then 20.

The breathing technique that transformed that moment in my life is the practice of Ujjayi Energetic Breathing.

I went from nervousness, dispersion and accumulated tension, to Mental Calm, to my emotional balance, to my Center and to Energy.

This technique is part of what are the Energy Breathing techniques or Pranayama, which is one  one of the most important pillars of the practice of Hatha Yoga.

In another post I will explain in depth what these practices are and what different types of techniques there are. But today I am going to focus on this one in particular.

The translation of the Sanskrit Ujjayi is  The Breath of Success and I teach it in my seminars as the culmination of another series of Yoga techniques and Meditation to develop Conscious Leadership skills.

It is true that a certain respiratory awareness is necessary, of the connection between breath and body, and of having practiced Yoga before learning it.

However, given the Potential and Great Benefits they have for managing stress quickly and effectively, I introduce it in my seminars and Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness courses for companies at the end of the trainings.


For me, this technique is the Jewel of Yoga techniques to develop the state of Presence  that a Conscious Leader must have.

It is complex to do it right the first time and you need a teacher to guide you in your learning process, but with practice, you get to learn it,  integrate it and dominate it, like everything.

The Great Benefits that this technique brings, and that I consistently experienced a few days after starting to practice it, are:

1.- Instant increase of Mental Attention in a single task at a time. That is, highly selective and highly focused attention.

If I was organizing my agenda for the day and the week first thing in the morning, well, I was only focused on that task. If I was writing an email, I was solely with my attention, focus, and all my resources, writing that email.

2.- Greater mental calm.

I developed the ability to be calm even when my surroundings were on fire…they remained focused, centered & calm in what I was doing.

3.- Increased energy level on a physical and mental level

Little by little I regained my energy and best of all, the energy kept me going throughout the day. I practiced in the mornings and then before eating another 20  minutes. This kept my mental state, physical and mental energy at a constant level throughout the day, without the mid-morning or after-lunch slumps.

4.- Greater emotional balance

My moodiness vanished and I began to be more alert and cheerful, happy and relaxed at the same time. Emotionally I felt more balanced and the setbacks of day to day work did not affect me as before.

5.- Spectacular increase in your cognitive abilities: refinement of the intellect and analytical thinking.

I developed a very refined ability to see and pay attention to small details, and to define very specifically the “small print” of each task, something that was difficult for me before, with the level of mental dispersion that I had.

6.- Significant increase in your creative abilities: greater ability and ease to work with a level of Strategic and Creative thinking.

I experienced with great surprise how my strategic and creative thinking flowed and it was comfortable and quick for me to come up with solutions that required this type of thinking.

7.- Increased capacity for empathy, and therefore constructive relationships with work colleagues.

I noticed how each day I was more open, more cheerful and receptive to my surroundings. I began to come out of my “shell” and enjoyed the connection and conversations I had with others.

8.- Develop a state of center, calm, focus and receptivity with myself and with everything  what surrounded me spectacular. This is the closest thing to explaining what the state of Presence is.

This state is difficult to achieve in a “standard” work environment, but with this practice it develops, you integrate it more and more until it is your normal state.

And basically all of these 8 benefits are what I experienced continuously throughout that year. Not bad, eh?  Of course it is a technique that I continue to practice when the  I need.

All these benefits have a scientific explanation behind which I will explain  in one of my next installments.

Apart from these, there are many more benefits, especially at the physiological level, but I wanted you to know what this Technique really means for managing stress and leading your day-to-day work in a conscious and highly productive way.< /p>

Well, how does my story end?

Well, that year after the daily practice of Ujjayi, was the best year of my professional career in the corporate world, I managed to successfully complete all the projects entrusted to my department, and I they gave a hefty bonus at the end of the year.

And most important of all: I enjoyed my work every day, I grew as a person, I developed skills and abilities Managers quite important,  and I felt I had the ability to lead any challenge that was put in front of me.

A big hug for all those who have felt identified at some point with  my story.

My message: Don’t let stress prevent you from enjoying your work and darken the Light of that Leader you already are.


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