Yoga for Lawyers
The practice of law is a challenging profession. Years of intense study of the law, competition and high stakes negotiations combined with long working hours, high burnout, adversarial colleagues, pressures to bill more hours and to exceed expectations. It takes book-smarts and street-smarts to really succeed; it’s no wonder that most lawyers are Type A perfectionists and life-long overacheivers. The job demands mental strength, physical health and emotional balance. Many lawyers develop physical health issues as a result of long hours seated at a computer, not getting enough exercise and overeating or over-drinking in response to stressful conditions at work or socially with colleagues and clients.
How Can Yoga for Lawyers Help?
Yoga for Lawyers is based on the four paths of yoga and the traditional eight-limb yoga ashtanga system, or as the Yogattorneys MCLE material calls it “the four paths, eight limbs and ten fingers” of yoga. The ten fingers refer to the five yamas and five niyamas that make up the the first and second limbs. These paths, limbs and fingers are a combination of ethical guidelines, physical poses and mental focusing exercises that all work together to build stronger, healthier attorneys who respond to conflicts and challenges in a more relaxed and resilient manner.
In many ways, the practices of yoga are complimentary to the ethical guidelines that govern attorney behavior. For example, the practice of Karma Yoga, or yoga through service or action, is in harmony with ER6.1 which is worded strongly to remind attorneys of their duty to be of service through providing pro bono service to worthy causes.
Yogattorneys MCLE classes we under the guidance of the State Bar of Arizona and the Arizona Bar Association will be holding a Yogattorneys workshop in Tucson, Arizona on May 15th. Classes are a mixture of a lecture on law and yoga, including the similarity of the professional ethics rules and the traditional eight-limbs, yoga instruction and self-study. MCLE credit may be available for attorneys in other states, as well. Information is available on the Yogattorneys website.
Lawyers are busy people with busy schedules and billable hour requirements. But the physical and mental benefits of yoga, alone, make practicing it worth your time.
Benefits of Practice, Extra Incentives for Lawyers
The benefits of yoga practice are well documented and include physical health, strength, flexibility and balance. Repeated practice generally leads to the development of these qualities in an intangible way, as well. Developing a strong mind, being able to adapt and feeling mentally balanced are all virtues that can be expected from a yoga practice and that are particularly beneficial for attorneys.
Yogattorneys was set up in part to give lawyers even more incentives to try yoga than just the mental and physical ones. Like, offering continuing education credit and tips on how yoga can make the challenges in law more fun.
There may be financial incentives for lawyers to try yoga, now, as well. Lawyers should talk to their tax advisors about the amount of are business travel and education costs they can may be able to “write off” for qualified Yogattorneys classes and MCLE retreats.
About Trisha Lotzer, JD
Trisha started practicing yoga in law school as a way to stay fit and deal with stress. She practiced on and off for years until she was diagnosed with PTSD in the wake of 9/11. Now she credits that period of crisis and the healing process that followed for a major breakthrough in her law and yoga practices. She began to travel the world studying different forms of yoga and mediation practices. She founded Yogattorneys in 2008 after completing her 200 hour yoga teaching training with Ganga White and Tracey Rich. In 2008 she started the Lotzer Law Group, PC which allows her the flexibility she needs to travel and continue her yoga studies while work with clients around the world. You can read more about Trisha on her website TrishaLotzer.com
This year at #SYF2014, Trisha will be presenting Open For Blissness, a two-part yoga workshop for business owners, yogattorneys and any one else who is interested in finding and combining bliss and business.