Being a team player, and having a team mentality, can unleash power for growth and happiness in your relationships, your work, and your community. Because of the internet, and social media in particular, it has never been easier to find an online community of people who share your values. And yet, since the COVID pandemic began, many people have reported feelings of loneliness, isolation, and a lack of connection to their fellow human beings.
The new normal we are living in has highlighted the importance of being intentional about building and maintaining our social groups—particularly in person and in combination with our online lives. Feeling like part of a team is key to our mental and physical well-being, and for society as a whole.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that being an active member in your community and nurturing close relationships, by essentially being a team player, confers enormous advantages for your overall quality of life. For example:
- A meta-study by Brigham Young University found that strong social ties and an active social life increases longevity by 50%
- The Harvard Study of Adult Development researchers found that feeling connected to your community boosts immunity overall, and improves health outcomes for those suffering from diabetes, depression, dementia, and cancer
As the old adage says, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Let’s go the distance TOGETHER.
The perks of being a team player
Forming teams and tribes has been essential to human survival. By harnessing the power of a collaborative approach and directing our energies toward a common goal, anything is possible! The benefits of teamwork are numerous and significant:
- Working in a group increases personal accountability and motivation to work harder. If you and your yogi friends have been trying to make it to yoga class at least three times a week, then you can inspire one another to achieve the goal as a team.
- Being part of a team has been shown to increase individual productivity and output. Because we want to gain the respect and acceptance of our teammates, people will often work harder and go the extra mile for that pat on the back.
- Facing challenges together has been proven to speed up problem-solving and improve results across the board. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that groups outperformed individuals at finding solutions and solving complex problems.
- Collaborating with others boosts creativity and innovation. Of course, it tracks that two brains (or more) are better than one for looking at an issue from different perspectives and viewpoints in order to generate fresh ideas.
- Teamwork among those with varying skills, backgrounds, personalities, perspectives, and life experiences provides learning opportunities and bridges understanding among disparate people. And sharing stories and advice gleaned from previous failures can allow for other group members to learn from each other’s past mistakes, increasing overall knowledge and feelings of camaraderie.
Generally speaking, group work leads to better outcomes and an increased likelihood of achieving objectives and finding success. And as icing on the cake, all this socializing tends to lead to making new friends, deepening relationships, and having more fun!
Belonging to a yoga community
It is well-documented that practicing asana and pranayama on a regular basis can put you more in tune with your environment and the people around you. And we all know that exercising is good for physical and mental health alike. For yogis in particular, practicing in a group setting, like at your local yoga studio, is a natural place to start for bonding and building community.
The cognitive and evolutionary anthropologist, Arran Davis, at the University of Oxford, theorizes that during group physical activities, like yoga, we inherently feel safer and more protected. And because yoga and meditation naturally induce the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain, ones that boost happiness and increase bonding between people, “experiencing this ‘social high’ may bring us closer together,” he noted.
Yoga literally means ‘union’. And there’s just nothing else like that feeling of unity and connectedness with your fellow yogis when your movements and breath are synchronized with everyone in the room. It’s a truly magical experience.
Be a team player for our March yoga challenge
Conversations during the month of March tend to include references to college basketball teams and players. And depending on whether you’re a fan of the sport or not, or whether your bracket is already busted or right on track, this can be a challenge. But we know that the best challenges in life are yoga challenges, and the best yoga challenges are team ones. That’s why we are gearing up for our 4th annual Yoga Madness Challenge, which begins on March 1st!
If you’ve been wanting to up your yoga game by increasing the number of times you practice per week, or perhaps there is an asana that you really enjoy, but that also challenges you (hello, One-Legged King Pigeon pose), and going to more classes would give you more opportunities to explore the pose more deeply, then this is the perfect opportunity to boost your motivation and follow-through—aside from the intrinsic rewards, of course!
For this challenge, teams of yogis will work together to score points and win prizes by attending classes and workshops at Ignite Yoga. Every team will have a captain, and this year a student will be the captain of each team. Join us in-studio on February 27th from 12:15-1:15pm for Selection Sunday, when teams will be formed.
This friendly competition can help to reinvigorate your practice, while building and strengthening connection with your fellow Ignite yogis, and having an overall great time. We’ll support each other and celebrate each other’s successes—big and small.
As Henry Ford once said, “if everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” We are social beings, as they say, and sharing what you’re passionate about with those in your life is the key to a full life, so invite a friend, and join us for this exciting opportunity to deepen your yoga practice and revel in the yogi fellowship.
Hurry and register today for the Yoga Madness Challenge to join in on the fun!