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Learning Elements Article

Do You Walk the Talk You Walk
25 Aug 2020

Do You Walk the Talk You Walk?

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I have recently started my yoga teacher training, and it’s an exciting journey to dive into. The first few lessons focused on yoga philosophy and ethics, where experienced Yogis share practical insights beyond the surface level. It’s not just theory; they walk the talk, incorporating these concepts into actual yoga classes. Each topic is accompanied by a written assignment and quiz, allowing learners to truly grasp and apply the teachings. This comprehensive approach, with pass-and-fail components, receives a big thumbs up from me from an L&D perspective.

Do You Walk the Talk You Walk

Walk the Talk Meaning

The objective of the philosophy assignment was to look at how to apply the principles of yoga to daily life. It’s something I hadn’t considered before undertaking my study. In the past, I would attend a one-hour class and then move on. I felt flexible and refreshed about whatever else I had planned for the day. As I worked on my assignment, I looked at how the principles apply in the workplace, like where we expend most of our energy in our daily life.

In yoga, there are five yamas, the principles that apply to different elements of yoga practice. In a nutshell, the yamas guide how we relate to others and ourselves.  I’m going to focus on Asteya in this blog, the 3rd principle, which is the practice of non-stealing. The obvious notions of stealing include scams, robberies, and fraud. But we can also steal energetically and mentally, which occurs often in the workplace.

When was the last time you ran late for something?

Why is it challenging to say, “I have to go now so that I can meet X?” How do you feel when you’re in a meeting, and it goes overtime? Where does your attention go? What do you feel like doing when someone takes credit for your work? How do you feel when someone talks over you? What do you really think of the “loud” person in the room? Wouldn’t it feel liberating to tell someone they are, in fact, mean, spirited, not strong as they purport to be?

These are some examples and things we wish we could do or say. Related to stealing time, energy, attention and power dynamics that are common when we engage with peers and clients. Imagine how productive and positive we can be if we are able to reflect on the behaviours that drive our actions. In saying that, at times, some things may be out of our control, but for the most part, the control rests with us.

I run late, and I know it drives my husband nuts. Apart from the obvious of disrespecting his time, what he noticed long before I did, was that I run late because I squeeze one more thing in between meetings, calls etc., in effect managing my time very poorly or overestimating my task completion speeds. This drives me nuts, too, as it would anyone else it impacts. In my defence, when this does occur, I adjust my expectations of what I have to cover to fit into the time that is left. I don’t expect the other person to give up more of their time when I have taken up some of it without being present.   

Workplace Training and E-Learning Solutions

Behind Walk the Talk

I talk loud in everyday life, which is a consequence of being a trainer and having voice projection as a superpower, and sinusitis, which means my ears are regularly blocked. When I talk loudly outside of a training environment, it is unintentional and usually gives people a jolt. Some people use the act of talking loudly to dominate a conversation or an individual. This is to draw attention to themselves and to dispense a feeling of superiority. These people are easy to spot as the people around them look worn and are generally unhappy.  


A takeout for me when working on the yoga philosophy assignment was to look at my actions in relation to the yamas and how I can practice them outside of a yoga class. In the example of Asteya, the practice of non-stealing, I’ve become more conscious of how my actions impact others and if I am taking away rather than giving and adding value. It can be quite challenging to look at our own behaviours and what that means in terms of our identity, but if we keep doing the same thing, we don’t allow ourselves to grow. From a learning and development perspective, we should embrace change, be open to new possibilities, and walk the talk we talk.

Image source (IG): yamaniyamashop