January 17, 2012

Is life coaching the new yoga?











I was thinking about something today while I did my fitness swim. Truthfully I do some of my best thinking when I’m doing my laps, something about the energy in the water I suppose.

Anyway, I was thinking about the whole notion of having a life coach.

I read an article written in the NY Times in the year 2000 which spoke of the whole notion of yoga taking on a different place in the world of fitness. The article goes on to state “The ecumenical approach that so well serves American attitudes is new in yoga. In the 1960′s and 1970′s, yoga practitioners came in two varieties. Either they were health nuts at the Y.M.C.A., uninterested in yogic philosophy, or they were serious disciples who took Indian names, wore bright or white robes, and followed gurus.”

Now remember this was written in 2000, y2k, only 12 years ago. Since then we’ve seen yoga studios, schools, conferences, resorts, clothing lines and spas opening up with incredible growth.

In less than 40 years yoga has gone from being a “program for alternate lifestylers” to a practical way of seeing things in a different light.

And so, I wonder again, if life coaching is following the same pattern? In the year 2000 nobody knew what life coaching was in the mainstream public. Now it’s a little more accepted, corporates offer it to their employees, many people who are transitioning in their life hire a life coach and parents who are wanting a different way for their kids to see things are hiring life coaches.

As a person who jumped into this life coaching business early in the game, so to speak, I’m excited to see where this is going to go! I know that life coaching works, I’ve had personal experience, I’ve seen it with clients I’ve worked with and I’ve even got testimonials to show you how it works too!

Just yesterday I got a note from a woman with whom I worked about a year ago. She found me through a mutual friend and wanted to chat.  She had decided the teaching industry was just too toxic for her and resigned her position. She was angry and confused but she was also ready for a big shift in her life. She wanted to start a small business but had no vision about what that would look like. Listening to her over the next few weeks and pulling all of her teaching strengths together we came up with a vision for her next career. The launch of her dog walking/mobile doggie day care business was a noisy affair and attended by the furriest guests you’ve ever seen.

Yesterday she gave her daughter the down payment for her to buy her first home! That’s why she sent me the note. She wanted me to know that her small business had given her a full circle moment. By doing what she loved to do she was able to pay it forward to her daughter. How cool is that!

Life coaching was touted as “new agey” and “spiritual nonsense” by many people when it first became known but this article in HuffPost Canada paints  a different picture now.

Much like yoga was touted in the past as a fad for hippies and religious fanatics so too has coaching proved the naysayers wrong.

So, what do you think: is life coaching the new yoga?


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Janet Auty-Carlisle  |  Contribution: 1,700