For the longest time, whenever I texted the word “mediation”, my cell would auto correct it to “meditation”. What a difference one-letter makes.
However, those two words have a lot more in common than you might think. I love yoga and practice it regularly. I guess you could call me a “yogi” (not a term I use often!) I’m also a mediator by profession. I assist people in managing and resolving their own conflict. As one who practices both yoga and mediation (with no “ t ”), I’ve begun to understand parallels between the two disciplines.
Yoga seeks to promote inner peace through strength, balance and flexibility poses. As a mediator, I promote relational peace by applying these same three attributes. How do I help people experience strength in conflict? By empowering the disputants to hear and communicate their core needs and values more effectively, whereby ultimately empowering them to self-determine. Balance is best achieved in mediation when the mediator remains impartial and supports each party with equal dignity and attention. Of course, flexibility is paramount for mediators willing to place more importance on the people than the process. I even find that practicing intentional breathing while helping people work through conflict keeps me present for my clients.
Finally, the traditional yoga greeting, “Namaste”, translates “I bow to good qualities within you”. For me, that pretty much sums up the essence of my role as a mediator and why I believe in mediation’s ability to transform relationships!
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