Let’s face it. Internal audit can be a very stressful job, which is why on this episode we discuss yoga and breathing as tools to help center yourself, reduce your stress, and increase your productivity as an auditor.

You may be asking: “how can yoga help me be a better auditor?” Listen in and you will find out the answer, along with practical tips for how you can do little activities during the day (even as little as 5-90 seconds at a time) to help you become more aware, make better decisions, reduce stress and improve your productivity.

Mindful activities (like yoga) are one of the often overlooked tools that can make you into a super auditor. In fact, what we discuss is also used by elite military special forces to help them perform better in the field. If it helps them, it can also help you.

I’m joined by Kurt Weirich who is the Director, Office of the Internal Auditor at Pima Community College in Tucson Arizona. In addition to being a career auditor, he is also a registered yoga teacher, RYT-200 with Yoga Alliance, the largest global yoga organization. Kurt has started local yoga groups at Pima Community College as well as his local home owners association, so he knows a lot about yoga and helping to create a space for mindful practices in our communities and workplaces.

Kurt is also the President Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Tucson Chapter, the Membership Director ISACA Tucson Chapter, and is the designated representative for the College at the Association of College and University Auditors (ACUA), a professional organization comprised of audit, compliance and risk professionals. Kurt also has earned professional auditor certifications and compliance designations including Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA), Payment Card Industry Professional (PCIP), and Certified HIPAA Professional (CHP).


00:00:01.350 –> 00:00:11.730
Well welcome my friends to another episode of jammin with Jason. Now today, you might be wondering yoga. Yoga and internal audit. What does that have to do with

00:00:12.480 –> 00:00:24.570
Internal audit. Well, I’m excited to have Kurt why Rick with me today and Kurt and I met at the International Conference. So I did a breakout session.

00:00:25.020 –> 00:00:35.460
And it was around mindfulness and emotional intelligence Kurt was in the audience, and afterwards came up and we started talking and I was like, Ooh, we got to have him on here so Kurt, welcome.

00:00:35.700 –> 00:00:38.340
Thank you, Jason. Great to be with you. Thank you.

00:00:38.910 –> 00:00:56.460
So it’s, it’s kind of funny because I’ll give you a little opportunity to kind of explain some of the stuff that you’re doing. But you know, I remember after after the session you came up and you said, Hey, you know what, actually I teach yoga, right, because in yoga is a mindful.

00:00:57.600 –> 00:00:58.470

00:00:58.920 –> 00:00:59.460
That’s correct.

00:00:59.520 –> 00:01:11.070
That people can do. And I know a lot of times, sometimes people might say, well, what does yoga, have to do with internal audit. So maybe I’ll pose that back to you. Right. And maybe you can kind of share

00:01:11.490 –> 00:01:22.290
A little bit about how you kind of came to it, how you use it as a tool to help you and help others. And I’ll share a little bit too about, you know, some of the mindful stuff that I’ve done, and

00:01:22.920 –> 00:01:28.350
I haven’t really done yoga. So I’m really actually kind of interested to understand more about what you’re doing as well.

00:01:28.950 –> 00:01:36.330
Certainly. Well, thank you, Jason. And thank you for the opportunity to be on your show today. I really appreciate that. So thank you for this.

00:01:37.590 –> 00:01:48.150
I’d be glad to chat about yoga with you. Really the question that you posed is internal audit and yoga, how do those go together. That’s, that’s an. That’s an excellent question.

00:01:49.170 –> 00:01:59.070
It I’m first of all, I’m an internal auditor. I’m the director of office of the internal auditor at Pima Community College, which is located in Tucson, Arizona Southern Arizona.

00:01:59.610 –> 00:02:12.840
And I’m a department of one. And so in that role in as all internal auditors who are listening to this today know the role of internal auditor can be stressful. And the question is,

00:02:13.080 –> 00:02:14.520
What exactly

00:02:15.330 –> 00:02:17.760
It may not be surprising to you, but to others.

00:02:18.300 –> 00:02:31.020
It may be new information, but let me tell you, it can be very stressful. So, especially when you’re one individual as well. So the question is, what are some techniques that are healthy, that you could utilize to basically

00:02:31.800 –> 00:02:43.890
Mitigate that situation and and one of one of those in my case is the activity of yoga. So I have found that over the years as a student, and now I’m in

00:02:44.490 –> 00:02:54.930
Yoga Instructor as well at the college so I teach employees, but how it relates to internal audit as it permits you to be mindful and in the present moment.

00:02:55.290 –> 00:03:03.090
And so what that means is you’re focused on if there’s an audit issue that you’re looking at, you’re much more focused

00:03:03.750 –> 00:03:07.920
In that moment, and whether it’s having an audit interview with the audit client.

00:03:08.520 –> 00:03:16.590
You are more engaged, you’re not thinking about what you have to eat for lunch today, you’re thinking about who’s in front of me.

00:03:17.070 –> 00:03:29.220
What is the topic and what is it that we want to accomplish. But the key is being mindful and in the present moment and and yoga is useful in many ways to get to that place.

00:03:29.760 –> 00:03:36.720
And you can do it through movement but yoga is primarily about the breath. So you really focus on your breath work.

00:03:37.230 –> 00:03:51.180
And it allows you to really engage again with the moment because that’s the only thing we have is our moment. So when you’re in an audit you may be thinking, Hey, I have to issue a report or I have a meeting with

00:03:52.140 –> 00:04:11.970
A president coming up later that could be true, but you’re, you need to be engaged with what you’re doing right now. And it really as an auditor. It makes you more effective and more efficient as I described my role I say I’m small but mighty I’m one power of one

00:04:12.600 –> 00:04:18.330
Yo yoga makes me more powerful. So it allows you to really come back to the moment

00:04:19.380 –> 00:04:20.730
Yeah. Excuse me.

00:04:21.870 –> 00:04:27.540
Yeah, because I think that that’s an important thing. And that’s why I’ve been talking a lot more about this.

00:04:28.080 –> 00:04:33.690
Especially the last few years because I’ve kind of gone through a journey myself. I mean, I was the chief audit executive a few times.

00:04:34.050 –> 00:04:42.720
I’ve been in the profession for many, many years, and it is a stressful job right. And I think a lot of times people don’t don’t want to admit that.

00:04:43.410 –> 00:04:57.540
It is stress, there is stress that goes on, you know, sometimes we try to internalize it and think, oh, you know, I can separate work from my personal life. Honestly, that’s garbage. Right. You can’t actually do

00:04:58.230 –> 00:05:04.470
That, that’s correct. And I think, I think the piece is it’s we live in a society we live in a community.

00:05:04.800 –> 00:05:19.350
I work at a community college so that what that means is we’re engaged with the community. So, for example, I’m president of the Institute of internal auditors to San chapter here locally and I engage with the community through that forum. Right.

00:05:19.680 –> 00:05:27.180
And and most of our obviously our members are primarily internal auditors or compliance professionals are risk professionals.

00:05:27.780 –> 00:05:37.260
And I see a tremendous amount of stress when I attend those meetings and in the purposes, obviously, to provide some information retraining, etc.

00:05:37.740 –> 00:05:53.610
But I’ve been approached several different times to say Kurt, could you provide a yoga practice to prior to the training and so there’s an absolute need. And I think recognizing it and becoming aware of that need is, is the first step.

00:05:54.180 –> 00:06:03.480
Yeah. Well, and I think it’s interesting because I’ll share, share a little bit about me, then maybe two in this, in this instance, because, well, we’re both going to kind of get a little bit personal

00:06:03.990 –> 00:06:14.070
I think so it’s, you know, because again, I mean, growing up as a as a as an auditor in that profession right we’re taught to be very logical very prescriptive very

00:06:14.580 –> 00:06:23.280
Almost robotic sometimes in some of the stuff that we do. And again, I’ve always had kind of like a side passion with psychology

00:06:23.850 –> 00:06:32.040
And how the mind works neurobiology, all this kind of stuff and and there’s there’s really kind of this movement in the last

00:06:32.670 –> 00:06:39.150
1015 years on positive psychology and about some of the things instead of just trying to focus on fixing

00:06:39.660 –> 00:06:44.730
The bad things of trying to incorporate things and that are actually good for us.

00:06:45.360 –> 00:06:53.640
And what’s interesting, you know, because again, I mean, when a lot. And I’m sure a lot of people listening to this are going yoga, who were all sitting down on the ground and Lotus pose. And we’re like,

00:06:54.300 –> 00:07:03.660
You know, kind of a thing. Or we’re meditating and and that a lot of those stigmas or the the the belief around that really kind of goes back to, you know, like

00:07:03.990 –> 00:07:09.420
A lot of people say, oh, that’s hippy dippy kind of stuff right that’s that’s what the hippies did in the 60s, right, that

00:07:09.870 –> 00:07:24.540
That’s all like Eastern religion, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Kind of stuff right but science is actually caught up and they’ve actually done a lot of research and guess what that hippy dippy stuff is actually backed by science.

00:07:24.960 –> 00:07:31.770
That’s right. Exactly. That’s right. And I think you you hit on a key component that it is it is effective it is. It is.

00:07:32.340 –> 00:07:37.080
Absolutely, something that works. So internal auditors listening to this today.

00:07:37.650 –> 00:07:48.540
Yoga does work, and it will help you do your job better and, for example, it’s, you don’t have to just be an internal auditor. You could also be an staff employee. I teach

00:07:49.290 –> 00:07:54.510
At Pima community college to employees as part of our wellness program. So I actually taught last night.

00:07:55.050 –> 00:08:09.510
And it helps with stress. Even if you’re not an internal auditor, there are folks who are dealing with stressful positions that are maybe in different fields but internal auditors can use these tools. It’s a tool.

00:08:09.780 –> 00:08:23.100
And it’s, it’s a way, it’s a way of dealing with the stress of what we have to deal with. And it’s effective. So I agree with, I support what you’re saying it’s valid it’s valid. So someone’s going to question it. Is it all about

00:08:24.120 –> 00:08:34.950
You know, in terms of just meditation or something of that nature. No, it’s deeper than that. And you can do it in your office, and that’s something I wanted to mention is that

00:08:35.400 –> 00:08:44.160
People say, Well, I have to go to a yoga studio or have to know you don’t, you can absolutely do it in your office, you can do it when you’re conducting audit fieldwork.

00:08:44.580 –> 00:08:53.880
You can do it in your car so you can. It’s a tool that will make you a much stronger internal auditor. So it does work. Yeah.

00:08:54.360 –> 00:09:00.720
Well, and I think that’s an important thing. And before. Before we get off, you know, one of the things that I’m going to want to do as

00:09:01.080 –> 00:09:09.750
Well, we’ll talk about actually like some practical things that people can actually do, like you said in your car in your office, you know, while you’re doing your work.

00:09:10.980 –> 00:09:15.660
Because, again, this isn’t something where you have to go sit glued yourself off for hours at a time.

00:09:16.440 –> 00:09:25.290
There’s actually some little practical things that you can do. And I know we talked a little bit about breathing crab. And so I was so we’ll share some of that stuff too, because I know in the in that

00:09:25.920 –> 00:09:35.790
In that presentation that a speech that I gave it international conference we talked about that. That’s right. And we had that discussion afterwards, too. And so I want to, I want to get more into that but

00:09:36.450 –> 00:09:46.470
Before we go there. I thought it’s it’s interesting, you know, like you said, You’re, you’re the internal auditor you’re working there at the college right you have a day job you’re doing this but

00:09:46.890 –> 00:09:52.890
There’s people that are asking you, hey, can we do some of this, you know, work, whether that’s at the beginning of the

00:09:53.460 –> 00:10:02.520
Chapter meeting you know like you teach and last night and I think there’s this trend that I’m seeing so i i actually personally went to the

00:10:02.820 –> 00:10:14.700
Play a more mindful workplace summit last year, right. So this is a summit where huge companies. I mean, we’re talking like Google sap. I mean, you name some of the biggest companies in the world.

00:10:15.120 –> 00:10:20.340
They were all they’re talking about how they are providing space.

00:10:21.150 –> 00:10:27.720
At their company during the workday or after the work day for people to engage in mindful practices.

00:10:28.050 –> 00:10:43.080
Like guided meditation or yoga or some of these other things and the benefits that they’re actually experiencing and the money that they’re investing into it. So, so, you know, maybe, maybe talk a little bit about some of that, you know, because I

00:10:43.380 –> 00:10:43.590

00:10:44.010 –> 00:10:55.350
One of the takeaways for people to can obviously be for us to create space for people to be able to do some of these things during the workday. Right.

00:10:55.380 –> 00:11:11.340
Right, and that’s a good question. And so you can actually, as I mentioned, you can do this in your car, you can do it in your office, you don’t have to have a necessarily a designated space to do this. So for example, we talked about breathing, and I think that is something we do

00:11:12.150 –> 00:11:12.780
We have to breathe.

00:11:13.650 –> 00:11:15.030
We’re hoping we’re breathing. Right.

00:11:16.050 –> 00:11:27.930
It’s something that permits us to become back into the moment. So it may involve, for example, counting our breaths. And that’s something you and I talked about at the International Conference. Yeah. And so

00:11:28.410 –> 00:11:40.770
I believe it all starts with awareness of that the fact that maybe when you’re in the audit interview, for example, you’re feeling. Maybe it’s you potentially could be in a stressful situation.

00:11:41.190 –> 00:11:52.530
You notice you’re becoming more shallow in your breath. And that’s where you can take a moment and pause and I think it’s fine to take a pause in our audit work. You do not have to

00:11:53.220 –> 00:12:02.250
Immediately rushed into something if you’re, if you have not centered yourself as the description that I use. Yeah, so that the tool of

00:12:03.390 –> 00:12:10.590
It could. It could be your breath. It could also be an object. So for example, if there’s something on your desk, because most of us have

00:12:11.040 –> 00:12:22.470
Some object that you could potentially focus upon could be a pencil. It could be whatever that is. Bring your mind to one point to a centering and that will assist you.

00:12:22.980 –> 00:12:31.260
And that doesn’t require any special equipment, but it makes you a better auditor because you’re back into this moment, and you’re

00:12:31.950 –> 00:12:39.390
You’re using all of your senses, you’re using all of your mental powers that we’ve been trained as an auditor to use

00:12:39.780 –> 00:12:58.170
You’re using them more effectively. And so I see tremendous benefit using this, and certainly movement as part of it and and one of the things we can do is, for example, instead of a lot of times we sit too much in society today so sitting is the new smoking.

00:12:58.980 –> 00:13:03.330
So sometimes what you can do as an auditor is you don’t you don’t necessarily have to set

00:13:03.750 –> 00:13:15.660
You could stand you can take a walk, you could say, Hey, let’s have a walking meeting, let’s let’s move over here. And that’s a form of yoga because it’s movement. And so it doesn’t have to be a formal practice of

00:13:16.500 –> 00:13:22.200
Getting into for example, downward facing dog in the audit meeting. That’s not what it is.

00:13:22.920 –> 00:13:24.030
And you wouldn’t do that during

00:13:24.480 –> 00:13:34.500
The I would not recommend that I would not recommend that. But it’s basically an awareness of bringing your you’re aware of your body you’re aware of your sensations, you feel

00:13:36.180 –> 00:13:43.980
Connected and i think that’s that’s where we can work as internal auditors is to connect with our clients because we’re dealing with people.

00:13:44.520 –> 00:14:01.230
And people. It’s a soft skill, but it’s absolutely critical, because how do things get done, they get done through people. And so I think developing that comfort within yourself and a connection. I think yoga is a, it’s a bridge to doing that.

00:14:02.010 –> 00:14:06.000
Well, I think one of the things that you brought up is, it’s about awareness. Right, right.

00:14:06.180 –> 00:14:15.210
And so, you know, we won’t get into all this stuff today. I’m sure I’ll talk about it again. But I know one of the things I shared it International Conference was literally your brain has brainwaves right

00:14:15.840 –> 00:14:22.500
And the slower your brainwaves are the more relaxed and calm. We are, in fact, the better decisions. We can make

00:14:23.100 –> 00:14:32.310
The better we can learn the better we can remember right and and if you are aware, and you notice your brainwave activity going up. And so again, right, you

00:14:32.640 –> 00:14:41.400
You something triggers you, you start to feel more anxious, you start to feel more whatever what’s happening is literally your brainwaves are starting to speed up

00:14:42.000 –> 00:14:47.370
And when that happens, we need to kind of slow it back down. And that’s what you’re talking about, from the centering

00:14:48.210 –> 00:15:01.440
Is whether we we choose to focus, maybe, and just stare at an object for 30 seconds if we do some breathing exercises and again. Right. So the one I talked about there was was breathing and counting rights.

00:15:01.980 –> 00:15:17.490
Practically, you know, you try to, you try to be aware of the breath. You just count your breath in, or count your breath out. That’s right. And you just try to slow down count for for a little bit. I usually get distracted by the time I get to five. So I start over again at one

00:15:17.550 –> 00:15:18.030
X right

00:15:18.780 –> 00:15:25.350
And that’s, that’s one way to do it. Another one that I did that I didn’t share that I thought I’d share today is one called tactical breathing.

00:15:26.130 –> 00:15:37.170
Or it’s also called box breathing in, in, in some of the meditative practices. Now it’s called tactical breathing because navy seals and other special ops.

00:15:37.470 –> 00:15:49.950
People use this in the field, right. So this is like hard core stuff yes and and with with that with tactical breathing. You think 4444 okay so four fours.

00:15:50.370 –> 00:15:56.640
And what it is is you breathe in through your nose for four seconds you hold it for four seconds.

00:15:56.970 –> 00:16:14.280
You release out through your mouth for four seconds and then you hold for four seconds before you. Breathe in again. And so you’re just counting to yourself in increments of four. And you do that for 60 to 90 seconds and everything is okay. Right. So again, imagine like a navy seal.

00:16:14.520 –> 00:16:15.060
As you’re out.

00:16:15.090 –> 00:16:28.830
In the field and all of a sudden, everything breaks loose and they stop and they breathe. So I can control themselves again and move on. It’s the same thing if you’re in an interview or something like that right now.

00:16:28.950 –> 00:16:29.580
And it’s right.

00:16:29.640 –> 00:16:31.980
Go to timeout. I need right seconds.

00:16:32.220 –> 00:16:32.730
That’s right.

00:16:32.880 –> 00:16:41.430
That’s right, yeah. So these are things that we can actually implement as auditors and I think the the piece that’s kind of the take home message is that

00:16:41.850 –> 00:16:45.900
It does work. And that’s what you’re stating, and I think that’s critical that

00:16:46.590 –> 00:16:57.480
There is, as you mentioned, it’s a, I guess, yoga does have a reputation that it might be a little bit out there. And one of the messages. I’d like to communicate today is that you can be an audit professional

00:16:57.960 –> 00:17:08.580
And still practice and it could be in my, in my case I’m selecting yoga as an activity that helps me, but you could also do other things. So I also golf, for example.

00:17:09.120 –> 00:17:14.940
And in the moment. Could that could that be meditative. Could that be a yoga practice. The answer is yes.

00:17:15.570 –> 00:17:26.520
Because when you’re in theory, you’re focusing on a on a small object. In this case it’s a golf ball, and you’re going to be hitting that and so for a period of seconds.

00:17:26.880 –> 00:17:37.560
You will be focused upon that particular object and task and that is a meditative thing and that and we all need to be refreshed and that’s something I wanted to share is that

00:17:37.890 –> 00:17:45.930
I think as auditors, you can just get into a rut, and you’re just constantly in a high pressure very difficult position.

00:17:46.440 –> 00:17:55.980
It can really where I knew, and you need to find a mechanism that works in terms of just refreshing yourself and it could look different for different people. So it could be golf.

00:17:56.400 –> 00:18:06.660
It could be fishing, it could be running marathons. It could be yoga. It could be something that you like to do in your in your time. So it’s an activity.

00:18:07.110 –> 00:18:21.420
To balance work life balance, it’s a balance of what we do on our typical day. It allows us to be more effective and recharged and moving forward in a positive direction. And I think that’s really critical. Yeah.

00:18:22.320 –> 00:18:32.760
Well, so, so let’s talk a little bit about yoga specifically because, again, I mean, I’ve been doing mindful practices for a long time. I choose to do. I’ve chosen to do other ones right like

00:18:32.820 –> 00:18:36.750
Right you know hypnosis sessions daily meditation, you know,

00:18:37.020 –> 00:18:47.670
I use music. A lot of times as as a way for me to kind of go to some of those spaces or, like you said, the staring at the objects. The breathing the different things like that.

00:18:47.790 –> 00:18:48.630
Yes, but and

00:18:48.690 –> 00:18:56.250
But I’ve done yoga, a few times. And so one of the things that I wanted to do is, is talk a little bit about kind of the process.

00:18:56.640 –> 00:19:04.500
And demystify this a little bit because I know, like I said, when I went to the mindful workplace summit, I thought, you know what, here I am in this

00:19:05.040 –> 00:19:13.320
You know, beautiful retreat center in Northern California. I might as well take advantage and try to immerse myself as much as I can.

00:19:13.830 –> 00:19:24.780
And the different activities that they’re providing so I did like a sound bath, which is effectively like, you know, a meditation for, I think it was an hour, where somebody is using

00:19:25.500 –> 00:19:35.130
These, these bowls to create vibration and you can literally like feel it like going around the room and going through your body, which is very fascinating.

00:19:35.640 –> 00:19:53.670
But I, but I did, I did a yoga class as well that was actually the first time that I had done a yoga class. Sure, so you know when, as a teacher, when when people are starting out. Sure. What are maybe some of the things that they’re they’re worried about or that are going through their mind.

00:19:53.760 –> 00:19:54.330
And certainly

00:19:54.450 –> 00:19:55.950
You know that might kind of get them.

00:19:56.010 –> 00:19:57.930
To not to not want to do it.

00:19:58.020 –> 00:19:58.650
You know, it’s like

00:19:59.700 –> 00:20:02.250
Let’s just share with people. What kind of goes through your mind.

00:20:02.640 –> 00:20:03.900
Sure, yeah.

00:20:03.930 –> 00:20:07.260
Absolutely I would say a couple things. You’re right. It does.

00:20:08.280 –> 00:20:18.750
There are some I would describe it as stereotypes or stigmas related to yoga, that certainly from an internal auditor perspective that you might have. And I would say, first of all,

00:20:19.980 –> 00:20:31.440
You don’t necessarily have to be necessarily an athlete to do yoga. And I think that’s one of the that’s one stereotype, I would like to address. And what I mean by that is

00:20:31.920 –> 00:20:38.520
You as long as you have the ability to move something of your body, which we all have some limited movement generally

00:20:39.330 –> 00:20:50.160
We can we can do. And I think that is sufficient. So in other words, where you start where you are. You use what you have and you move forward. So

00:20:50.520 –> 00:21:05.340
I would not be intimidated, in terms of going into a yoga class here and you’re especially as a beginner, you’re not going to be the expert. And I want to mention this yoga is a practice if anyone tells you, they’ve arrived. You want to immediately leave

00:21:05.430 –> 00:21:07.710
And tell them I do not want to talk to you.

00:21:08.880 –> 00:21:20.610
I continue I continuously learn just like an internal auditing, I go to conferences, I’ll be attending the COO Association of College and university auditors conference in Baltimore here in a couple weeks.

00:21:21.000 –> 00:21:29.190
You continuously learn whether it’s yoga or internal auditing. So the bottom line is you have an instructor. When you start

00:21:29.610 –> 00:21:36.780
And I think you need to go into it with a student mindset. So you’re an expert as an internal auditor you’re comfortable with that.

00:21:37.440 –> 00:21:50.940
Yoga, maybe a new concept for you. So when you’re going in, go in with a beginner’s mind go in and and so in other words, you’re not going to be an expert and that’s okay. So in other words, even if I’m getting some

00:21:52.050 –> 00:22:02.310
Movement in terms of, we call it asanas or yoga poses. So for example, you mentioned downward facing dog. You may not necessarily have the best technique.

00:22:02.850 –> 00:22:11.610
But that doesn’t matter. It’s not a competition, it’s, it’s something that you are developing just like an internal auditing right

00:22:11.850 –> 00:22:21.060
You’re not necessary you continuously learn. We make mistakes and mistakes are okay. So I would suggest going into into into yoga.

00:22:21.510 –> 00:22:29.610
As a beginner’s mind in it’s okay not to know everything. It’s okay to experiment, try new things.

00:22:30.330 –> 00:22:36.660
Different. Different movement and don’t here’s here’s something that I have found to be useful as

00:22:37.380 –> 00:22:43.380
It’s not a competition, you’re not, don’t look at your neighbor, who’s maybe been practicing for 20 years

00:22:43.770 –> 00:22:53.610
It’s just like an internal audit. There’s an audit director and there may be a staff auditor who’s been there for 15 minutes. I mean, it’s going to have different levels. Right. But we can still

00:22:54.060 –> 00:23:12.870
Do things together, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be at the same competency level, but that’s okay. So I would go into it with a beginner’s mind. And I would say it’s it’s going to take practice, but you never arrive. So at the end of the story. We’re just developing ourselves.

00:23:13.800 –> 00:23:24.420
Well, no, because that was kind of, you know, my ex my experience when I went into this class. Right. You know, I mean, I looked at the schedule and thought, hey, you know what, okay. Tomorrow morning, instead of going on my morning walk or run

00:23:24.900 –> 00:23:42.030
Why don’t I go to this 630 yoga class right now. I didn’t know when I pack that I was going to a yoga class. Okay, right. So, so here I was, you know, in a show up in my, in my sweats, you know, because that’s kind of what I packed, you know, and obviously

00:23:42.660 –> 00:23:55.200
You know I get there. I’m the only man in the room. Correct. Today, Ryan. And again, most of these women have been doing yoga for a while. I mean, they show up in the whole yoga gear all their yoga pants and everything else. Correct.

00:23:55.230 –> 00:23:56.280
That’s right. That’s right.

00:23:56.520 –> 00:24:01.110
And I’m kind of looking around, like, Okay, I know I’m a little out of place, but I’m still going to give this a try. Yeah.

00:24:01.140 –> 00:24:06.750
Yeah, I would. I would mention for me personally, that’s a good point because I am

00:24:07.440 –> 00:24:17.220
I am a male yoga instructor and that is not the norm. So typically when you enter a class. It’s typically more on the female but but

00:24:17.760 –> 00:24:24.570
In that’s fine, but it’s just there is definitely, that is that is what it is. So there are very few

00:24:25.500 –> 00:24:37.980
Men instructors or typically that participate, but don’t allow that to intimidate you. If you’re an internal auditor listening to this podcast right now to not attend. Because I can tell you

00:24:39.360 –> 00:24:54.690
As a, as a, it’s been very beneficial to me as an internal auditor. Give it a try. It may be, it may be, you may be uncomfortable, but you can be. You can be comfortable with uncertainty. It’s okay. So I’m telling you.

00:24:54.930 –> 00:24:57.060
That’s actually one of life’s biggest lessons.

00:24:57.150 –> 00:25:04.290
That’s, that’s right. And so it does take courage to walk into a yoga class for the first time.

00:25:04.710 –> 00:25:15.000
And it is uncomfortable, but that’s just like doing an audit the first time that you, you may be interviewing someone and you may feel uncomfortable until you develop rapport, or a relationship.

00:25:15.570 –> 00:25:25.530
That is, it’s part of life and you just have to say, Okay, I’m going to give myself permission to try and I think that is critical and

00:25:26.160 –> 00:25:37.710
I know Nike has the famous phrase, just do it. And I would say just do it and I highly encourage folks who are listening to this and I needed some encouragement as well. My

00:25:38.490 –> 00:25:51.570
Uncle is. He’s retired now, but he was an executive who traveled extensively coastal type jobs worked lived in New York travel to California BACK AND FORTH, IT FOR HIS POSITION extremely stressful.

00:25:52.110 –> 00:25:57.450
He suggested initially that Kurt I think yoga might be something that would be

00:25:57.930 –> 00:26:09.660
You might be interested in. I needed his permission. So I’m giving permission to folks who are listening to this that if you’re, you know, if you’re a male internal auditor. It’s okay to try this.

00:26:10.200 –> 00:26:21.690
And if you’re a female internal auditor your I recommend it as well. So the bottom line is, it is something that works. And so I encourage you to get over your discomfort and do it.

00:26:22.320 –> 00:26:32.820
Well, and I think, again, you know, like, like you were talking about. Don’t worry about what other people are doing, you just focus on yourself. I mean, yoga in any of these mindful practices really kind of like golf.

00:26:33.150 –> 00:26:42.120
Right, it’s. It’s about you. It’s not about everybody else. And so, you know, just like what you said, because I went through that, that my first yoga session. Right.

00:26:42.480 –> 00:26:52.860
And it was an hour and you know what some of the things were a little hard and I was swaying around a little bit and I couldn’t reach as far and I couldn’t do whatever, right, because I’m a middle aged man. That’s a little overweight.

00:26:53.460 –> 00:26:54.060

00:26:54.600 –> 00:27:03.240
But what was interesting is, is at the end of it, right, is there were there were several the people in the room that even came over and they’re like, hey, you did good. You did a good job, you know, and it’s like

00:27:03.360 –> 00:27:09.480
This is my first time. And they’re like, Oh, you did amazing for your first time, you know, kind of thing. And it’s like they’re not judging you.

00:27:09.690 –> 00:27:10.650
That’s, that’s correct.

00:27:10.740 –> 00:27:22.350
Right. Everybody’s they’re learning. And I think the point that you brought up before to about any of these things being a practice. That’s right. That was one of the things I wanted to talk about because there’s kind of two

00:27:22.710 –> 00:27:31.980
Two terms that come out a lot. A lot of people would ask me, you know, like when I showed up there. They’re like, so do you have a daily practice and I’m like daily practice right talking about right.

00:27:32.010 –> 00:27:32.220

00:27:32.310 –> 00:27:44.370
Right well daily practice just means right that you’re practicing and doing these things every day. It’s, it’s not some you know that’s that’s what people mean by it, right, because at first.

00:27:44.370 –> 00:27:46.950
I was, I was kind of like scratching my head like what are you talking about

00:27:47.490 –> 00:27:47.940
That’s right.

00:27:49.740 –> 00:27:58.380
You know, so that’s what, that’s one thing again to throw the mystique out on that. The other one is usually at the, at the end of the session. Right. There’s the mistake.

00:27:58.650 –> 00:28:12.210
Yes, that’s correct. And so again, you know, that’s a term that a lot of people see and there’s kind of the whole hand gestures with kind of battling correct maybe just explain that to people what that means and and that might be something different that they’re used to.

00:28:12.450 –> 00:28:22.050
Absolutely and and it’s important to know the history and yoga it it’s based in Sanskrit and so if you go back in time in the history of yoga.

00:28:22.500 –> 00:28:31.470
There are going to be basically terms that are not necessarily something that your first time you’re attending. You may not be comfortable with. But nama stay

00:28:31.890 –> 00:28:41.820
Is really the light in me is honoring the light in you and so nama stay is a form of acknowledgement that I’m honoring you your presence here.

00:28:42.240 –> 00:28:57.120
I connect with you I’m honoring you and that’s it’s it’s it’s not necessarily mystical, but it is a way of connecting and in terms of bowing it’s respect. You’re respecting yourself. YOU’RE RESPECTING

00:28:57.720 –> 00:29:04.920
The others that are your students that are with you, your fellow students. It’s a sign of respect. So the bowing is

00:29:05.760 –> 00:29:13.590
My wife is from Thailand, which is in Southeast Asia, and they are primarily Buddhists. But one of the things they have is

00:29:14.100 –> 00:29:32.550
Basically a. Why are they bow, and it’s a sign of respect. So when you’re in yoga you you bow to yourself you bow to your instructor you’re showing respect for the practice, you’ve taken time out of your day. We’re very busy as professional internal auditors extremely

00:29:33.600 –> 00:29:46.530
Stressful positions, etc. But you are honoring yourself you’re honoring your fellow classmates that you are investing in yourself and it’s going to come out in many, many ways it’s not just

00:29:46.950 –> 00:29:52.590
At work, it’s going to be at home when you’re dealing with your if you have a significant other spouse.

00:29:53.730 –> 00:29:57.810
Etc. Your neighbors. I also teach yoga in my neighborhood. I live.

00:29:58.590 –> 00:30:16.410
In Oro Valley, which is a suburb of Tucson, and I teach my neighbors. And that’s something that is very valuable in terms of the connection of honoring your neighbors, you’re honoring others so nama stay is a sign of respect and honoring others.

00:30:17.130 –> 00:30:25.350
Well, and I think it’s, it’s a beautiful term to me because like you said, what the literal actual meaning of it is, right, is that that Sanskrit word

00:30:25.770 –> 00:30:32.640
But, but it’s but it’s, I think it encompasses kind of the whole feel with any of these mindful practices, you might be doing is

00:30:33.120 –> 00:30:45.480
You’re honoring yourself and you’re honoring others are taking the time out of your day to have a daily practice and try to improve yourself and improve the world and make everything around you better

00:30:45.750 –> 00:30:46.020

00:30:46.080 –> 00:30:52.980
And I think there’s just a lot of beauty that comes with that and the whole sense of community that goes along with it too. Right.

00:30:53.010 –> 00:31:01.470
I agree, and they typically sometimes you’ll hear the term Sangha, or your community, your fellow classmates. So it’s a really a community.

00:31:02.250 –> 00:31:09.180
I work at a community college. And what does that mean well, it means you interact with everyone. And that’s true in our lives.

00:31:09.600 –> 00:31:13.290
So as internal auditors, we played. We all have different roles.

00:31:13.650 –> 00:31:24.180
You’re an internal auditor, you’re a professional very stressful but you also have your also maybe a brother or a sister or etc. We all have different roles that we experience in our lives.

00:31:24.450 –> 00:31:36.600
So I or a neighbor, of course, things of that nature. But community is really, really important. And I think that’s what internal audit can do as well as be a bridge amongst departments. That’s for example at the college

00:31:37.110 –> 00:31:51.180
I view internal audit as a resource to the Pima Community College. So it’s sometimes I’m the bridge that I can sort of, for example, when you do an audit you may have silos folks that kind of do their thing and a particular department.

00:31:51.390 –> 00:31:51.780
I’m sure

00:31:51.930 –> 00:31:53.790
I’m sure fellow auditors are listening.

00:31:54.480 –> 00:32:09.720
Yeah, oh yeah I relate to that. So it allows you to bring the community together, whether it’s your organization, whether it’s your neighborhood, etc. But it. It’s a way of crossing and developing bridges and connections. Yeah.

00:32:10.890 –> 00:32:19.800
Well, and like usual. We get to talk in and it’s so great and all of a sudden the time goes quicker than we want. So I wanted to just kind of wrap up, just last couple of minutes so

00:32:20.460 –> 00:32:27.570
In just kind of summarize or remind people about some of the things we’ve talked about and then give you an opportunity to maybe

00:32:27.990 –> 00:32:37.950
You know interject. Any other suggestions. Because like you said these are things we can do during the day, right, obviously, you know, one thing you can do is sign up and go to a yoga class.

00:32:38.070 –> 00:32:48.630
That’s right, absolutely. You know, but there’s other things you can do with your breathing with focusing on objects, even just for a short period of time to be able to help center yourself.

00:32:48.930 –> 00:32:57.900
That’s what what are some of these things like this that that you suggest people do kind of, you know, every day, or are these little things that you can do.

00:32:58.230 –> 00:33:06.480
Even if it’s just 510 30 seconds, a minute, you know, right, you able to help them kind of get that centering and reduce their stress levels.

00:33:06.600 –> 00:33:12.060
Yeah, absolutely. I think, first of all, is awareness and so I think really one of the things that

00:33:12.780 –> 00:33:26.460
I typically do is set an intention for the day. So this is a yoga practice that you can you can use in your internal audit life. So for example, I set an intention prior to walking into my office every day. I will say,

00:33:27.480 –> 00:33:37.680
Today I will be outstanding and that’s my intention today that’s that’s before I even walked through the door. And so I recommend to internal auditors listening to this.

00:33:37.980 –> 00:33:44.910
set an intention, and that’s a yoga practice I each class I start with I have an intention for my class.

00:33:45.240 –> 00:33:51.990
That doesn’t mean you have to accept it. You set your own intention, be a critical thinker internal auditors are critical thinkers

00:33:52.410 –> 00:33:58.800
Think for yourself. What is your intention today. And so you can use that in your in your daily life, and I think

00:33:59.130 –> 00:34:05.070
The other is definitely focusing on our breath and that doesn’t take necessarily that long. It could be counting to five.

00:34:05.580 –> 00:34:11.610
It could take just less than a minute and you’re going to definitely be more centered and it doesn’t take equipment.

00:34:12.150 –> 00:34:23.100
I think also, I would recommend touching base with your, your employer if they offer some sort of wellness program Pima Community College offers that to employees, free of charge.

00:34:23.940 –> 00:34:30.270
And that’s something that would be worth checking out. But, but also in your community. There’s yoga studios.

00:34:30.630 –> 00:34:40.200
You could sign up for a class, you don’t have to commit. You can just sign up for one class and typically they have sometimes they’re free. The first class is free.

00:34:40.680 –> 00:34:47.880
As a new student. So I highly recommend that. And if you go to the first class, and it’s not what your expectations thought it might be

00:34:48.600 –> 00:35:02.610
Don’t give up. You can try another one. So it’s just like when you buy a new car, you don’t necessarily purchase the first car that you drive you may have you want to do some test drives. That’s not what I would say do

00:35:03.570 –> 00:35:08.760
Find a studio that you like. Find a studio that meets your needs. It’s just like

00:35:09.630 –> 00:35:22.650
In your life. You all have preferences. Like what’s your favorite color. You know, you may like red. I may like blue, but it meets your needs. So experiment. Try different yoga studios and I’m going to suggest that

00:35:23.850 –> 00:35:29.100
Maybe give yourself six months. So say hey, I’m just going to try this for six months. If it doesn’t work.

00:35:29.670 –> 00:35:43.590
Then you could choose to do something else. Maybe golf is your thing, maybe, maybe, you know, running marathons. Is your thing, but at least don’t have regrets. I’m a highly recommending. Give it, give yoga try. Yeah.

00:35:44.220 –> 00:35:51.330
Well, and I think, too, because as you were as you were saying there too. I thought, you know, maybe it kind of wrap up with one of the things that I just thought about to was

00:35:52.260 –> 00:36:05.370
So I told you I was at the mindful workplace summit and there and and one of the biggest questions. Everybody was asking is, how can how can we bring this into the workplace. Right. And over and over again. I heard this. I mean, you’ve kind of brought this into the workplace or at the college

00:36:05.520 –> 00:36:07.710
That’s right, routed into your homeowners association.

00:36:07.710 –> 00:36:16.890
Yes, right. That’s right. And, and, and the answer that I kept hearing over and over again is, we’ll just ask and try to create a space. And so it can be as simple as

00:36:17.190 –> 00:36:23.970
You know, would it be okay if we, you know, use this conference room maybe before the start of the work day

00:36:24.480 –> 00:36:33.360
Or you know whether that happens to be like a guided meditation session or if it’s yoga or something else like that. Just ask. Ask your employer.

00:36:33.810 –> 00:36:43.860
If you know because, again, a lot of these resources are not used the whole the whole day anyway. That’s right. And so, companies are starting to allow for that.

00:36:44.400 –> 00:36:54.150
And and they’re seeing productivity increases in their business. So, you know, if you’re like maybe the auditor. Maybe you talk to your boss. If you’re the chief audit executive

00:36:54.510 –> 00:37:02.820
Well, hey, maybe you just ask your team. Would you guys be interested in this. And if the answer is yes, then provide a space for them and just see where it goes.

00:37:02.970 –> 00:37:09.450
That’s right and and I hold in the summers I in to sign. It’s going to be 105 degrees today.

00:37:09.510 –> 00:37:16.560
And that’s that’s Fahrenheit, just see, you know, and it’s it’s it’s a desert environment, it’s very hot, but

00:37:17.370 –> 00:37:34.830
It during the summers. I do hold a class in a conference room, and it’s it. Absolutely. You have to move some of the furniture around but it works just fine. So you don’t need any special yoga studio. It could be a conference room. So that is a perfect example but asking is the first step.

00:37:35.190 –> 00:37:45.030
It’s first step. And again, like you said, Give it, give it some time because again you know the first time that we do anything we feel a little goofy and we don’t really know what we’re doing.

00:37:45.360 –> 00:37:55.770
So. Give it, give it some time, give it three to six months. If it’s not your thing. Pick something else. But ultimately, you know, like we started the show off with internal audit is a stressful job.

00:37:56.130 –> 00:37:58.140
You gotta figure out ways

00:37:58.560 –> 00:38:07.650
To be able to be present to be aware and to try to reduce your stress because it does carry over into the home life. Whether you realize it or not.

00:38:08.010 –> 00:38:10.410
I agree. Absolutely. Well said. Yeah.

00:38:10.530 –> 00:38:19.890
Yeah, so Kurt. Thank you for coming on today. I really appreciate it. And you know, I got to figure out how I’m going to start incorporating yoga into my day as well so

00:38:19.950 –> 00:38:29.130
Fantastic. Okay. Well, thank you for having me on, Jason. I really appreciate that. And I want to encourage all my fellow internal auditors out there to check out yoga.

00:38:29.550 –> 00:38:41.970
Yeah. Well, thank you, and I’m sure we might have to have you come back on later because will will i’m sure everybody’s gonna pay like they were at the conference. And I’m like, holy crap. Give me more. Give me more and more. So it’s like okay, and we’ll have to have Kurt back

00:38:42.060 –> 00:38:47.100
I’d love to be back. So thanks, Jason. I appreciate it. Thanks for your, for your time today. Enjoyed it.

00:38:47.400 –> 00:38:48.120
Alright, thanks.

00:38:48.390 –> 00:38:48.840
Bye bye.

Leave a comment