Meditation and yoga might conjure an image of far-Eastern monks, sitting cross-legged and chanting on a remote mountaintop. Perhaps these practices even seem like self-involved and indulgent wastes of time, something for hippies, not professionals or busy executives. These are common misconceptions, but the truth is a lot more interesting.
The exciting truth is that yoga and meditation are scientifically proven to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, increase brain functioning and even creativity. Mindfulness meditation exercises may even slow Alzheimer’s, reduce tobacco cravings, and, according to recent analysis by Johns Hopkins University, help treat depression and anxiety.
It should come as no surprise, then, that some of the world’s top business leaders are making use of these practices in order to function at their peak. Some, like Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, and SalesForce CEO Marc Benioff, have gone out of their way to spread the mind and body wellness benefits of mindfulness practices to their thousands of employees.
Here are 6 business leaders who make meditation part of their to-do list, after the jump.