Even if you’ve never done yoga, and it’s really not your thing, it can sometimes hold the key to making progress in life. So, today, I’ve got some advice from a Yogi.

Who is it?

TKV Desikachar was an Indian Yoga teacher who was renowned for ensuring that any practice is an individual experience.  He spent his life ‘translating’ his father’s ancient practice for a more modern audience. 

He is said to have remarked;

“We cannot escape the need for adaptation. Adaptation is the application of certain principles, to achieve certain results. It implies: Knowing where the person is now and knowing where we want them to go. Adaptation is the means used to bridge this gap.”

TKV Desikachar

This really speaks to me as a reflection of my coaching practice.  Whether I’m working with a rider and their horse, or with someone wanting to make a change in their life, there is a reflection of this saying in each coaching session.

First Part

The first part of each session is to check out where a client is at the time.  This can include what’s happened since we last met.  Or, perhaps the best thing that’s happened today. Or, maybe what’s at the top of their ‘to do’ list.  By asking well targeted questions, I can find out how they’re feeling.  It’s important to know what’s at the front of their mind and what’s worrying them at that moment.

Second Part

The next part of the session is to find out where they want to be by the time we’re finished.  Sometimes, discussing a longer-term intention is helpful too, then we can discuss how to break that down to make it achievable.  Finding a route to get there is then more possible.

Helping clients really focus on what this goal looks like is important; how will they know when they get there.  Making it as real as possible motivates achievement.  Sometimes plotting the completion on a timeline can help to work out when things will happen too.  It’s then possible to move to a time after completion so that the client can look back on what it will feel like to be successful. 

Checking out how motivated a client is to achieve what they’ve outlined is important.  Is it their goal or someone else’s? Are there ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ rather than ‘wants’. If it’s not really theirs, they might struggle at the first hiccough.

Third Part

The third part of the session is all about finding out what might get in the way of them achieving this goal.  It might be something tangible like money, opportunity, time etc. 

However, what often occurs is a barrier such as mental attitude such as a belief that they can’t do it.  It might be that they don’t have the knowledge or skill – yet.  Of course, digging a bit deeper might find the root of these beliefs.  And that might be where the work starts. 

It’s important that these issues are highlighted so that resources can be applied to overcome them

Fourth Part

And, that leads us to the fourth part of the session. 

This is where we find the resources and action necessary to make the changes.  It doesn’t have to be money.  I can think of clients who can dedicate time to their goals, not money. 

It might also be support from family or friends. 

Perhaps it’s equipment that’s available or professional expertise.  Maybe they can exchange favours with someone else. 

A bit of creativity is what’s required here and it’s amazing what can be found!


There’s one more bit – the adaptation bit.  This is where where the magic happens, and we plan the action that moves us from ‘now’ to the goal, using the resources to overcome the barriers.

That’s it! Sounds easy, doesn’t it!  It’s a very simple model which can uncover some real gems and nuggets, especially with supportive questions to draw out the detail. 

So, next time you’re stuck or want to make progress with something, have a go and see just how far the advice from a Yogi will take you!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to find out what we’re up to at People Excellence Performance.

one thing for wellbeing - for your horse