Can Yoga Help You Professionally
Too many people think that yoga is all about relaxing, sitting with your legs folded in uncomfortable ways and drinking herbal tea. Yoga is, in fact, an excellent tool for business. It isn’t all about switching off – yoga is a great way to switch on. Focussing your mind and energies is the best way to ensure a project pays off, your work targets get met and you’re at the top of your game.
Yoga breathing methods and poses or moves – known as asanas – can bring your mind back into focus when you’re jumping from place to place, and help you to focus on one activity at a time. Regular yoga will help you to prioritise your workload when you’re trying not to take your eye off the ball – particularly when you’re juggling a lot.
From the simplest of breathing techniques to calm you before a presentation, to the physicality of the sun salutation as you start your day, yoga can be used to improve your performance in every aspect of your working life.
Who can Yoga Help?
If you’re self-employed, working from home, and need a little motivation to get off living room sofa and into the study then stand, breathe, work through some asanas and get your body working. Combining breathing techniques with the poses in yoga centers your mind, your spirit, your energy and helps you to work at your peak – physically and mentally.
If you’re flying solo, use yoga to point your mind at the task in hand; use your breathing and relaxation techniques to focus and you’ll see off any competition, and never miss a deadline again.
Yoga stretches your muscles, opens your lungs and raises your heart rate, taking oxygen to your brain and waking your creativity and opening you up to reach your full working capacity. Regular yoga will make you physically stronger and will sharpen your mind. A fuller understanding of your own body and awareness of yourself will ensure that you are always performing to your best.
If you aren’t a one man show and are instead part of a team, exhausted by the competitive atmosphere and all pulling in separate directions when you’re meant to be working on a project together, yoga could be the key.
Push the furniture back in that conference room, give yourselves some time and come together to use yoga to bond as a team, to bring yourselves down from the caffeine rush that got you to the afternoon and stop your minds jumping from task to task – centre yourselves together and you’ll be centred as a group. The entire team will be able to work and flow alongside one another, producing better work and supporting one another.
Breathing together, syncing your mood and mirroring one another’s body movements helps to align your thoughts too – and can make a real difference if the team are fractured or fractious. Calming everyone’s thoughts simultaneously can help if you follow it up with a team brainstorm – all those rejuvenated minds in one space can mean finally seeing a solution to a problem or knowing how to close a deal.
It Sounds Too Good to be True – What Do I Do Now?
The traditional image of a yogi sitting alone at sunset atop a mountain or watching the moon rise from the beach is all well and good – but most people can’t apply it to their real every-day lives. There’s no reason that yoga can’t work with your busy, modern life – and every reason that you should bring yoga into your working day.
Try this; rather than rushing your lunch break, eating a sandwich at your desk and gulping scalding coffee from a cardboard cup, find a small free space and stand tall, focus on your breathing.
Count to ten as you breathe in, then pushing your breath out completely to the count of ten again. Do this, expanding your chest, and raise your shoulders as you breathe in then drop them back down as you push the air right out of your body.
From there drop to all fours, then as you breathe out to lift your knees off the ground, pushing your rear to the sky and dropping your head so it’s between your elbows and you’re on your toes – think of yourself as a triangle with your backside as the snow topped peak; this pose is called the downward facing dog and it stretches and energises the body, whilst increasing blood flow to the brain, making you feel more alert and awake. This will make you more productive for the afternoon shift and sharpen your reactions. It will also make your butt look good – an added bonus in any situation.
Drop back to your knees, then climb back to your feet and hold your arms straight down by your sides. Breathe in as deeply as you can – this is the mountain pose. This brings your mind and body straight and true, strong and prepared for any challenge.
Oxygenated, stretched, rejuvenated – you’re ready for your afternoon and just a few minutes of yoga has shaken you out of the aches and stagnation that a full day at a desk can bring.