Yes, it’s that time of the year again. For setting new goals and to create your New Year’s’ Resolution. With yet another year drawing to a close, now’s the time to reflect on the accomplishments and setbacks of the days gone by. Doing so not only helps us evaluate ourselves but also provides an opportunity to set our sails and chart a better course for the year ahead.
If you yearn (who wouldn’t?) to become healthier in both mind and body, you should definitely get into yoga. A yoga teacher training can bring a number of health benefits including improved flexibility, muscle strength and a boost to the immune system.
That’s not all. Experts also say yoga practice can have a positive effects on performance in the workplace. Companies are increasingly opting for yoga practice sessions at the workplace. All in a bid to boost productivity and employee morale. A recent survey revealed that such workplace programs result in “improved performance, boost in productivity, increased employee loyalty and reduced attrition rates”.
Here are a few ways yoga helps you achieve that.
Modern workplaces are synonymous with stressful deadlines and drawn out meetings. Taking even a little time out of your hectic schedule for deep-breathing exercises or to meditate can help you calm your mind and hone thought processes. This helps regulate the oxygen flow in your blood, making you more alert and aware which in turn helps you concentrate on complex tasks and take better decisions.
It’s not uncommon to find yourself getting distracted often. Taking a few minutes off to check in with yourself can increase your self-awareness and provide you more clarity and insight in decision making. Practicing mindfulness is at the heart of yoga and the best thing about it is that it can be done anywhere and at any time. It can help you stay productive and reduce stress levels when the work pressure builds up.
Lowers Fatigue and Increases Energy
Working for long hours results in stress and fatigue. Though one may not be aware, it can build up over time. Simply standing up, going on a walk, stretching or practicing meditation every few hours can help deal with this. This results in lowered fatigue and higher levels of energy.
Dealing with Stress
Heightened stress levels – Mental and Emotional are major factors that affect employee performance and workplace productivity. They can also aggravate health conditions and ailments, be it body pain, colds, allergies, diabetes or hypertension. A daily yoga practice can help relax the body by gently releasing the built-up tension.
Yoga helps one feel their best, physically, mentally as well as emotionally. With improved focus, energy and creativity, you tend to exude confidence and better performance, which helps in your workplace interactions.
Most people think that they need to be flexible and be able to touch their toes to be able to enroll in a yoga teacher training. However, even if you aren’t the most flexible person, you can attend a yoga training which will help you to improve your flexibility. Here are a few simple poses that can be easily performed.
Utkatasana – The Chair Pose
Most of us sit on chairs for most of our work hours, try sitting on an imaginary one! It can be challenging, to say the least! This is an exceptionally powerful pose that strengthens the legs, improves body balance, opens up the chest and increases stamina. This also builds focus and inner power, fostering greater wellness for the whole body and mind.
>> The posture helps tone legs by strengthening, stretching and improving circulation. It strengthens the lower body and hips preventing chronic conditions like splints.
>> This pose rectifies and corrects bad body posture and helps you achieve a better stance – while sitting, standing or walking. A good body posture helps with the overall body alignment, improved breathing, reduced back and neck pain and not least of all, makes you look taller!
>> The posture also works to stretch the shoulders and increase flexibility. Pliant shoulders can improve the overall body strength, with the improved flexibility keeping the joints, ligaments, and muscles safe from injury.
Palm and Wrist Stretches
Working for long hours at a desk builds up tension in the muscles and tendons in the wrists, palms, and fingers, so any boost to the blood flow in these areas is always welcome. These easily performed stretches every couple of hours can help you with that.
>> Spread the fingers and then close them into fists rapidly, repeating for 5 to 10 times. This helps shake off any built up excess tension in the joints.
>> Extend your arms to the sides or overhead and rotate your hands at the wrists inward and outward.
Stretch each arm out and bend the wrist inward and outwards, counter-stretching with the help of your other hand. Hold each side 5 to 10 breaths.
Vajrasana – The Kneeling Pose
Vajrasana helps improve the blood circulation in the body by reducing the flow in lower parts, especially the legs and increasing blood flow to the digestive organs. This results in improved functioning of the digestive system and reduction of acidity and ulcers.
>> It helps make the lower body flexible, tones body muscles (hips, thighs, calves) and cure joint pains, digestive problems, etc. People suffering from sciatica and severe lower back problems can also benefit from regular practice.
>> Weight loss is possible with the regular practice of Vajrasana. You can see the difference in the body fat around your middle after a few weeks of regular practice.
>> Practicing slow and rhythmic breathing in this position can induce a state of calm.
Shishu Asana – The Child Pose
The pose (also referred to as Balasana) resembles the manner of a sleeping baby (bala or shishu) and is one of the most relaxing poses of restorative yoga.
>> This posture works to stretch the hips, thighs and ankles.
>> The pose helps to relax your spine, provides relief from constipation and works to calm down the nervous system.
A yoga training is much more than a mere exercise; it benefits both the body, mind and soul. This makes your daily operations including work less stressful and more productive. Incorporate the above yoga poses into your daily routine and see the difference for yourself!