The importance of yoga in your daily life or to give your best at work
YOGA AND HEALTH ARE CONNECTED.
If you’ve already practiced yoga or meditation in your life, you’ll have experienced the positive effects that these disciplines have on your physical, emotional and mental health.
Well, it is possible to use this discipline in a way that is even more complete and effective, in order to create a stable wellness and to retrieve your health, in case you lost it.
According to the ancient masters, the awareness of our deepest identity is written inside of us. When we live in connection with it, all of our being perceives a sense of completeness and satisfaction, that can restore the force and dynamism we need to live a healthy life. Being healthy, indeed, does not only mean the absence of illnesses, but rather having force, energy and vitality to conclude what we desire the most.
Yoga and meditation help us do so: they bring back our real identity, create a solid bridge that takes us directly to our heart and soul, to live in a creative, constructive and brave way.
The most surprising teaching that comes from yoga is that focusing our mind and recognising our intention make reaching our goals more effective - whether they are improving our physical form and psychological wellness, solving a specific health problem, overcoming a block, finding the energy to improve work and relationships and overcoming all the daily tasks.
Through the practice of asana, breathing techniques and meditation, yoga leads you to a pathway made of consciousness, to a knowledge of yourself that is so deep that it allows our system to be in harmony, making it balanced and recharged, to benefit of a good health that lasts during time.
Specifically, let’s see which are the benefits of this noble art and on which level they work.
The first and most evident benefit given by the practice of yoga is definitely the increase of elasticity and flexibility. The positions proposed help improve and develop motility, lengthen muscles and tendons. Not by chance, indeed, this discipline is proposed as support to agonistic sports and demanding ones.
Simultaneously to the development of elasticity, yoga helps strengthen muscles, increase force and resistance, leading to a general improvement of the body.
The part that gets the most benefit from yoga is the back and, as a consequence, posture: there are specific positions for the vertebral column that enhance its strengthening, improve flexibility, getting rid of any tension: a cure-all for those who suffer from back pain. Postural deficiency will slowly be corrected, thanks to a restored general balance that improves, consequently, coordination and stability too.
Yoga guarantees psycho-physical wellness because of a correct breathing technique. Working on your breath helps keep the cardiovascular system healthy, giving great results for those who suffer from asthma or just from general fatigue.
This breathing technique promotes the oxygenation of tissues, detoxifying the organism and slowing the aging process. From this point of view, we could define yoga as an elixir of youth! Its practice is good for the cardiocirculatory system, it lowers blood pressure and improves blood circulation.
Purification of internal organs, improvement of circulation and oxygenation of tissues: not only do they slow aging, but they also help increase lungs capacity and strengthen the immunitary system, getting your body under cover from potential viral attacks.
MENTAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS
Yoga was born as a spiritual practice, so its benefits on your soul and spirit are formidable.
Practicing yoga while controlling your breath helps restore an interior balance that is usually lost during our everyday chaotic life. First of all, it reduces stress and anxiety, moving panic attacks away and encouraging a complete relaxation, similar to the one produced by meditation.
Developing an awareness of your breath helps get in touch with our deepest self, waking it up. This consciousness will be reflected in a better control of our emotional states, helping us to keep our heads daily, so that we can live difficulties with detachment and stress.
Yoga also reinforces the ability to focus, improving work performances as you will develop your cognitive functions, from attention to memory.
In addition to that, it improves relaxation and keeps the stress away, enhancing the quality of sleep. Yoga is a great tool against insomnia, so practicing it 20 minutes before going to bed will help you fall asleep faster.
CAN YOGA INCREASE YOUR WORK PERFORMANCE?
If lately you’ve been experiencing difficulties when trying to focus, or you constantly feel tired and you lost all the enthusiasm for what you do, it’s time for you to stop and “recharge batteries”. Yoga could help you, the old eastern practice that aims to fulfilment and spiritual salvation. Reading that, it may appear as something demanding (it partly is), but yoga can actually give concrete benefits in your daily life. That’s why more and more companies (even in Italy) suggest their employees practicing yoga; it’s because they know it can restore calm, serenity and self-awareness. And even more than that.
A well appreciated yoga course was organized at “Volvo Group” a couple years ago. The possibility to practice yoga in your workplace (in this particular case it was during lunch time) allows employees to mitigate stress, restore physical strength and increase concentration. Furthermore, just like other non competitive practices, yoga stimulates a sense of sharing among the participants, that is useful for the work environment too.
The central theme is how to handle stress, that is the equivalent to getting the best results with minimal efforts, so a better efficiency - that is what Andrea Serena explains, and she has experience with clients such as Luxottica,Novartis,Banca Intesa e Zambon.
Stress deeply affects our lives and the cost of the company, in terms of absence, illnesses (stress weakens the immunitary system), burnout and worsening of relationships.
In her courses, from Milan to Venice, she proposes postures, pranayama (knowing that breath impacts on the nervous system and it influences mental conditions) and meditation aiming to reduce physical and psychological tension, strengthen the body, reinforce the will and direct the person towards unusual dimensions, connected with intuition.
“People feel better and work better - Serena adds - while it’s true that it is an investment for companies”. Not only in terms of health, but also in terms of untouchable values, as proven by the choice of Niccolò Branca, president of the homonym company, who, after 24 years of experiencing yoga himself, offers the same practice to his colleagues in order to cultivate and develop their own level of self-awareness.
Another untouchable value is the sense of community. “Practicing together is the value of sangha, the practice community. And this creates a sense of belonging, from which the company gets benefits too.” Moreover with yoga you can develop the so-called soft skills, very useful for business. “We worked with Banca Intesa to develop an aptitude for observation and listening, both extremely beneficial to comprehend situations” Serena says. And the fields are various. “We worked with Novartis to improve zen efficiency, the ability to organize complex scenarios and optimize all the work.”
There are, in general, a series of principles that each one of us can bring to the office, learning how to apply the ancient vedic wisdom to everyday life and tasks.Each type of work path, if done correctly, shares with yoga some fundamentals, that we can summarize in the following five principles:
Take care of the body as well as the mind. One of the cornerstone of the ancient eastern practice is based on the idea that body and mind are connected. And so, in order to feel good, you should seriously take care of both of them.Nothing more correct: only if you’ll have a good rest, eat healthy and do regular exercise (even just a walk is enough), your body will be in shape. And, as a consequence, your mind. Yoga is a journey toward health: it expels toxins, relaxes muscles and gives benefits to the cardiocirculatory system. Going into your office toned and well rested will help give the best out of you.
Focus on your personal improvement. As we have already discussed, yoga supports concentration and reinforces alertness. These abilities will come in handy at work. Not only that: a great thing you might learn is that you should focus on your personal improvement. You should avoid putting yourself in constant competition with those around you. Find your points of strength and your weaknesses and work on those. If you lose against envy, you’ll find yourself with broken bones.
Don’t look too far away and give yourself some time. The breathing techniques and meditation help remain focused on what you are doing and get more self-awareness. These are precious teachings that you can bring to your work environment. When you set a goal, don’t wait impatiently for the final result, that appears way too far away, but proceed slowly. Every small step will bring you closer to the goal: focus on that and give yourself some time.
Show positive vibes. What yoga aims to do is, as said before, prepare the body to receive positive energy. Nothing is more useful at work, where difficulties and unexpected events can make your day an obstacle race. In these cases you have to appeal to that internalized energy and direct it in a way that can show you things in perspective. You always show a positive attitude and carefully analyze the situations. A failure, for instance, could be the occasion to learn something new and improve yourself. Even a tiff with a co-worker could pave the way for a more collaborative relationship.What matters the most is to never get discouraged and always learn something from what happens.
- Give yourself some rest. The first position that teachers explain to beginners is the rest one (the so-called “Child Pose”). It’s not by chance. Even at work, you have to learn to rest every once in a while and not to demand too much from yourself. Submitting your mind to stress and work won’t have positive effects. Quite the opposite, if you’ll give yourself some rest (when you feel the need to), you will increase productivity and you’ll optimize professional performances.
NOW THAT YOU UNDERSTOOD WHAT YOGA IS AND HOW IT WORKS, OPEN YOUR CHAKRA!
I could try to explain it using words… but i think that the easiest way is to make you try it, because yoga can be practiced everywhere,anytime.
Even now. Do you want to try?
Well, find a comfy position, with your back straight. You can stand, sit on the floor with your legs crossed, sit on a chair or you can even lay down.
- Close your eyes and take deep breaths, inhale from your nose and exhale from your mouth.
- Relax your neck, shoulder and face muscles.
- Now breath using only your nose.
- Focus on the sound of your breath.
- Take slow and deep breaths, imagine that during inhalation air goes up from your belly button to your throat; during exhalation it goes down your throat to your belly button.
- Keep breathing in this way and start counting backward from number 6 to number 1, in this way: inhale and think of number 6, exhale and think of number 6… inhale and think of number 5, exhale and think of number 5… and so on till number 1.
- Relax your breath and slowly open your eyes.
Were you able to keep the focus on your breath, even if it was only for a couple of seconds?
Yay! You just practiced yoga. You made a connection with your interior world, but don’t stay there for too long!