Yoga is not a new concept, far from it. I have never been one for chanting and the ringing of bells, but the benefits are far reaching, and businesses with a passion for work life balance recognise that it requires relatively low investment, time and can be achieved for the remote working community.
As a business owner I have never had to be so agile and resilient from a financially challenging 2020, to a business that has quadrupled in size in 2021. You couldn’t write it.
However, one thing that has been consistent in the last 10 years is my mental and physical well-being.
There are many types of yoga you can explore, but all have a focus of helping you get into the present moment and the benefits for me have been life changing.
Mental well-being for me is undoubtedly the primary benefit
Endless TEAMS meetings, demands on my time and the concentration required to cope with multiple tasks simply clutters my mind. Yoga, meditation and breathing exercises are a great way to effectively silence the noise and elevate your spirits. Studies have shown that adopting this practice can lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone to calm the mind and improve sleep.
There is a view that “sitting is the new smoking.” I know from personal experience that sitting for hours at a desk has a detrimental effect on my posture and energy levels. There is a perception that to do Yoga successfully you need to be ultra-flexible, this is not the case. Conditions such as chronic back and neck pain to diabetes to heart disease have been linked to sedentary lifestyles imposed on office workers. The distraction of discomfort can dilute your ability to focus.
Burnout in the workplace is an increasing problem for both employees and employers. The combination leaves employers facing reduced productivity, the effects of toxic culture created by unhappy employees and the loss of top talent. It is proven that doing any form of physical activity every 30 minutes, including stretching or even standing up, greatly increases blood circulation and promotes oxygenation which is crucial for energy production.
Developing emotional intelligence
Daily, we need to be an excellent communicator to form strategic partnerships effectively. You need to be able to get your message across, give clear instructions and motivate people around you. Yoga benefits your emotional intelligence like no other exercise because it helps you understand your own emotions and what other people feel. Your overall ability to “read” people improves and the consequence being that you adjust your manner and approach to reach an agreeable outcome. Yoga teaches you to hear your inner voice. By practicing yoga, you reconnect with yourself and your intuition improves drastically.
Determination and commitment
(My saviour during COVID) Yoga teaches you discipline. Whether you practice every day or only twice a week, you need to stick with your schedule. There will be days when you are flying impatiently to your yoga studio or online class. However, there will also be days when the weather is demotivating, and the mood is not right. But showing up on the mat no matter what, teaches you persistence and determination. This alone will lift your mood – you did it!
I’m a working parent and like most of us, grapple with ways to stay healthy and find time in my day but yoga is an easy-to-implement tool in your personal toolbox that provides far-reaching benefits. Whether you have 5 mins or 50 mins per day, there is always a reason to stop and invest time in YOU.
I personally chose an online class because they fit in around my lifestyle and select the duration of the class. YouTube offers hundreds of classes but below are some teachers that offer yoga at all levels.
It’s International Stress Awareness week, make YOU a priority!