Stress at work is a rising problem in the UK, and across the world. Some shocking statistic recently revealed that stress related absence is on the rise in the UK, a trend which seems set to rise as the repercussions of Brexit continue to create uncertainty in the economy.
If you work all day, it can be hard to find time to exercise and keep yourself well. Yet that is one of the exact reasons why you need it! A busy working day with no time for caring for your body and mind will ultimately give way to illness and stress.
When I worked full time in an office, spending my days sat in front of computers, trying to bend them to my will, dealing with often conflicting demands on my time and attention from other staff and trying to manage my own mental health at the same time, I developed a powerful strategy to make sure I could keep a lid on my stress if nothing else.
At the side of my desk, I kept a Yoga mat, and at lunchtime, I would go to an empty room, roll out my mat and do a short practice. At the time I was using YogaDownload.com, and found that that small amount of time I took to my mat gave me the space in my mind and body I needed to enable me to work at my best in the afternoon.
On one particularly memorable day, when the organisation I was working for was going through a very challenging time and I was personally really struggling to cope (this was just a few months before I finally broke down) I was on the verge of walking out, never to return, when my manager told me to take an early break and go to ‘my yoga room’. When I returned 25 minutes later, I was like a new woman, ready to face the challenges the rest of the day had for us, for a while at least.
This short, 30 minute practice, is a simple practice that will allow you to release the tension you have stored up in your body throughout the morning, enabling you to go into your afternoon with a new lease of life, energy, clarity and peace.
If you are in the South Wales area, you might be interested in asking your employer to provide office Yoga and relaxation to yourself and your colleagues as part of their staff wellbeing provision. Send this page along to your HR department and ask them to get in touch – it will benefit everyone if you, the staff, are loose and relaxed at work!
I’d love to know if this practice helps you, please share in the comments how you feel after doing the practice.
When most people think of Yoga, they think of a series of postures that increase flexibility in the body, meditation and relaxation. Yoga is seen as a very physical activity and lumped into ‘physical exercise’ categories of activity.
When I began my Yoga teacher training, I was under this impression too. I thought that I would learn to teach an exercise class, and considered little more. I loved my yoga classes and sessions, and loved the effect it had on my body. I knew it relaxed and calmed me as well, even though I didn’t enjoy the relaxation or breathing exercises one bit!
Within just a few hours of starting the training, I was discovering previously unknown elements of Yoga, and as I learned more about how Yoga is, I was able to see the potential that it offered, not just to change my body, but to transform my life.
Yoga postures will promote strength, flexibility, and increase your muscle tone and stamina. The postures work on all levels of your body, so may affect your metabolism and digestive system, improving weight loss. The reduction in stress will reduce the likelihood of comfort eating and ‘stress fat’ created by excessive cortisol.
But a ‘body beautiful’ is not the goal of yoga. You will gain a healthy, strong body that will serve you well throughout your life if you practice yoga, but more importantly, you will develop a healthier relationship with your body. Yoga is about so much more than how we look on the outside; in fact, concerns about external appearances are the very opposite of the goals of Yoga.
Yoga teaches us that we are NOT the body, we are not the mind, we are the soul that inhabits the body and the mind. We must take care of the body, as it is the vehicle for the soul, but the purpose of Yoga is to promote self awareness, acceptance, and healthy interaction with ourself and the rest of the world.
Yoga is not an exercise system, it is a life system. The postures are just one part of the whole system of Yoga. Through the postures we develop awareness, gain connection to the body, and learn to be still, strong, disciplined, flexible and focused in mind and body.
Yoga offers a holistic path to phenomenal personal growth. In its true form its goal is nothing less than complete spiritual enlightenment, which you cannot get from a mere exercise class!
Yoga teaches you to develop awareness of your thoughts, your actions, how you treat other people, yourself, the planet. It offers a path to acceptance, contentment, inner peace and true happiness, the sort of happiness that doesn’t rely on good things happening to you.
Yoga offers tools and practices that can increase your resilience to stress, help you sleep better and increase your energy levels, increase focus and clarity and connect you to your personal definition of spirituality. If you have a religious faith, yoga can enhance the teachings of that faith, and strengthen your faith and commitment.
It can help you to instill new habits into your life, and remove unhelpful ones.
Yoga is a transformative system for personal growth. It is SO much more than getting a thin and bendy body!