Yoga is not just something confined to the four corners of your yoga mat. We can practice yoga every moment of the day by bringing mindfulness to every perception, every action and every interaction we experience. And guess what, it’s invaluable at work. Here are just a couple way that practicing yoga at work can help you have a more positive experience of work (and then a couple of ways to remember to do it!)
So how do you remember to use your yoga at work? It’s a practice just like anything else. And the more you can bring moments of your “regular” yoga to work, the more you’ll remember to keep it alive in between. That’s why WE created online office yoga breaks through YogaDownload. These breaks range from 5-15 minutes and address a multitude of work challenges. If you want a discount for a YogaDownload membership, click here to get a year unlimited membershp for $29.
And even better, talk to us about bringing an in-person yoga class to your workplace. We currently offer classes in Denver and Los Angeles, and we’re eager to help you share your yoga with your co-workers! Contact us here.
It’s 3pm. You’re brain is fuzzy. It’s getting harder and harder to focus. Your body is sore from sitting. And you just want to make that final push to get that last bit done and then you’ll take a break. Or maybe you’re looking at the finish line to go home and want to get the last 3 items done on your to-do list and then you can leave. Just push a little more, a little harder. The problem is, it’s taking forever. You’re re-reading lines, you’re slumping into your seat, and you’re attention is all over the place.
Here’s what we know about that: our pre-frontal cortex (PFC), our “thinking brain” is a very limited resource. For any activities involving understanding, deciding, recalling, memorizing or inhibiting, we need our thinking brain. Unfortunately, the brain’s energy gets depleted very quickly. When our brain’s energy is depleted, we resort to our mental maps (habits and shortcuts) to get us through the best we can. This is when our work suffers, things take longer than we think they will and the end of the day leaves us with no energy to spare for loved ones.
And don’t we all want to do our best work and have energy to spare for loved ones (or ourselves) at the end of the day?
Yes, yes we do.
Enter the Office Breaks on Yoga Download. One of the things both your brain and your body need to refuel is oxygen. So when we get to that place where our brain is fuzzy and we feel the urge to push through… stop. Seriously, stop. Instead of taking the 30 minutes it will take you to finish up without your PFC, take a break and it will only take you 5 or 10 minutes to do even better work.
These Office Breaks are specifically designed for common moments in our work days like when your brain is fuzzy, you’re low on energy, or you’re overwhelmed (among others!). WE deliberately structures these breaks to give your brain the oxygen it needs, give your body the movement it needs, and give your mind an invitation to shift your experience towards something better.
The result is that you do better work, are more efficient, your body feels better, and you have energy to spare at the end of the day.
So taking little breaks throughout the day is the easy choice, right?
We wish! None of us make good decisions when our brains are already depleted. So don’t rely on your brain because it will do what it’s always done. Instead, make it a literal no-brainer. Schedule a calendar reminder every 90 minutes to try an Office Break. This will give you a reminder at just the right time, and relinquishes your brain of needing to make any more decisions when it’s already exhausted. Wouldn’t that be nice!
Try the Office Breaks. Track the results for a few weeks. Let us know how it goes.
Workplace Evolved offers 5, 10, and 20-minute office breaks designed for common situations we encounter in the workday. The first two are live on Yoga Download, with 15 more recorded. If you have any requests, just let us know. We’ll use your feedback, requests and results to fuel this segment of Yoga Download and hope to have many more breaks available online over time. Just one of the ways WE is changing the way the world works!
Tip one: Think of your brain as a muscle. In fact, think of your brain as all of your muscles.
Many of us are familiar with the concepts of working out and getting in shape (even if we don’t do it regularly). Your brain works much the same way: you have different parts of the brain that do different things for you. Two really useful perspectives come from this metaphor:
Using the same part of your brain over and over without working the other parts of your brain will make you look like this guy:
Okay, maybe not literally, but let’s roll with it. As strong as this guy may be in his upper body, he’s going to have a hard time hiking up a mountain, or jumping over an obstacle; he’s not very versatile in what he can do. Hugging our brain includes loving all parts equally. This is important not just so we don’t look like that guy, but also because we lose effectiveness in parts of our brains that get overused.
Which leads us to our second useful perspective…
Our brains get tired. Every good personal trainer will tell you to take a rest day, or two. The brain needs rest too, in a big way.
More often than not our version of rest is physical rest, and our brains are still asked to do a lot of “work” while we “rest”: imagine all the worst possible scenarios of how something could pan out, think through (over and over) how we should have done something differently or how someone did us wrong, go over and over our ever-growing to-do list, etc. Hugging our brain includes giving our brains a break so they can do what they do even better.
So, if we think of our brain as all of our muscles, what do we do?
There are LOTS of ways to do this, and WE is just highlighting our favorites:
Please let us know how it goes! And remember, for different results, we need different neural pathways! That’s why we started the #HugYourBrain campaign. Brain-friendly ways towards the life you want!
Let’s assume you have a New Year’s Resolution you’re really excited about. You’re clear on what you want to change, and you eagerly want the anticipated results. You may have even made a commitment to yourself, or someone else for accountability, and you’re sure this is the year you’ll keep your resolution.
So, will you? Well, statistically speaking, no.
The good news is that each of us is more than a statistic– whatever the odds are, you have the ability to overcome them when we understand what keeps us locked in the status quo. (more…)