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!
Workplace Evolved is yoga on the move… we have mats, and we will travel! So this got me thinking about the many ways that I take yoga with me as I go through life. Little moments, and little ways that my practice comes along and supports me throughout my days. Here are just a few of my favorites:
Man, there is very little I love more than stretching in public. Pretty much anytime I am waiting (to cross a street, in line for coffee, meeting a friend…), I’m stretching. Getting in those hips and hammies. I will literally rock a forward bend, or a figure four if I have enough time. If I’m being really honest, it doesn’t even stop with stretching. I secretly engage in some core work too. I will balance on one foot, engage my low abs and pulse my knee up ever so slightly. So hopefully no one notices. But they probably do! And actually, I hope it gives people a little more permission to be IN their bodies. Because consistent stretching keeps me open to the flow of life.
It feels great to let out a long loud SIGH. Seriously, try it right now! Inhale through the nose, exhale “ahhhhhhh.” I do this a lot. I learned how awesome it feels outside of yoga to let out a big sigh when I was training for a marathon. It shifted the way I was receiving breath, and let me reset mentally too. So, why wouldn’t I want to do it all the time? I sigh while I’m working, I sigh when I’m walking, I sigh in the shower and especially the bath, I sigh right before bed. I could go on. It feels great. Try it! Start with a sigh every few hours (set an outlook reminder if you need to), and then I dare you to stop!
Low Stakes Living
So one of the greatest things about yoga is that it’s fairly low stakes. As practitioners we try all sorts of things– from Warrior II, to Headstand, to figuring out how to actually stack our joints while standing. And if we’re off, or don’t have a perfect 90 degree angle in our front leg (confession: I don’t), it’s okay. In yoga I fall plenty, have a good giggle, and then get back up and try again. The concept of practice takes over, and it’s okay that we aren’t there and perfect. So here’s the newsflash: it’s true in life also. Whoever you are being, and whatever you are doing, it’s okay. We work towards goals– ways we want to improve ourselves or our actions– and just like headstand or Warrior II, it’s the journey that matters. When this piece of yoga comes with me out into my world, it’s amazing what I’ll try. And, it’s amazing what I achieve. What could you achieve if you were willing to fail?
So how do you take your yoga with you out into your life?