Downward Dog, Upward Productivity: 4 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Work Performance

Posted by Chelsea Noel on December 12, 2016 in Online Learning Productivity Stress Management

 

As another year is coming to an end, it’s time to reflect on the last years’ accomplishments and setbacks. What was your proudest moment of 2016? Was there something you were hoping to accomplish but didn’t get the chance to? Is there something you could have done better? Where was your biggest area of growth? Thinking about the past year allows us the opportunity to set ourselves up for the New Year with a better sense of direction. Yes, it’s the time of the year for setting new goals. It’s time to create your New Years’ Resolution.

Last year, in an effort to become healthier in both mind and body, I made a resolution to practice more yoga. Yoga is known to have a number of health benefits; it improves flexibility, builds muscle strength and boosts the immune system. Yoga can also reduce stress and enhance a sense of inner peace. Most people think that the ability to touch your toes is a prerequisite for practicing yoga. This is a complete misconception. Yoga and fitness retailer, Gaiam believes “the practice of yoga allows students to find stillness in a world consumed with chaos. Peace and tranquility achieved through focused training appeals to everyone”.

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Experts also say that practicing yoga can have positive effects on productivity the workplace. Why? That’s because yoga isn’t just an exercise; it’s a lifestyle that benefits both the body and the mind. You can make your work less stressful and more productive by adopting the mindset of a yogi and integrating these skills into your life:

1. Discipline

While excelling at yoga requires both a physical and mental commitment to unroll your mat regularly, having self-discipline is crucial to success at work, especially so if you work from home. The hardest part is showing up and getting started. Set goals and create a daily routine to eliminate distraction, build motivation and improve productivity.

2. Mindfulness

Do you often find yourself getting distracted? Are you utilizing your time effectively? Yogis will say that mindfulness is at the heart of the practice. Ask yourself these questions regularly to help you stay productive and reduce stress when the work pressure builds up. Checking in with yourself on a regular basis will increase your self-awareness and provide you with more clarity and insight in decision making.

One of the greatest things about practicing mindfulness is that it can be done anywhere. Try carving 10 minutes out of your day to do nothing other than breathe. Lately, I’ve been practicing meditation using an app called Headspace, which provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. I encourage you to try it out; Headspace offers a free 10 day trial to new users.

3. Posture

One of the greatest benefits of yoga is posture improvement. Studies have shown that practicing yoga not only increases body awareness, but lengthens your spine and strengthens your core. If you’re sitting behind a desk for 8 hours a day, you probably find yourself hunched over your keyboard from time to time. But by practicing yoga regularly, you can train your body to uphold a correct sitting position while improving your overall back health.

4. Nutrition

Practicing yoga isn’t just about working out; it’s about embodying an overall healthy lifestyle. Yoga and nutrition go hand in hand. But maintaining a healthy and balanced diet isn’t just part of living a yoga lifestyle. It should be a fundamental part of everyone’s life. Unfortunately, however, nutrition often falls on the backburner. If you study or work from home, it’s easy to get caught up in unhealthy habits and unnecessary snacking. Consuming a balanced diet will not only improve your yoga practice, but will also add holistic value to your life, leaving you with more energy and less stress.

It’s a simple fact that yoga can add true value to your life. Adopting the main tenets of yoga into your everyday life can impact your personal and professional performance, leaving you more energized, focused and productive. With a New Year just around the corner, now is the perfect time drive your health and wellness upward.

Are you interested to learn more about how you can boost your productivity? Check out our latest blog post on how to improve your self-management.