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Achieving work/life balance through yoga

Posted by
22 Jun 2017
Yoga in the workplaceFollowing my colleague Jemma’s recent blog on mindfulness, I wanted to continue the theme through showing the benefits of practising yoga both to achieve mindfulness and to help with work/life balance. We spend more time at work than we do at home and consequently, many of us are taking work home with us and not taking time out to relax. There is a perception that if you stop working, you won’t achieve all your tasks, but mindfulness teaches us the opposite.

Taking a little time out each day to be mindful improves efficiency in the work place and relieves stress. Here is how practicing yoga can help us to relax as well as improving performance in the workplace.

Helping us focus

The concentration needed to achieve yoga poses requires ultimate mindfulness. In order to balance and not wobble when we are positioning ourselves, we must isolate the mind from all thoughts except what we are doing at present. The same applies to when we are concentrating on a task at work. In the working world we are so easily distracted by social media, technology and office gossip, our focus can slip so easily. Yoga aids in improving our concentration levels.

To be successful in holding a yoga pose, you must find your focus. This can simply be achieved by concentrating on one thing at once – finding a spot on the wall, avoiding distractions and clearing the mind. The same applies to work.

Put your mind into the task at hand, avoid everything else on your to-do list, avoid the conversation of your colleagues and you will get the job done more thoroughly before repeating the process in the next task. Taking on too much at once causes the mind to divide and thus leads to us doing things half-heartedly.

Improving confidence and increasing self-trust

When I began yoga, I watched as yogi regulars balanced on their tip toes effortlessly in Tree Pose and wondered how I would ever achieve the position myself. After time, I found I had much more mobility. I could stretch more flexibly, I could reach a little further, I could hold my poses for longer. Through focusing my mind on one specific task as we have spoken about above, I was able to concentrate on my body, able to listen to my muscles and trust them to hold my weight. This helps with building self-belief. You learn you are stronger than you think, you gain confidence and become more rooted in your sense of self. This also demonstrates how yoga teaches persistence – if you keep on going, eventually you will achieve something.

Slowing down and being patient

The working world is faster-paced than ever before. At work, most of us are under pressure to meet deadlines, deliver a high level of service and get through huge piles of work. We are often reliant on other people doing their jobs efficiently in order to be able to do ours, which can sometimes be frustrating and cause irritation. In yoga practice, we are taught to slow down in order to stabilise ourselves properly in positions. You cannot rush when attempting your shoulder stand, you will only wobble and fall. Likewise, when you rush your work you lose the quality of service you are delivering (either to a customer or to your company) I’m not saying we should lose our sense of urgency, but sometimes taking a step back to be mindful about the task in hand can result in more thorough delivery and therefore increased productivity. 
For further information about achieving a greater work/life balance, check out our tips. Work/Life balance 

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