By Anna Wechsel, Yoga Instructor
The benefits of practicing Yoga are multifaceted and immense – they improve the overall health and wellness of individuals physically and mentally. Working within any work setting can be taxing on our bodies in various ways, particularly mentally, most commonly in the form of stress and anxiety. All of these mental stresses affect the physical nature of the body in the form of tension, tight muscles and low energy levels. A regular Yoga practice will provide you with a consistent and reliable support network that allows you to properly process and manage the residual effects of your work environment in a healthy and productive manner whilst at the same time, positively influencing your overall health and wellbeing.
Check out some of the benefits of Yoga below along with simple Yoga practices that you can do throughout your day to give you an extra boost of energy, help to improve your posture, and reduce strain on the mind and body.
- Yoga increases energy, alertness and focus by improving circulation of oxygen and nutrient rich blood and improves your posture which directly affects our breathing by increasing our oxygen levels and energy.
Step away from your desk for 5 minutes of simple stretches throughout your day Eg. Shoulder circles (backwards and forewords), wrist circles, cat/cow stretches and downward facing dog, rolling up and down from ragdoll with bent knees.
- Practicing Yoga has associative benefits that increase positive thinking patterns, reducing stress and produces a sense of mental/physical balances & healthy wellbeing. Through Yoga our sympathetic nervous system (stress response) is calmed and balanced along with hormone secretion – a regular Yoga practice can improve and regulate our sleep habits.
Practice 5 rounds of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) or 3-5 rounds of 3 Part Breath. Practicing cross legged gentle seated forward folds or 5-10 minutes of Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose) will also leave you feeling calm, refreshed and energized.
- Yoga has many incredible benefits, with a regular practice you will experience, improved functioning of you immune system, thyroid (metabolism), circulatory and respiratory systems. This will result in fewer sick days, decreased vulnerability to common colds, decreased stress and anxiety and improved sleep patterns. These are just to name a few!
Either head to a Yoga class near by or take 30-45 minutes and practice the following sequence. Follow 5 breaths in each pose or each side where appropriate unless otherwise stated. If you have never practiced Yoga before or have an injury please seek the guidance of a trained and experienced Yoga Teacher.