Lack of physical activity can leave you feeling lethargic, making it difficult to stay motivated and focused for the entirety of the workday. Practicing yoga not only helps stretch the muscles, but it helps boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. It stimulates the prefrontal lobes of your brain, where higher thinking and critical decision-making occurs. These improvements can directly translate to an increase in productivity, performance, and overall job satisfaction.
When you’ve been sitting for too long, and you’re ready for a stretch break, there are plenty of moves you can do right where you are at home.
Benefits of Yoga
The average daily time an adult spends sitting is between 10-12 hours! Prolonged sitting and improper alignment can not only hurt your body, but also impact your brain. Active muscles pump fresh oxygen and blood to your brain, which in turn triggers the release of mood and brain-enhancing chemicals. When you grow tired, so does your brain. Using forms of movement and breathing from yoga can help you find efficiency and ease in your work.
In addition, yoga:
- Helps Reduce Back and Neck Pain
Yoga is a series of core strengthening exercises, combined with gentle twists and stretches, to work sore muscles in the back and neck. It promotes correct posture, which can help prevent future lower back pain.
- Builds Strength While Improving Flexibility
Yoga requires you to (slowly and with control) transition into a pose and hold the pose while taking deep breaths. The poses demand a varying combination of flexibility to achieve the pose, strength to support your body weight, and balance to hold the pose.
- Promotes Mental Wellbeing
Meditation and controlled breathing can help reduce stress while increasing focus. Since yoga also requires controlled breathing and mental focus, you can use the poses provided below to unwind and calm down whenever you begin to feel tension.
- Requires Little Time
Most home yoga classes require only 30 minutes of your day. Schedule consistent blocks of time to get up and move around. You could take a standing break at the top of each hour and practice a few poses after your morning conference call.
If you begin to feel anxious during the workday, try breathing into the spine. To breathe into the spine, direct your attention to where the spine meets the pelvis. Place your hand on your lower back and concentrate on the sensation of pressure there. With your attention on the base of your spine, take a few deep breaths.
If you’re feeling unmotivated at work and could use an energy boost, breathe into the heart. To breathe into your heart, clasp your hands behind your back at the level of your heart, and stretch out your arms. Then, breathe deeply so your upper chest rises and falls with the breath.
If you feel sore and fatigued midway through your workday, here are 8 yoga poses to help improve productivity and reduce stress!