Imagine a working environment where you feel supported, nourished, and inspired. Imagine feeling great throughout the day even during those lengthy hours at the computer or working on your feet. What would happen if you were able to access more energy throughout the day, not by your stop at the local coffee house, but right in your own skin? Is it possible that you could feel at peace with your efforts, balanced during the hours of "high tides" and maybe even "rip-tides." It doesn't matter what type of career you employ, it can be easy to get lost in the details and forget to stop and take care of "numero uno." Yes, that's you...number one! You may be a stay at home mom or dad who just needs a few seconds to ground yourself before a day of exhausting piggy-back rides and homework sessions. Wherever you fit into the role in work during the ride of your day, there will always be "work" to do. And when it's time to get to work, your yoga practice is a tool you get to take with you. The question is, will you accept the opportunity when you notice your shoulders are slouching, your back hurts and your boss is asking you to get next months spreadsheet completed while you are still handling the tasks you already have on your plate? What about when your kid needs extra assistance and you are exhausted and feel empty? Wouldn't it make sense to take a couple of minutes to yourself, even if it only means two yoga postures that make your back feel better? I have started asking my students how yoga has effected their lives at home and at the work place. The list is quite long, but here are just a few answers.
"I don't get headaches anymore and I sleep better than I have in years."
"My back used to be a mess, I was in pain all of the time. I even used prescription drugs, but they never helped the pain like yoga has. I am now off of those pain medications and healthier now than I was in my twenties."
"I feel empowered. I can do things with my body I never thought I'd be able to do, especially after having kids."
"It makes me a better person. I am more at ease and my mood is better than when I go without it."
"I can finally touch my toes. I could never touch my toes before. I never thought it would happen for me, but it did!"
"I had asthma all throughout childhood and early adulthood. I continued to use an inhaler for the first couple years I started practicing, just every once in a while. I am now completely off of the inhaler and I feel better than I ever have. My doctor is amazed."
"My kids love to practice yoga with me. My toddler does the poses with me, it's great, we are exercising as a family. I love yoga!"
Integrate yoga throughout the day:
Stress can show up in many ways including illness, fatigue, depression, anger, and physical pain. It is our natural defense mechanism, the immune system, that keeps us from getting sick due to the stress in our lives. Is this simply due to our environment, or do we really have an ability to change the mind's struggle with the environment and create space for the balance and peace we say we are so thirsty for? My motto has always been, if you notice an imbalance or if you notice a state of dis-ease or dis-harmony, take a moment, pause, breathe and reconnect to what you are feeling in your body. Where is the tension starting to form? Is it in your stomach, throat, at your temples, in your shoulders, back, or hamstrings? Discovering this tension is not a "problem area" that you are going to "fix." Simply bring your attention to the area and allow your breath to guide you into the depth of the posture. As we move into the body and watch it unfold, we peel back these layers and beneath we may find thoughts, emotions, and even scar-tissue. What does one do with all of this "stuff" once it is revealed. Imagine going into that closet that has been packed full of stuff; an unorganized mess. This is what happens in our body when we don't listen and follow up with action.
How easy it may be to stay an extra hour at work or go the extra mile to clean your house, but when it comes time to give yourself a minute or two to stretch in the middle of the day, do you warrant it as time well spent? If the answer has been "no" in the past, I invite you to stand up and stretch right now! It's never too late to feel great while you are on the job or in the car on the go. Have you ever thought about the time that you sit at a red-light as an opportunity to practice your yoga breathing? Well, think again my friend! Today is the day...to take your yoga...all the way!!! With just a few postures, you'll be feeling great in no time. Find a class in your area and get down with your downward facing dog! If you don't have a "dog to walk"...don't worry, there are many yoga poses to keep you satisfied and feeling stress free.
See you around the bend!