Yoga is no longer a secret— everyone from East to the West seems to practice a variation of it. While its ties to religion remain strong, yoga is now very much mainstream as a practice that nourishes both the mind and the body.
Yoga is best described as moving meditation. During a class, you’ll be asked to perform a sequence of poses while paying attention to your breathing. It encourages you to be conscious of the shapes you’re making with your body, which in turn trains mindfulness, a tool that can benefit your personal and professional life in several ways.
1. Creative expression
Carolyn Sun, who followed Oprah’s 21-meditation challenge, says that yoga taught her to live in the present. Detailing her experience on Entrepreneur, Sun talked about the creative boost she felt after meditating, which Oprah herself mentioned. Our minds either overflow with ideas that we don’t know how to use or experience a mental block. In this regard, yoga can help create mental connections that fuel imaginative thinking. It can also help you tone down any distractions and channel the creative part of your brain when you need it.
2. Productivity boost
While meditation is important, let’s not forget that yoga is also a physical activity. Several types of yoga, like Vinyasa or Hot Yoga, can be very intensive. The most successful CEOs, from Anna Wintour of Vogue to Brian Chesky of Airbnb, will tell you that exercise should be the last thing you eliminate from your daily routine. CEO World Magazine cited a study indicating that working professionals tend to be more productive when they get to work out regularly. Researchers have found a positive link between exercise and cognitive function. The endorphin rush also brings about stress relief, which everyone needs to be more productive and happier in the life and work.
3. Enhanced focus
There’s a trick that tennis players swear by that’s taken straight out of a Zen master’s book. Kinesiologist Joan Vickers calls it ‘the quiet eye’ which essentially trains your eyes to focus on a fast-moving ball and it’s what Serena Williams swears by. She’s also keen on practicing Bikram yoga and meditation. Williams is the highest earning female tennis player with 23 Grand Slam titles to her name and has been at the top of her sport for a long time now. What is her key to success? Learning how to relax in high-pressure situations. The combination of specific tricks like the ‘quiet eye’ and easily applicable methods like yoga and meditation help her adapt to stressful scenarios, and it can help you remain calm, too.
4. Improved physical health
As Moira discussed, the path to achieving your goals is not always straightforward. You need to be more persistent in a cutthroat environment, but you also need to remember to take care of your health. This is where yoga can be your guide. We’ve talked about yoga as a physical activity and exercising regularly can help prevent chronic illnesses. Yogic values also promote healthy lifestyle habits because yoga masters treat their bodies as temples. This means eating nutritious food, limiting vices, exercising and sleeping well are all key components.
Overall, yoga is a lifestyle in which your body will thank you for. It encourages you to be more mindful of your overall well-being as well as your surrounding environment. Without personal health, it will be difficult to achieve professional success.
Wellness Editorial composed by Jessie Bench for wellnesswithmoira.com