Wow, it’s finally starting to look as though some semblance of the ‘old’ normal might be returning! Part of this I know is returning (if you haven’t already been working all the way through lockdown in an office/hospital etc) to the office or workplace. I’m sure we’ll see lots of changes with less need to be in the office Monday to Friday and flexibility still playing a big part in our working lives. At least I hope so!
I thought it might be useful to provide some tips on how you might help when you do start going back to the office, or how you might help your teams return.
We all thrive on habit and stability and change, even if it’s for the better, is stressful. During the various lockdowns, the isolation and the uncertainty of the last 12 months we have all found new ways of coping and living. You might be feeling now that just the thought of having to be in the office at a set time everyone has their own ways of coping and managing but yoga can help to reset our expectations and also to physiologically adjust to change.
Okay, so what does that mean in reality?
If you practice yoga already then I would say; do a little more. You don’t need to do an hour, even 15 minutes has benefits. And if you don’t regularly practice then I would say the same; start with 15 minutes in the morning and just hold a few poses for 2-3 minutes each. While you do this, focus on your breathing and try to breathe evenly into your lungs and into your stomach. Relax your facial muscles. Start to feel the breath in your body and you will start to find that your mind calms.
The really good news though is that, even if you don’t have the time to attend a full yoga session, just taking these breathing techniques and becoming more aware of what you do when you are stressed, means you will be able to actively employ the same techniques:
- Breathe deeply and slowly
- Relax your facial muscles
- Allow your mind to clear for a few moments
- Focus on the present
You’ll soon find that you are calmer and better able to deal with all the day throws at you.
And that’s what yoga really is; the poses most people associate with yoga are just a particular way of practising yoga called the asana practice ("asana" translates to "pose"). The asana practice challenges you in a specific way, but life itself offers plenty of challenges on its own. Yoga is simply the process of paying attention to the present moment and to calming your mind.
Yoga helps us to take a little step back; take a couple of deep breaths, pause, and then take a different look at the situation from a state of calm. Maybe this change isn’t all bad. Maybe some good will even come from it.
Yoga gives us the power to change.