“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
“The yoga mat is a good place to turn when talk therapy and antidepressants aren’t enough.” ~ Amy Weintraub
“Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” ~ Bob Harper
We’re blessed in Tampa Bay because we have so many yoga resources to help improve the work life balance challenge.
But first, let’s ask, and answer, the question of what yoga is and how exactly can it help your work life balance.
In today’s contemporary language, yoga is most commonly referred to as a “mind-body practice”. Yoga has its origins in ancient Indian philosophy. There are numerous styles of yoga. Its primary focus is to combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. These different styles of yoga, include, but are not limited to, the following:
Generally, people use yoga to help achieve better fitness, health and relaxation.
Beginning to see the work life balance connection?
The 2007 National Health Interview Survey found that yoga is one of the top 10 CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) modalities used among U.S. adults. It’s estimated that more than 6% of U.S. adults used yoga for health purposes this past year.
That’s more than 13 million adults who used yoga last year! And more than 1.5 million children used yoga last year.
It’s become very mainstream.
Just think of being able to “suspend the stream of your thoughts and relax the body and mind.”
That’s exactly what yoga does and that’s exactly why it’s so good for your work life balance.
All the current evidence from research suggests that yoga enhances stress-coping mechanisms and mind-body awareness.
The word “yoga” comes from the old Indian word yuj, which means “yoke or union.” It means the union between the mind and the body. Furthermore, yoga was originally developed to help people reach spiritual enlightenment. Here are the eight original foundations of yoga practice (there will NOT be a test on this later!):
1. yama (moral behavior)
2. niyama (healthy habits)
3. asana (physical postures)
4. pranayama (breathing exercises)
5. pratyahara (sense withdrawal)
6. dharana (concentration)
7. dhyana (contemplation)
8. samadhi (higher consciousness)
The goal of yoga practice is to connect with all parts of who you are!
Research also suggests that yoga can:
• Improve mood and sense of well-being
• Counteract stress
• Reduce heart rate and blood pressure
• Increase lung capacity
• Improve muscle relaxation and body composition
• Help with conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia
• Improve overall physical fitness, strength, and flexibility
• Positively affect levels of certain brain or blood chemicals
And yoga is even much more than all that. Linda Wilkerson and Jamie Luber, founders and owners of Yoga Village in Clearwater, state the following “It is our shared vision to open a space where all people can come together, to grow in community and in spirit.”
Does yoga add to your work life balance? Yes, and in many more ways than you might even know!
Disclaimer: Don’t use yoga as a replacement for conventional care. If you have a medical condition, always consult with your health care provider before starting yoga. And it’s always wise, and best, to tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use.